Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the mainstream idea of the “perfect body shape” for women has shifted almost as often as fashion trends. In some cases, the contrasts between decades are shocking, and speak volumes to public attitudes at the time – which, basically, depended on whether or not people thought it was okay for women to have curves.

Countless diets, pills, and celebrity icons later, we’re still going wrong in 2021 by encouraging women and girls to constantly compare themselves to others, rather than loving themselves in their own right. At the very least, however, we’ve come farther than using cigarettes and Wonder Bread to slim down.

Take a walk back in time with us, and marvel at the varyingly ridiculous expectations placed on women over the years.

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the mainstream idea of the “perfect body shape” for women has shifted almost as often as fashion trends. In some cases, the contrasts between decades are shocking, and speak volumes to public attitudes at the time – which, basically, depended on whether or not people thought it was okay for women to have curves.

Countless diets, pills, and celebrity icons later, we’re still going wrong in 2021 by encouraging women and girls to constantly compare themselves to others, rather than loving themselves in their own right. At the very least, however, we’ve come farther than using cigarettes and Wonder Bread to slim down.

Take a walk back in time with us, and marvel at the varyingly ridiculous expectations placed on women over the years.