Women have always struggled to achieve and maintain the actual beauty ideals.
In the Prehistoric Age, men did long for “Venus figurines”, which is known as „depictions of nude women with exaggerated sexual features”. In the Antiquity beauty became truly worshipped since a nice body was considered the materialisation of a wonderful mind. Alluring women boosted with slim waist and round hip, which excluded too plump or skinny silhouettes.
In the Middle Ages, curvaceous women retained their charm. As having significant fatstock, they proved to be more resistant to epidemics and fit for demanding household chores.
Renaissance created classical beauty embracing white skin, more fragile and proportionate shapes. From the 16th century, corsets were worn to emphasis the attracting difference between bosom and waist. The higher the oestrogene level, the rounder the hip. As curved shape was in demand, women used additional cloths to fill up the delicate points dy deceit.
During the 19th century in Britain, gender roles became increasingly disciminated. Women became stay-at-home to oversee household chores carried out mainly by servants, although they had worked in family businesses earlier. Women started to wear crinoline, a large bell-shaped skirt, which made almost impossible to make complex movements. Corsets reached their popularity in this period.
World Wars and the increasing female workforce resulted that the importance of reproduction and endurance overtook the aspiration for impractical cloths.
From the 1950’ the improved sanitary circumstances triggered the dethronement of well-built women. It was time to rise for slim and frail girls needing masculine protection. Recently the spread of civilisation diseases (heart diseases, diabetes, obesity) brought about the model of slim yet sporty ladies and the demand for conscious body building.
From the XXth century not only health concerns drive the features of new ideals but consumerism as well.
It is so interesting how economic, social and sanitary circumstances have affected the concept of female beauty which is supposed to be free from objective considerations.