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Posts Tagged ‘body types’

Just like fashion trends, the “ideal body shape(s)” for both women and men changes through the years based on social and economic trends. Of course, socially preferred body shapes within the same population may vary based on ethnicity, socioeconomic class, national background, location, etc., but there are general, overarching trends. As someone who adores fashion history (it’s more tied to gender studies than you think!), visual culture, and mapping social trends, in high school and even now I was intrigued by the idea of ideal body types for each decade: Marilyn Monroe for the 50s, Twiggy for the late 60s, and so on.

Left: Twiggy; Right: Marilyn Monroe. Image from Italie Leanne. “Twiggy: I Wanted To Look Like Marilyn Monroe.” The Huffington Post. 29 Mar. 2010.

Realizing that even though your body type isn’t “in” now but was at some point in history or is somewhere else in the world can be incredibly gratifying. The first time I saw a Roman statue who actually looked exactly like my body type at age 18, I was so happy that there was once someone looked like me and whom an artist felt was beautiful enough to model for a mythological character. I love/d reading about the 1920s, because I would have considered pretty for a shape I was teased about in high school [ed. more about teasing vs. discrimination later]. I think a lot of people, especially women, have this idea that they were “born in the wrong decade/century/era” for their body type, and it can be empowering to see your shape as beautiful or sexy.

So when I saw the illustration “Wrong Century” by Tomas Kucerovsky I should have been happy, right?

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