Beauty: Now vs Then

old beauty magazine The image of “beauty”, as we know it, has changed.

Picture, in your mind, different magazine advertisements and television commercials. Think of all of the different women in these ads. If you’ll notice, one factor remains the same: the women’s’ figures.

They are all bone thin, with what society has deemed as “perfect figures”. They fail to realize that “skinny” isn’t necessarily “healthy”. Society has altered young women’s vulnerable minds into truly believing that bones are beautiful, when in reality, they are indicative of an even deeper issue. These young girls are beginning to diet and starve themselves at younger ages than ever before, causing malnourishment and deformities. These girls haven’t even developed fully, yet they are depriving their bodies of imperative nutrients. And for what reason? To get the highly coveted “high fashion, stick figure” appearance. They truly have an altered body perception, related to the unnecessary pressures of society to fit into society’s definition of ‘perfect’. The kicker is: this doesn’t have to happen, and being thin was, at one time, frowned upon.

Think with me into the past; picture fashion of the 1950’s. Believe it or not, having curves was considered a desirable, sexy trait to possess. Women paid a lot of money for weight-gain supplements; imagine that! This was also back when young women didn’t have the pressure of the media to eat less, and weigh no more than what it takes to fit into a size double-zero. Women were considered glamorous for their voluptuous curves, and they showed their femininity through their bodies.


Somewhere in the rush, fashion got confused, and started designing women’s clothing in the silhouette of a twelve year old boy, rather in the fullness and glamour of a true female physique. Women are made with wider hips and larger breasts, and that is beautiful. That sets us apart from the male gender. We weren’t meant to be all the same. Equal, but not the same. Beauty is far more than tiny waists, square hips, and pronounced jaw bones. Beauty is more than skin and bones. As Anne Roiphe once said, “A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter WHAT she wears.” Beauty captures the eye; personality captures the heart.

So be confident, no matter your size. You own those beautiful hips, girl. They are what makes you, you. And you-we-are beautiful just as we are.

Blog post by Aveda Institute Tallahassee Spa Therapy student: Meghan Basford