Society’s body image evolves tremendously throughout decades

Allie Schneider, News Editor

Here is a trigger warning for this editorial. If you have struggled with an Eating Disorder, some conversations in this story could be triggering.
We all know that as time goes on, fashions change. In the 1700’s, women wore dresses with large ruffles, a long train, and neck frills.
In the 20’s fashion switched drastically to less conservative and more showy clothes like flapper dresses. Then in the 2000’s, low-waisted pants, tracksuits, and oversized sunglasses reigned supreme.
Like fashion changing, the ideal body type has also changed over the years. In the medieval times larger figures meant more money so that was what was looked for. Then in the 20’s, boyish figures with little curves were idolized.
Now in our generation in the early 2000’s, very tall, extremely thin people were seen everywhere. All models on magazines were being edited to have unrealistic sized bodies. Now in the current years, the body types idolized are hourglass figures that are rarely achieved naturally.
In more recent years, people have been able to realize the negative effects of having these body standards go in and out of “fashion” but continue to push these standards on women.
Men beauty standards are also being pushed that are mostly unachievable with normal income or average genetics.
Most young girls see these bodies and believe this is what is normal. They then look at themselves and cannot understand why they do not look like this. This created major self confidence issues and sometimes even worse, eating disorders like bulimia, compulsive exercise, and anorexia.
With the introduction of social media most of the time, these situations get worse by seeing those who one would consider prettier and more popular, gain more likes.
The fact that there is an ideal body type in media and the world in general is sad. Many women and even men are not born with the bone structure or genetics to look the ways that people believe is perfect.
Photoshop has been a big part of this. There are few models that we see online or in magazines that are not Photoshopped to look completely different than they actually do. Whether that being shrinking the waist, or even making the neck smaller, what we see is rarely naturally achievable.
If these standards continue to be pushed onto young girls and boys the damage could be event more relevant. Currently nine percent of Americans struggle with an eating disorder, and that number continues to rise.