WATCH: This powerful ad is going viral for its realistic depiction of breastfeeding

Jennifer McShane

Our pick of new-in homeware to bring that spring feeling into your home

Megan Burns

There were so many great small-space ideas in last night’s ‘Home of the Year’

Lauren Heskin

‘My 11-year-old daughter lost a dangerous amount of weight before I realised it was anorexia’


‘First-time fatherhood is like the flicking of a switch. Now you’re not. Now you are.’

Peter Crawley

Make the ultimate comfort food with this chicken and mushroom pie

IMAGE Interiors & Living

The time has come for women to talk about money


Happy news: President Michael D Higgins has a new puppy

Jennifer McShane

This €12 conditioner is like lipgloss for your hair

Holly O'Neill

Image / Editorial

The Evolution of the ‘Perfect’ Body

by Jeanne Sutton
20th Jan 2015

If there is one thing January needs less of it, that’s diet and body image bullshit trying to remind you that you aren’t perfect and not in line for a Victoria Secret’s gig. This is a month of bad mood weather, desperate budgeting, boring lunches, and an onslaught of Make Yourself Better articles aimed at making us women feel inadequate and apologetic about eating toast for breakfast. However, this isn’t just something that happens once a year. The pressure to look amazing is constant and has been plaguing women for years, decades, all of history. have made some amazing infographics and one great gif charting the changing silhouette of the ideal female figure throughout the past century. It makes for interesting, and depressing, reading.

The 1910s was the era of the ?Gibson Girl?, named after fashion illustrator Charles Gibson whose preference was for hourglass figures. His models tended to have tiny waists and generous thighs and breasts, thanks to the practice of restrictive corseting.

The 1920s girl, ?The Flapper?, had a bit of an easier time thanks to fashion’s preference for lower waistlines and less fitted dresses. The Flapper represented a woman who was independent, fun and free of social cares. The 1930s, 1940s and 1950s saw the return of curves, with the latter decade especially enamoured of the dramatic hourglass. Think Elizabeth Taylor.

The 1960s was all about Twiggy and Greatist point out that this era saw a record amount of amphetamines prescribed for weight loss. The 1970s saw some relaxation in these crazy expectations while more recent decades all tended towards this thin ideal with an emphasis on toned muscles. Meanwhile we’re living the decade of the Booty Babe – hello Kim Kardashian.

Can the next era belong to the Everywoman? Can you imagine a decade of young women not subject to the pressure to conform to society’s standards?

Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun

LOVE this? Why not have IMAGE delivered directly to your door each month? Check out this month’s offer here.