Twitter username: @LopshireLucy
January 7, 2021
Beauty Throughout The Centuries Infographic by Catherine Eikelbarner
The expected body standards for society shifts over time, making it hard for people to keep up. It also can depend on location, as different countries and communities have different expectations.
For example, ancient Egypt expected a slim figure, a high waist, long braided wigs, and black eyeliner, which varied from places like Britain, where most had tousled hair, an asymmetric face, and an hourglass figure. Another example of differing beauty standards was in the 1920s, when women cut their hair into a bob and had a masculine silhouette. However, the body standard in the ’50s changed to possessing flawless skin and a curvy shape. Different eras possessing different beauty standards show that expectations continue to change, indicating no one achievable or perfect body.
“Society is always going to have a different body for us every five years … Building awareness about what can build your self-image, your confidence, and your resiliency will keep you away from having to stray towards those,” Milani said.
Society’s pressures call for men, women, and children to look a specific way. According to Dr. Jake Linardon, almost 15% of Australian men reported having an overvaluation of weight and shape. 9% of U.S. adult men said they frequently check their bodies, with 5% reporting body image avoidance. In a French university, more than 85% of the students reported dissatisfaction with their muscularity. 70% of women in a Switzerland study expressed the desire to be thinner, despite 73% of the women falling into the normal weight range.
Along with men and women, research has shown that around 50% of 13-year-old American girls reported being unhappy with their bodies, growing to 80% by the time they turn 17. 80% of young teenage girls also said that they fear becoming fat. With many girls wanting to fit the ideal body type, companies and society push the idea of weight loss and workouts.
“The perfect body is unreachable, so companies can keep on pushing products and give you this goal of how you should look that you’ll never be able to reach,” Doe said.
The constant fear of body image and how others perceive it is hard to grow out of, and many people struggle with it for most of their lives.