Throughout the years, women’s perfect body
types have evolved, shifting with society’s ideas of what “perfect” even is. In reality, there’s no such thing as a “perfect
body,” but these are some of the fitness trends, ideals, and concepts we saw hit the mainstream
in the 2010s. It’s hard to believe Keeping Up with the Kardashians
has been around since 2007, or how influential it’s ended up being. By 2010, the family and all their uncomfortable
moments had taken over pop culture, and so had all of the stars’ curves. While all three Kardashian sisters are certainly
thin, they also helped emphasize the supposed importance of having big hips and booty to
spare. But the media at large continued to promote
an overall thin body type as the ideal, to aggravating results. In fact, a 2011 study found that the super-skinny
ideal of the era seriously messed with real women’s minds. And not in the way you might think! According to the study, published in Science
Daily, when women spent five consecutive days looking at magazines with thin, idealized
body types, a surprising result occurred. The readers began becoming more conscious
of their own bodies, and began choosing to diet, reporting to researchers that they were
increasingly skipping meals or cutting carbs, whether they really needed to for their health
or not. According to a 2011 article in the Daily Mail,
a poll of female students from ages 18 to 65 conducted at British universities reached
the conclusion that one out of three respondents would be willing to die younger in exchange
for the so-called perfect body. That should tell you how powerful media pressure
can be. But in 2012, the ideal started to shift the
other way, heading to an embrace of so-called “real” bodies — as in, the body types more
common to regular people, not starving models. Nothing reflected this shift more than the
HBO series Girls. The show matter-of-factly presented frequent
nude scenes featuring lead actress Lena Dunham. Because Dunham’s body isn’t like the rail-thin
models people often see in fashion magazines, the show sparked a conversation. Whether you liked the show or not, the representation
was liberating for women everywhere, who finally saw their body type represented on screen. “I think I may be the voice of my generation. … Or at least a voice, of a generation.” In October 2013, Kim Kardashian shared a selfie
of herself wearing a tight one-piece swimsuit that perfectly showed off her, um, assets,
including her behind and a good amount of side boob. The photo has racked up over 1 million likes
since Kardashian posted it with the simple caption, “#NoFilter,” and the post really
started to hone in on the trend of having a big booty as part of the perfect body type. Though having a big booty has gone in and
out of style when it comes to women’s perfect body types over the years, 2014 brought it
all the way back. “Titus! Dancing is about butts now!” “It is, girl!” That year, Nicki Minaj released the music
video for her hit single “Anaconda,” and it was, well, full of butts. 2014 was also the year when Kim Kardashian
broke the internet with her revealing photos in Paper magazine, including one interesting
shot of her balancing a champagne glass on her rear end. The butt became so popular in 2014 that The
New York Times ran an article on the matter, and the paper interviewed an Instagram influencer,
Jen Selter, who had acquired followers due, in large part, to her posterior. She told the publication, “When I was growing up, everyone wanted to
look like skinny, bony girls. Over time, butts have become a thing.” And boy, was she right. In the mid-2010s, a movement all about accepting
one’s body and remaining positive about it began to spread like wildfire. Kaila Prins, a body positive wellness coach
and burlesque teacher, discussed body positivity in an interview with Psychology Today, defining
it as “…the idea that you can live comfortably
in your body, as it is right now, or work on treating it right through nourishment and
joyful movement and self care without punishing yourself for looking the way you do.” In a move perfectly aligned with the body-positivity
movement, the female-oriented publication Women’s Health announced it would no longer
print the phrases “bikini body” or “drop two sizes” on its cover. However, as Prins made clear in her interview,
body positivity isn’t about neglecting your own health. She said, “A common misconception is that body positivity
is about ‘letting yourself go,’ or sitting on the couch eating junk food all day and
not caring.” On the contrary, the body positivity movement
was merely focused on not conforming to societal ideals of beauty. As the body positivity movement continued
to grow and expand, the fashion industry started to take part in the movement. In 2017, the Council of Fashion Designers
