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Women's Ideal Body Types Throughout History.

Over the years, all over the world, to every individual there has always been a body type or shape which people felt was ideal and should be the way every woman should look. So, all over the media we get a picture of an example of a perfect woman figure. These has made many women try to change their natural God-given shape to fit in into the trending perfect female body type. You know beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, they say.

Some believed a perfect woman's body shape should be curvy, some say skinny and so on. But we didn't create ourselves the way we are, so why think somebody else's shape isn't perfect or is the ideal. Funny enough, the perfect woman body type loved and admired by many has been changing over the years just like fashion trends, from shape A, to B, C and back to A and the cycle continues. Here's how a woman's body type has changed over the last 100Years.


In the year 1900-1910, the model woman figure was the gibson girl. During this period the perfect woman body type was a tall, slender, woman with big bust, wide hips and narrow waist and long curly hair. An illustrator Charles Gibson first described this look as his dream girl in a magazine and soon became the model of the year. The most famous Gibson girls during that time were Evelyn Nesbit and Camille Clifford.


The flapper Girl was the model girl from the year 1910-1920. However, unlike the Gibson girls, flapper girls were skinny, straight, with a flat chest, had a boy-like look with no curves and a short bobbed hair. Though their focus was on their legs, they wore knee-length dress(the shortest as at that time). During this time people went on dieting and binded their breast with breast holding tapes to fit in. The most famous Flapper girls were actress Louis Brooks, Coleen Moore, Joan Crawford, Alice Joyce.


During this period, curves came back to fashion. Women models were a little bit larger than the flapper girl with thin waist and large hips with about 2inches increase in bust size from that of the 1920 ( average size of 34-25-35) . Jean Harlow was one. Their icons were Jean Harlow, May West etc.


In the 1940's, after the world war 11 with the return of military soilders, the ideal woman figure changed from having a soft look to a strong fierce look. Note, it wasn't about having big muscles, but was about having a tall height which was commanding, with broad shoulders, a thin waist and a bust little bit bigger (a size of 35-25-35) than that of the 1930's. This didn't mean they were strong but height and superiority was the goal. The 1940's ideal woman figure icons were Rita Hayworth, Katherine Hepburn.

Katherine Hepburn

Rita Hayworth

THE CURVES (1950's)

During the 1950's the perfect woman body shape were the exaggerated hour glass shape. Being skinny wasn't the ideal but women tried to add a little weight. It was thought that having a little weight, thin waist, wide hips and a larger bust with size of about 36-23-36 and slim legs was the ideal woman figure. This made a lot of women struggle to change their shape by taking weight gain diets and drugs. 1950 perfect shaped women icons were Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn etc

Marilyn Monroe

Audrey Hepburn

THE PETITE (1960's)

As funny as the world is, having more weight, being tall, having good curves, and large bust wasn't the ideal anymore. Being slender became the ideal. Slim, petite, with longer legs, smaller bust and slim waist line became the perfect woman figure everyone sought for. Lol, am sure you'll be surprised, same figure almost like the flappers right?

The 1960's perfect body type models were Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton etc

THE 70'S PIN UP (1970's)

In the 1970's the ideal shape was all about being tall, a little bit muscular with long full legs, tiny, broad shoulders,with a tiny waist. During this period exercise and training classes were on board to help women create a muscular look, but however discouraged to build muscles like men. The 1970's models were Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson etc

(L-R) Kate Jackson, Farrah Faucet, Jaclyn Smith.


During this period the most wanted shape was the pear shape. The ideal was seen as being tall, slim, muscular with muscles built just like the men. Their icons were Elle McPherson, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelist and others.

Naomi Campbell

Elle Mcpherson.

THE WAIF'S (1990's)

The petite, androgynous, very lean look, the 1990's favoured this. So being thin, with lean legs, dark under the circle eyes,pale skin and having a male-like look became the trending and ideal shape for most women. The 1990''s Icon were Kate Moss, Jodie Kidd etc Many women suffered from anorexia due to the want to watch and lose weight so as to fit in to the perfect woman shape.

Jodie Kidd

Kate Moss

The Tone (2000's)

The perfect body type was all about being tall, slender, full legs, fair or toned, large bust, flat tummy with abs and we'll shaped buttocks. Generally an exaggerated pear shape was the ideal. The perfect body type women Icon during the 2000's were Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera etc.

Brittany spears

Christina Aguilera


As we all know.. All people see as the best body type in this decade is a full curve-thin waist, wide hips, big bust, big buttocks, flat tummy, pointed nose, long hair, toned skin. Loool, how women can be confused. Many girls, ladies and women strive to attain this figure. Some have tried different exercises, such as sit up to increase their buttock size, some wear fake paded tights, waist strainers all to get the perfect look in quote. Plastic surgeries has become the real deal of the day as many has undergone different surgeries to fit in, while some died in the process. Their models remain Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashians etc.

In the long run we could see that the perfect body type changed over the decade. That shape that was/is never wanted or admired was once an ideal shape, that's life for you. So why struggle to fit in and appear perfect because of what people feel is ideal. Until you realise you are perfect just the way you are and wonderfully made, you'll start to carry yourself as one, instead of trying to look like another. Eat healthy, live healthy and exercise.

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