The Body Positive: 12 Decades of The Ideal Female Body

This week has been The Body Positive week at Blisstree, and we’ve been exploring an oft-ignored aspect of health and wellness: Body image. While we’ve done our best to get you thinking outside of the box when it comes to beauty standards and physical judgement, we know as well as you do that it’s easier said than done. Just when we’re feeling good about ourselves, it seems there’s another Hot Young Actress or Svelte Supermodel ready to knock down our self-esteem. But we’d like to make a closing argument when it comes to judging your body against current trends and ideals: Like everything else, this too shall pass. And a look at the past 12 decades of the ideal female body prove it.

Whether it’s curvy, thin, athletic or boyish, physical ideals change as quickly as any other trend. And if there’s anything we’ve learned as we’ve gotten older, it’s that trying to fit into clothes that don’t fit just because they’re ‘in’ is a waste of our time and money. Likewise, trying to transform your body to the ideals presented on a magazine not only doesn’t make sense, but it wastes a lot of our time, money, energy and brainpower. All of which could be better spent on other things, like really trying to be healthy and happy.

Take a look at the most iconic bodies of the past century. Admire them, respect them, and then move on with your life and be happy with what you have:


Share This Post:
    • C.C. Anderson

      The females that you have chosen is so typical. How ONE sided can you be before you realize how blatantly obvious your selection process was? Where are the women of color? The only one that you could find was a photo of Vivien Leigh (a white woman who played Scarlett O’Hara) and Hattie McDaniel (a black woman who served her named Mammy – House Servant). Really? That’s the BEST that you could do? What about Dorothy Dandridge , Vivica Fox, Halle Berry, Lena Horne, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Zoe Saldana, Pam Grier, Vanessa Williams, Taraji P. Henson, Janet Jackson, Jurnee Smollett, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Beverly Johnson , Beyonce, ETC…I could go ON and ON. Before “booty” was made popular by folks like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez, black women have been been loving our beautiful figures for a LONG time. Even if others were too blind to realize that TRUE BEAUTY is DIVERSITY…

      • CCAnderson

        …Also what about the timeless beauty Iman?

      • Justin Johnson

        Just don’t take off the bra for black women … breasts sag like rubber bands —– boinga boinga

    • Matthew

      @ C.C. Anderson:

      Typical of you to rant about your nonsense. Of course, if it were all black people, and/or no white people you wouldn’t have uttered a peep, and neither would anyone else for that matter. People like you find a racist under every rock.

      And by the way, black women are usually horribly ugly; the exceptions are the ones whom you can tell are mixed with other races. Look at the women who live in Africa and I rest my case. The fact is, white women are still considered the most attractive by preference; which is why you see black men constantly trying to steal away white women. Why don’t they want black women? And why don’t white men go for black women?

      • Simone

        Typical of you to rant about your nonsense. It would NEVER have been all black women and you know that. There are beautiful people in every race. You are so sad and so wrong. Your statements are generalizations that inherently are dead wrong. Have you seen EVERY black woman in Africa? NO! So, so sad.

      • Lynne’

        How IGNORANT of you matthew….. as well as you simone

      • Patty

        Actually statistically its latinas who men of any race consider most attractive….and that is because latinas can encompass a combination of all features predominant in every culture…from slanted eyes…tanned skin….curvy bodies….generous behinds….as well as light hair/light eyes….but always exotic.

    • Amelia

      When did everyone here become so racist? Sheesh

    • BDL

      Who decided that emaciated models like twiggy and Kate Moss represent ideal body types for their decades? Has anyone consulted straight men about this?

    • kkkkk

      Gibson Girl looks really awk..not beautiful at all in my opinion.

    • John R.

      You’re got several pictures there in which you say that a tall, curvy body is the new ideal in that decade. How can it be new when it’s come several times before? Lazy writing.

    • John R.

      You’re got several pictures there in which you say that a tall, curvy body is the new ideal in that decade. How can it be new when it’s come several times before? Lazy writing.

    • Jedda-

      In what world are the Middleton sisters the ideal? 98% of women I know talk about how they want a “nice booty, nice boobs and thin waist”. No one wants to look up and down.