of America reminded designers ahead of New York Fashion Week that health was of the utmost
concern when it came to their models. Other activists worked to shift the perception
of the word “fat” away from being insulting, such as author Roxane Gay. She said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, “A lot of times people see fatness as sickness
and that’s not necessarily the case, just like thinness is not necessarily equated with
health.” But though body positivity started off popular,
by 2018, many people began to take notice of the movement’s flaws. In fact, one former follower of the movement,
plus-sized blogger Stephanie Yeboah, spoke to The Guardian about how body positivity
didn’t work for her anymore. She said, “It has become a buzzword, it has alienated
the very people who created it. Now, in order to be body positive, you have
to be acceptably fat — size 16 and under, or white or very pretty. It’s not a movement that I feel represents
me any more.” “I think body positivity is an incredibly
positive thing that should stay —” “But you need to entwine —” “But you also have to talk about health.” In place of body positivity came body neutrality,
which is exactly what it sounds like. No longer was the point to celebrate what
you have — you just have it. But that isn’t to say that body neutrality
is about giving up — the only thing you let go of is stress. As Joan Chrisler, a professor of psychology
put it in an interview with The Cut, “It doesn’t mean suddenly stopping things
like being physically active or choosing nutritious foods. Just focus on what feels good […] Sometimes
you’ll lose weight without trying.” While these movements changed the standards
by which women’s bodies are judged, don’t get us wrong — plenty of people were still
out there in search of the mythical perfect body. For evidence, look no further than the rise
of Instagram, which served up more photos of models, aspiring models, and trend-chasing
influencers than the world had ever seen before. The platform absolutely contributed to shifting
what society finds beautiful, so much so that one blogger went on a mission to uncover just
what the Instagram version of a perfect woman looked like. Cassey Ho of Blogilates went on a mission
to decode the Instagram standard of beauty, and, boy, did she uncover a lot. By looking at the top 100 female Instagram
users, Ho was able to see which attributes were the most popular across the platform. According to Ho’s research, the ideal woman
on Instagram has a flat stomach, but isn’t muscular. She’s also not flat-chested, with Ho noting
that 89% of the top 100 sported B cup breasts or larger. Finally, the tendency was to have an hourglass
figure — a time-tested beauty standard if ever there was one. Those are definitely some high standards,
and, to prove her point, Ho actually transformed herself into the perfect Instagram woman for
her followers, and the results were kind of creepy. Really, there’s no such thing as the perfect
body type. In our opinion, every body is a bikini body. Even this guy. However, societal ideals still exist. Though they fluctuate over time, it’s almost
ingrained into peoples’ minds to be curious about what shapes and sizes are deemed desirable
by celebs and fashion magazines. Museum curator Emma McClendon, who organized
an exhibit on fashion and women’s bodies, told CNN, “Whether it’s contemporary or 19th century,
they want to know what size it is or what size it would correlate to, or what measurement
it is. We as a culture, as a society, are obsessed
with size. It’s become connected to our identity as people.” So as time goes on, the so-called “ideal body
type” will continue to change, because there isn’t an actual “ideal body” out there. There’s just… us! Whatever the next decade has in store for
us, just do what makes you happy — no matter what the trends say. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more List videos about your favorite
fashion trends are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

9 thoughts on “How The Perfect Female Body Changed This Past Decade”

  1. There are too perfect bodies. And the perception of the perfect female body hasn't changed, there's just more tolerance for disgusting fat chicks now.

  2. The genes that make women so tall and skinny,… can make lips and chest not so much plump. It would be silly to get lip fillers and chest implants just to be a Barbie doll.

  3. I love women but like men, upside down, they all look the same., and some with a big fat butt, some with a flat, boney ass and skinny lol 🤪🤔🤪

  4. Please tell women to leave the yoga pants home. PLEASE! A fat black lady in black yoga pants…. WHATS THE DIFFERENCE! Come the F on! Is Fn DISGUSTING! Fat chicks…. You aren't just fat… you got head problems! whoops add one to the list… you are in denial too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *