How the 'perfect body' has changed throughout the decades

How the ‘perfect body’ has changed throughout the decades: Plastic surgeon reveals how beauty standards have evolved from the 1910s hourglass Gibson Girl to the ‘bootylicious pop culture body’ of today.

  • Leading consultant plastic surgeon revealed how the ‘perfect body’ has changed
  • The 1910s saw women achieve hourglass figure with cinched waist using corsets
  • By the 1930s and 40s taller, curvier and broader body types came into fashion
  • But by the 60s and 70s society idealised super-skinny women with fewer curves

While many feel pressure to achieve and maintain the ‘perfect body’, the ideal shape for woman has evolved almost as frequently as fashion trends throughout the decades.

From accentuated curves in the 1950s to 2000s washboard abs and ‘heroin chic’ in the early 90s – there have been variously ludicrous expectations of the feminine image throughout history.

In some cases, the definition of the ‘perfect woman’ reveals a lot about popular culture at the time, with women from the 1940s idealising stronger, broader look – while fitness fads means a super sporty look was preferred  in the 1980s .

Speaking to FEMAIL, Hagen Schumacher, a leading consultant plastic surgeon at Adore Life, and Andre Fournier, the co-founder of cosmetic devices company Deleo, revealed how the ideal body standard has changed over the last 100 years.

They predicted that 2022 will see the return of more ‘natural’ beauty, however one where nutrition and exercise are both considered as beneficial to a healthy and attractive body.

1910s: Hourglass figure with cinched waist 

In the 1910s, the Gibson Girl became the ideal body type, with women striving to achieve an hourglass figure with a tiny waist – which was often replicated using super-cincher corset.

In the early 1900s, illustrator Charles Gibson was the equivalent of today’s fashion photographers and his image of the perfect woman rose to prominence after featuring in high-fashion magazines such as Harper’s.

Danish-born actress Camille Clifford was a famous model for the ‘Gibson Girl’ illustrations with a trademark style of a long elegant gown wrapped around her eighteen-inch waist.