Is Society Repeating Past Standards Of Beauty?

Words: Katrin Campbell

As summer rolls in and the pressure that we face to get our “peach to the beach” looms over us, we begin to wonder what has caused us to feel an immense pressure to flaunt our derrière. 

In 2018 curvy is the new skinny. Looking back, the 50’s and 60’s were all about women and their curves. Surprisingly, newspapers and adverts pressured women to gain weight with the message that having a fuller frame would give you more sex appeal. Then, the 90’s brought about ‘heroin chic’. In this era, women aspired to have long, slim limbs and chiseled cheekbones in aspiration of Kate Moss. Today, we are again embracing curves – claiming that “thick thighs save lives”. As the hourglass figure has been achieved through fillers, waist trainers and Facetune, today’s stance on beauty begs the question: are we moving forward by ditching the skinny look, or, are we repeating history? 


Vintage advert for ‘Wate-on’


It is true that body ideals, since the Italian Renaissance, have never been realistic for the majority of women. Indeed, the new standard of small waists and shapely buttocks seems to be casting a negative outlook on the unrepresented female forms by labelling these body shapes – that are unobtainable for most – as ‘normal’. Every time we scroll through , we are surrounded by and fitness models who all fall into the new ‘normal body’ category; they have toned legs, peachy bums, petite busts and small waists. Hence whilst it may be a step forward to no longer epitomise a ‘skinny’ figure, with a new body shape to compare ourselves to, many women remain feeling unrepresented.

As each individual will be forever shaped in a unique way, it seems that in order to break the cyclical nature of trends in Fashion and Beauty, all body sizes need to be celebrated. And so, hopefully, the trend of will never be replaced by something ‘new’.