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  • Angelena Markova

Stop Treating Our Bodies like Fast-Fashion

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Headlines regarding Kim Kardashian's weight loss transformation have been inescapable. People shared their judgments on Kim's new body on every social media platform, with the majority convinced that her noticeably slimmer figure is the first stepping stone to eradicating the 'slim thick' trend. With all the horror this idea produced for gym girls on TikTok, I couldn't help but ponder the body ideals of the past. Thus, I faced the eye-opening truth that women's bodies are treated like fast fashion trends. With each passing decade, society expects women to magically change their body's literal bone structure to comply with the latest societal standards of beauty. Over the last hundred years, the trends have jumped around in every direction, exemplified by the emaciated features that defined the 'heroin chic' era to the curvaceous hourglass figure popularized in the 1950s. Society's beauty standards have proven to be ever-evolving, raising the puzzling question of why women pay them so much attention.

A curvy hourglass figure characterized the 1910s infamous Gibson girl. Slim waists, wide hips, and busts were all the rage due to Charles Gibson, an American illustrator who drew what he thought to be the ideal female body. Camille Clifford perfectly fit the Gibson girl ideal with women dreaming of imitating her look.

The Roaring 20s took a complete 180-degree turn and frowned upon the previously glamorized curves of the Gibson girl. Women idealized the 1920s flapper girl for her flat chest, slender legs, and athletic rectangular shape.

In the 1930s, flapper girls were deemed too 'boyish,' and a slim but curvy figure returned. Movie star Jean Harlow and model June Cox were the blueprints of this romantic look.

Even with World War II in the 1940s, the beauty standard shifted once again to a rectangular and slim body. Angular and tall women were in, shown through icons like Katharine Hepburn.

Sex symbol Marilyn Monroe had a curvier hourglass body that took people by storm in the 1950s. Weight gain supplements were the saving grace for out-of-style slim women.

With the rise of the mini skirt in the 1960s came the glorified slim figure with narrow hips and straight busts. Weight loss pills and diet culture flooded the market.

The disco era of the 70s kept thin women in style with straight hips and teeny waists. American actress Farrah Fawcett was a trendsetter of the time.

Elle MacPherson was known for the supermodel look that women hoped to attain. The 1980s Supermodel era consisted of tall and lean women with legs that go on for days.

Kate Moss was a legend in the 1990s for her small bony frame, and she owned the 'heroin chic' era associated with a grunge aesthetic.

Toned abdominals and spray tans were the praised look in the 2000s, with Britney Spears and Gisele Bündchen ruling the era.

The 2010s brought the notorious curvy figure accompanied by a 'bubble butt.' Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez workout guides are all over the internet, and BBLs (Brazilian Butt Lifts) come to the scene.

Our bodies are not fast-fashion trends. Society dehumanizes women by creating and consistently changing beauty standards for its own gain. The power-hungry fashion and fitness industries feed on women's struggle to match the impossible standards placed on them. Eating disorders, diet supplements, and plastic surgery procedures are becoming more common by the day. The industry will not change if we keep contorting our bodies to achieve an unattainable aesthetic goal. We are tired of shape-shifting every ten years. We are human beings with natural bodies, and we are enough.

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