Timeline of Body Image

Today I found a website (http://www.rehabs.com/explore/womens-body-image-and-bmi/) that included a large amount of information about negative body image and different areas of ‘acceptable sizing of women’ in society. Trends of weight loss have resulted in previous rare eating disorders becoming common, and lifelong unhappiness spreading towards one’s own body. Some girls as young as 6 are unhappy with their weight which I find very distressing to realise.

Throughout this website there was a section in regards to the evolution of ’20th century American beauty ideals’ which I found very intriguing to write about because I got to understand the differences in society’s acceptance of specific body sizes through the years.

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As I found out that the fashion industry first developed in France by Rose Bertin, I have realised that the French fashion and modelling industry aspire only to be the best in their work, and this requires the best models! They promote ‘extreme thinness’ which therefore allocate the conception of dieting and anorexia-linked deaths of models and the public. This has now spread to near enough all countries in the world which puts the perception of a ‘perfect body image’ in social media to be taking over earth.
In Italy women are objectified in the media and pushed into believing that plastic surgery is the best option for the ‘perfect appearance’.
In Spain and Mexico 1 in 4 teenage girls are at the risk of developing an eating disorder due to the desire to become thinner and feel like they need to take appetite suppressants in order to lose weight.
In China and Japan the amount of eating disorders have increased such a large amount since the early 90’s (where at this time period this disorder was absent from society). The women inhale a significant fear of weight gain and now show a population of 29% of women now being underweight.

However, this is not always the case. Places like Nigeria have businesses dedicated to helping people gain weight in order to be more attractive to the opposite sex. 90% of the population is overweight and considered a sex symbol with an added bonus of their happiness and wealth increasing.

Whilst looking on YouTube for inspiration on what to add into my essay and research, I came across a video that helped me to realise how much aspired body sizes have changed over 100 years. The video:

shows women modelling the ‘ideal body image’ of women around the world throughout many years (such as Ancient Egypt, Victorian England, and the Supermodel Era in the 1980’s). From watching this it gives me a clearer understanding of the different body shapes, from very large to extremely thin: at one point in history it was seen as very attractive for a women to have all of these body shapes. This therefore shows the differentiated opinions of society’s perception of a ‘perfect body of females’ and proves that the thought of being skinny was not always desired.



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