It may seem hard to believe when you’re flicking through a fashion mag or browsing in a high street boutique, but ‘size zero’ thin hasn’t always been in. What’s seen as the perfect body shape has been changing ever since walking upright was considered the height of sophistication – and pretty much every type has been considered the ‘must-have’ body shape at some point.
Just think about the beautiful women we’ve admired over the last hundred years or so and how they’ve veered wildly from body shape to body shape. There were the hourglass curves of Mae West and Marilyn Monroe (said to be a size 16 if she was shopping on the high street today). Then the skinny, androgynous look of Twiggy in the Sixties, and later the gym-toned bodies of Farrah Fawcett, Jane Fonda and Cindy Crawford. You could say the ideal body shape has been reinvented more times than Madonna.
Going back even further, the Pre-Raphaelite painters made red hair and pale skin the epitome of beauty; this year Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o left the world in no doubt that black is most definitely beautiful. And of course they’re both right.
What this all proves is that there’s no universal definition of beauty. When it comes to body shape, Marilyn and Twiggy are like chalk and cheese. All these body shape trends through the ages show that we shouldn’t spend time trying to conform to whatever is ‘in’ at any given time - because beauty isn’t about being uniform: it’s about being yourself. (And we think you’re gorgeous.)