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Ideal Weight

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Ideal Weight

Postby rivenriver » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:40 pm

So I was reading this thing recently...

It was talking about how ideals of beauty have changed over the past 100 years. Thin becoming fashionable was a very sudden thing, really - before that, diet supplements were for helping you gain weight. Thin became fashionable about 1890-1900.

In about 1910, some place in The States (New York City maybe?) held a beauty pageant to find the young woman with the best (read: thinnest) figure. Because of records, we can work the BMI of the winner - it was 23.5

I don't think I have to point out that most beauty contestants these days hover around the 17 mark for anyone to realize that while 23.5 is in the healthy range, a lot of people consider it irreconcilably fat these days.

What do you think about societal standards of thin and beauty? Do you think those affect you? Do you think there is a major reason for this change?
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Re: Ideal Weight

Postby ali76 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:54 pm

I think in very early times, being heavy was a sign of wealth - as was being very pale (ie being able to afford the food you wanted rather than needed and not working in the sun).

I don't look so much at what I weigh (although I do weigh myself a lot) but how my body looks and feels. I know I'm carrying extra fat and I've lost a lot of fitness since I had a nasty accident in March and want it back! I'm far from unhealthy but I want to class myself as fit and healthy! Nice figure, hair, nails, skin....it all comes from what we feed our body.
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Re: Ideal Weight

Postby Athena » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:00 pm

Marylin Monroa was heavy built. Certainly not fat, but if she was alive today would she be called it? Our standards of beauty have definately changed. If this was the 19th century I'd be the most beautiful women alive.
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Re: Ideal Weight

Postby yellowroses » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:38 pm

Athena wrote:Marylin Monroa was heavy built. Certainly not fat, but if she was alive today would she be called it? Our standards of beauty have definately changed. If this was the 19th century I'd be the most beautiful women alive.


Agreed.

It's quite strange. In Western culture, to be thin is to be beautiful, desired and perhaps even successful? In modern African societies (and even ancient), the bigger you are, the more beautiful you are - being larger is a sign of fertility and sometimes wealth.

In Victorian times, the larger you were, the richer you were and you were beautiful. I mean look at something such as the painting the Mona Lisa - she is not a tiny woman by any stretch of the imagination. That was the norm then - and she was considered beautiful enough to be painted and cast in history's mind for eternity.

Marilyn Munroe was indeed a size 14 in the day - and she was considered a freakin censored icon - the sexiest woman alive and the first woman on the cover of playboy (a magazine which is around to promote the beauty of a woman's figure). There's no way that if she wanted to rise to fame in today's society she would be considered striking or sexy. There are a few scatterings of internationally famous women who are big (e.g. Queen Latifa - size 16 - Beyonce Knowles - size 14 etc) but the enormity of movie stars are very very tiny - size 6 or below. And if they put on any type of weight they are criticized mercilessly - look at what happened to Tyra Banks - she is a supermodel, she put on some weight and she got eaten alive by the tabloids with them saying things like "Look at how she's let herself go!"

It is little wonder that there is an epidemic of eating disorders in western cultures because being painfully thin is recognised and promoted as being 'normal' when in fact it is a very small population of women who are naturally like that - and most have to work very very hard and sacrifice A LOT to stay that way! The average Aussie woman is a size 16, they all have cellulite and they all fluctuate weight wise. That's what's normal.

I think the important thing is to not think about it in weight or size or even shape - instead to think about it as health. I mean, you could be a perfectly healthy size 18 woman - you eat properly, exercise regularly, don't smoke and drink in moderation - and yet you will STILL be seen as 'fat' or even *incorrectly* 'ugly' by today's standards in our society.

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Re: Ideal Weight

Postby Strawberry » Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:59 pm

yellowroses wrote:It's all Barbie's fault.


LOL.

The model Sophie Dahl is a good example of this: she used to be a size 16 model she down sized to an 8. The designers are at fault! They want their designs to look as best as possible, hence the walking clothes hangers lol.
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Re: Ideal Weight

Postby rivenriver » Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:54 pm

Strawberry wrote:
yellowroses wrote:It's all Barbie's fault.


LOL.

The model Sophie Dahl is a good example of this: she used to be a size 16 model she down sized to an 8. The designers are at fault! They want their designs to look as best as possible, hence the walking clothes hangers lol.


I recall an interview with a designer I read somewhere. The magazine/fashion show/whatever it was called her, asking her if she could send some smaller samples. The designer had made her samples in a size 12, and they were far too big for any of the models. Couldn't she possibly send them a size 6, please? NO, replied the designer, my samples are a size 12. Hire bigger models.

That sort is the exception though.
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