They say change is the only constant. This certainly holds true for women’s beauty standards. The world has always been harsh in defining what’s beautiful and women have been struggling since forever to achieve those unrealistic standards. The fact that we live in a patriarchal world shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Impossible beauty standards, periods of starvation and unhealthy lifestyles are all part of the struggle to look perfect. This superficial pursuit of the perfect feminine form is just another way of propagating patriarchy. A fitness model, Cassey Ho who goes by the handle Blogilates on Instagram has used the power of Photoshop to illustrate how beauty tends are perfunctory and women shouldn’t conform to them.
She starts off by demonstrating what was considered the ideal female form in the 1400s. The renaissance period depicted women with full, rounded figures with large hips and heaving bosoms. The prosperous women would be well fed and it would show. The image of the ideal woman is in a constant change of flux and she exhibits this in period-appropriate figures. In the caption accompanying the images, she talks about how society has been imposing these ideas on women through the ages and how toxic it is to the self-esteem of those who aren’t able to mould their bodies accordingly and to the physical health of those who can.
Her period appropriate transformations include the androgynous look which was favoured in the 1920s which included no curves and a straight figure, celebrating youth. The 1950s preferred the hourglass figure while the naughty nineties had a penchant for a very disturbing trend, the emaciated look with angular bones jutting out of odd places. It had an equally disturbing name, the ‘heroin chic’. Is it irony that people were worshipping when they named a beauty trend after one of the most addictive and fatal drugs known to mankind? Long limbs and augmented breasts defined the early 2000s, it is mentioned in her post that breast surgery was the highest performed surgery in the United States. The 2010s like their women ‘thick’, a word used to describe women with full posteriors, wide hips, small waists, and plump lips.
She tries to draw attention to the fact that these trends or body images have always been dictated by people in power. The designers, the ad producers who decide what look would define an era. The lamentable fact is that for people like these, women are disposable. The perfect girl will soon be replaced by someone else and thousands of women all over the world will try to emulate her. She speaks against women ‘manufacturing’ their bodies to satisfy a superficial demand. This is being seen in rhinoplasty Manchester services as well as many others around the world.
The message behind her powerful post was to spread body positivity among women. A lot of women fall prey to this trap of having the perfect body and end up irreparably damaging their health and psyches. Social media has played an equal part in promoting this mindset with millions of Instagram models chasing this dream of the perfect body. A fitness model working actively to change this is a positive development.