When did the idea of creating the ‘perfect body’ come into play? Or has it always existed, even dating back to the Ancient Egyptians and the Greeks? They too held their own ideal of beauty dating as far back as 5000 years ago. The idea that one should live by the standards that society deems appropriate seems a rather harsh reality. In today’s society, or in the last century, it seems the fashion world’s idea of perfection has been what I will call the ‘stick figure’ woman. Women these days feel the need to have, what we are told and shown is a “perfect body”. When did we lose the idea of embracing the curves you were naturally given? Loving the real you and all of you versus loving the “better” modified version of you.
According to Google, on average, women and men today in America are surrounded, on a daily basis, to about 3,000 images and ads. Many of these ads show us what we should look like, how we should dress and what society sees as acceptable. One ad in particular that I found while flipping through a magazine the other day was of a woman who was curvless to begin with, wearing a nude body shaper to hide her alleged “curves” promoting the Lycra Bali Powershaper. The ad read: “for the CURVES you want” when women should be learning to love the curves they have. There should be an idea of loving yourself versus having to mold yourself to love yourself. This is just one example of thousands of ads out there showing Americans what to look like and what body type is accepted.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders says seven to 10 million women and one million men in the United States suffer with some form of an eating disorder and the numbers are skyrocketing. The onset of 86% of the illnesses begin at the age of 20. I would say that many young American women in their 20s read fashion magazines, so it begs the questions… what are we teaching our youth? What image are we giving and selling to the curvier ladies of America?
As it is, most of the clothing in the malls today is made to fit a very small frame and there are not many lines of clothing that fit the curvy lady lifestyle. Clothing today is also not made to fit the specific person. It is made to fit a general prototype of a tiny woman form when in reality, 63% of women in America wear a size 14 and up. So, I ask… who are we catering to? The idea of society’s perfect woman or the actual women that live and work in America?