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The Ideal Female Body Type

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    January 6, 2023 7:38 AM EST

    The Ideal Female Body Type

    The Ideal Female Body Type: How It’s Changed In The Last Century

    Fashion changes all the time, making clothing a hot topic. Throughout the years, a woman’s ideal body type goes in and out of style, too. During the last century, certain looks were considered the most attractive, but those have changed dramatically. Sometimes, the shifts are more subtle, but they could be staggering when you check out the decades before.

    It’s interesting to look at the ideal body type for a specific time period to determine how society views the woman. This also helps to see who becomes a celebrity and why. Let’s review the idealized female body type through the decades to see how things have changed.

    The Gibson Girl (1910s)
    During the early 1900s, companies used illustrators to advertise products because it was too expensive to publish photographs in magazines. Charles Dana Gibson was one of them, and he was well-known for his depiction of women in dresses and corsets.

    Camille Clifford
    Camille was a beautiful model and actress and was one of the Gibson Girl proteges. In fact, she had an 18-inch waist that people wanted to mimic. It meant wearing a corset under her long gown, and she did so for appearances’ sake.

    Flappers (Roaring ’20s)
    The Flapper style of the 1920s was a huge shift from that Gibson Girl image. These ladies had short hairdos, hats, and loose dresses that hid the waistline. During this period, the government ratified the 19th Amendment, allowing women to vote!

    Margaret Gorman
    Margaret became Miss America in 1921. People thought she had the ideal body type at the time. Seemingly boyish, she was long and lean, which was a big shift from that hourglass figure in the previous decade.

    Soft Siren (1930s)
    After the Roaring ’20s, the 1930s saw another fashion shift. The stock market crashed, meaning women went back to form-fitting dresses and a classic feminine style. Therefore, they moved away from boxier dresses.

    Dolores Del Rio
    Dolores was the most popular woman of the time because she had that ideal body type and held the old Hollywood glamour the women of the 1930s craved. Photoplay magazine described her as “warmly curved” and “roundly turned.” This Mexican star had the best figure!

    Star-Spangled Girl (1940s)
    Things changed drastically again in the 1940s because of World War II. It affected everything in America, including women’s fashion. Now, long limbs and broad shoulders were the best choices, and torpedo/bullet bras became popular.


    Betty Grable
    Betty was at the forefront as the ideal woman in this time period. She was a highly popular pin-up girl because of her body style. Therefore, it was common to see her picture in footlockers of military men everywhere!

    Hourglass Figure (1950s)
    While curves were more popular in the 40s, the 1950s went back to that Gibson Girl waistline because the hourglass figure made a comeback. Strong shoulders and thinness were out again. Magazines went so far as to advertise weight gainers to help widen hips!

    Marilyn Monroe
    Marilyn doesn’t need an introduction. She’s likely the most famous woman with an hourglass shape, and her beauty stands the test of time. In fact, she’s still the most well-known Hollywood star after all these decades.

    The Twig (1960s)
    The 1950s focused on the curvaceous and fuller body type, but the 1960s went in a totally different direction. That hourglass figure was gone, and very thin and long was the top choice. Narrow hips and small waists were all the rage!

    Lesley Lawson (Twiggy) was a model at the time, and she brought the body type of rail-thin to the stage. At 16, she changed the entire fashion landscape because everyone wanted to be super thin like her!

    The Disco Diva (1970s)
    Rail-thin looks continued into the 1970s, but curves were again welcomed. While not as extreme as in the 1950s, the ’70s saw a balanced body type. Disco divas showed you how to do it and looked amazing in their getups.

    Charlie’s Angels
    The most famous faces in the 1970s were from the original Charlie’s Angels movie. Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Jaclyn Smith epitomized this decade’s ideal body type, which was curvy, lean, and long, all mixed together.

    The Supermodel (1980s)
    The 1980s saw the Supermodel look introduced. This was the title given to models with very long legs and a taller stature than normal. It was impossible to watch television, such as MTV, without seeing this style on the screen.

    Rachel Hunter
    Rachel was right under 6 feet tall and towered over everyone. Rod Stewart is only 5’10,” and she towered over him! Everyone remembers her body on Sports Illustrated and other magazines. Plus, she was in many music videos!…..body-type/…../cvxbxvxdv

    Rachel Hunter
    Rachel was right under 6 feet tall and towered over everyone. Rod Stewart is only 5’10,” and she towered over him! Everyone remembers her body on Sports Illustrated and other magazines. Plus, she was in many music videos!

    Elle Macpherson
    Elle Macpherson is another ’80s Supermodel and embodied the body type. In fact, she was called “The Body” in Time magazine. Decades later, she was still active, appearing in Sports Illustrated in 2014.

    The Waif (1990s)
    In the 1990s, fashion took another sharp turn from curvy/tall to the waif-thin appearance (few or no curves). Many people have started calling it “heroin chic” because it looks like these women are on drugs. That’s completely opposite to the Supermodel style of the previous decade!

    Kate Moss
    Kate is the poster child for the waif-thin look of the ’90s. This fashion icon got her shot with Calvin Klein. In fact, people often blame her for the size-zero trend that began around that time. Still, she made about $9.2 million in 2012!

    Winona Ryder
    Winona is another example of the waif look. That might have even brought her to fame, though her acting sealed the deal. It’s interesting that both women were in relationships with Johnny Depp, a popular actor. Waif is definitely his type!

    The Buff Beauty (2000s)
    When the new millennium came around, fashionistas said goodbye to that waif-thin appearance and focused on an athletic body type. Women on magazine covers now had rock-hard abs. While they weren’t as curvy as in previous decades, they still were curvier than the waifs of the 90s.…../wrewfgerg

    Gisele Bundchen
    Gisele brought a new supermodel look with her: athletic, long legs, and tall. This Brazilian model has been the highest-paid woman for many years. Some even think she’s the most beautiful woman in the world and has influenced fashion greatly.

    The Booty Babe (2010s)
    During the 2010 decade, curvaceous booties became the most popular body style. Beyonce made it the top choice, and Bootylicious came out. This popular song by Destiny’s Child sealed the deal, making the behind and hips all the rage.

    Rihana is a Barbadian beauty and a popular artist. Her killer vocals wow the crowd, but she’s also stylish and has a great body. Now, she’s got a fashion line and showcases her skills as a businesswoman.

    Kim Kardashian
    Kim can also take credit for making that bodacious booty style popular with the mainstream media. While her behind is all that, women who weren’t graced with such a rump can have procedures to attain what they want. It’s quite common!

    Jennifer Lopez
    You might know her as “Jenny from the Block” or “JLo.” Regardless, she’s a beautiful woman and has a curvaceous and strong body. We can’t get enough of her behind, and her hit song, “Booty,” says it all.

    Nicki Minaj
    Nicki Minaj is a very popular rapper. In fact, she’s become an iconic artist because of her amazing style and wonderful skills. Plus, she likes to show off her curves and knows what the people want!

    Changing Ideals
    Now, it’s not as common for women to conform to a single ideal body type. Many people think it’s because magazines have become outdated and the internet has risen to the top. Regardless, one body type isn’t dominant or supreme anymore.