From the low-waisted jeans with flat-abs trend of the early 2000s to today’s obsession with big butts and tiny waists, women’s bodies have been subject to the realm of “trendiness.” The idea that society dictates whether or not someone’s naturally-born body is on trend or not is horrendous and exactly why we need to stop supporting such ideas.
I never gave much thought to where exactly my idea of the “perfect body” came from and how it has changed over time until last week.
One of my favorite YouTubers, Natacha Oceane, came out with a video titled, “Women’s Ideal Body Type in the Last 100 Years.”
In her video she elaborates on how the desired body shape for women has changed drastically throughout the last century.
These notions ranged from Marilyn Monroe’s “curvier” shape and women taking supplements to actually gain weight to the “heroine chic,” malnourished craze of the early nineties.
The fact that these fads existed in relation the the shape someone is given at birth is truly preposterous. Such happenings, however, remind us why the body positivity movement of today is so important.
How Are You Influenced?
Before you can accept your body or love it, you need to figure out where the idea that it’s imperfect comes from in the first place.
I never really thought about this until recently and then decided to do some digging.
Upon contemplating this I realized how many factors of my appearance I judged and praised because of the body types I was surrounded by.
Things like the clothes I bought were even influenced by these ideals as I realized I was dressing for this “trendy” body I saw online rather than the one I possessed in real life.
Who you surround yourself with includes your friends and loved ones but also advertisements and, even more importantly, social media.
I failed to surround myself in anyway with people who looked like me. Now, I’m not saying that you should only love yourself if you look like someone else, but representation is important.
I sought out accounts and influencers preaching body positivity and individuals who actually looked like me. This has helped immensely.
Letting Go of Trends
Not adhering to the latest fads is something of an accomplishment for many people. However, women have been subconsciously, and overtly, persuaded to subscribe to ideal body types portrayed around us.
When looking at popular music, fashion, or entertainment, if we don’t like something we normally wouldn’t force ourselves to do so. If this is such a simple notion, then why do we do this to our bodies?
Our figures are an aspect of ourselves that we really have little influence over. They are vessels for our experience in this life, not a commodity to be pushed onto others as a trend.
Straight and simple, tiny waists and big butts dominate the body trends of today. Both naturally obtained and medically enhanced figures are plastered on advertisements and entertainment all around us.
While we can only avoid subliminal messages so much, becoming aware of their existence is a massive step.
Next time you see content promoting a body type, whether it’s outright our covert, notice it. Don’t ignore these messages because that accomplishes nothing. Rather take note and make the choice to love and accept your body regardless of how it compares to the one on the screen in front of you.
Defy the idea of women’s bodies just being another trend to push and make the brave choice to love yourself each and every day.
Cover image via The Evolution of Modeling
Also published on Medium.