Quick Hit: Patriarchal beauty standards HAVEN’T evolved over time

In conversations about insane media portrayals of feminine beauty ideals, how often do we find ourselves longing for a return to the “good old days”?  The days where curvy was in, thin was out, and voluptuous, soft bodies were the trend?  I know there have been times where I’ve thought, “my curves would have been much more appreciated in the mid-20th century.”marilyn

Unfortunately, there’s more truth to the notion that we tend to idealize the past than we’d like to know.  Just this morning, I stumbled across an article entitled, “Marilyn Monroe wasn’t even close to a size 12.”  In it, the author pointed out that the only reason sex symbol Marilyn appeared curvier than her modern-day Victoria’s Secret counterparts is because the former lived in a world sans photoshop.  Marilyn Monroe’s waist was still 2-3 inches smaller than the average woman of the 1950’s.  

The size discrepancy comes into play  when we look at the shift in sizing standards by the US Department of Commerce.  A size 8 in today’s world is a size 18 in Marilyn’s  world.  Looking at her measurements, though, Marilyn would still be a size 0 by today’s standards.

Why does this matter?  While we look longingly at the past and wish for a return of those comparably “attainable” beauty standards, we’re fooling ourselves.  Unattainable beauty standards are not a 21st century invention–photoshop is, however.  Society hasn’t evolved into an unforgiving, ruthless purveyor of body image issues and unrealistic expectations of beauty.  Rather, technology has only gotten better, and helped mold this standard into a modern-day hologram fit for the modern age.

Check out the full article from TheDailyHIITblog.com

2 thoughts on “Quick Hit: Patriarchal beauty standards HAVEN’T evolved over time

  1. Reading over this post, I feel even back in the “good ole days” women were still criticizing their bodies and not appreciating them. Even if curves were more “in”, women who didn’t have curves per say, could have had just as much self-esteem issues as a women who does not have Victoria Secret model body today. This just makes me realize that women will always struggle with their self and body image, and we must encourage each other to embrace the way we were created and know its better to be you, than strive to someone else or look like someone else.


  2. Ladychaotica: Thank you for writing this. I think it is SO important for women to stop idealizing about past standards. Instead, we should be living in the now. Especially, because most women do not understand the discrepancies between measurements back then, and now. “Unattainable beauty standards are not a 21st century invention.” Critical women about today’s beauty standards NEED to be aware of this. Awesome post.


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