Perceptions of Body Image Throughout History

Timeline created by betty
In History
  • Jan 1, 1500

    Elizabethan Era

    Elizabethan Era
    It was like a bell: a huge lower half, small waist and flat chest. Also, they wore an armour-like corsets to flatten the chest for a breastless look. Added volume to the skirts
  • Corsets

    Corsets were made of whalebone rather than iron.
    Lower half of the body were natural shaped.
  • Tight Corsets

    Tight Corsets
    Skirts were hooped again, but hoops were flat at the front and back for a wide shape from side. A panier, a frame-work undergarment tied to the waist to support skirts at the sides. Women's corsets were tightly laced to draw the shoulders back and give a high, round bosom and upright posture.
  • Corsets more tighter and skirts more bigger

    Corsets more tighter and skirts more bigger
    Flowing and forgiving Greek-style silhouette was in fashion. Did not last long and corsets became more tighter with the skirt more bigger. Petticoats (hooped cage) were worn.
  • Women's fleshy look

    Women's fleshy look
    The corsets were out of fashion. A bustle at the back of the skirt were worn to make the women's buttocks bigger. Corsets were still worn to hold in the waist. Bodice emphasised the bust.
    Women had to look fleshy and full-figured. A thin body symbolised as unhealthy.
  • 'S' shape bodyline

    'S' shape bodyline
    Small waist was still in fashion. A health corset was worn tightly. Also, pushed the bust forward and the hips back, creating an 'S' shape.
  • Women's athletic image

    Women's athletic image
    Women started to get active and athletic. Physical fitness introduced a slender shape in fashion. Corset were out of fashion and brassiere were worn.
  • Masculine Look

    Masculine Look
    Thin, boyish figure with little or no curves. Wore underwear that flattened chest for a masculine look. Some women binded their breast for a flatter chest.
  • Return of the Corset

    Return of the Corset
    Slightly curvier figure with a bigger bust and wanted slim hips. Women brought in the corset back in 1930s. Then a 'girdle' - a bra and attached garters.
  • Slim waists and bigger breast

    Slim waists and bigger breast
    After the war, curves were back in fashion. Slim waists, long, full skirts were back into style. Underwear started to be worn for emphasising the breast, instead of the waist. Bra was worn for lifting and enhancing breasts. "Falsies" - extra padding in bra was added for a bigger breast look.
  • Mini skirts & Barbie Dolls

    Mini skirts & Barbie Dolls
    Mini skirt was in fashion. Petticoats and curves were no longer in style. A famous celebrity during this period was Twiggy. The Barbie doll was created with huge breasts, never-ending legs, non-existent hips, and teeny-tiny waist.
  • Natural look & Hippie style

    Natural look & Hippie style
    Natural look was in fashion and the "Hippie" look was in style. But, women still wanted small waist, hips and large breast. Then after a while, toned skin was popular.
  • Diet & Exercise

    Diet & Exercise
    Women started to work out for a fit body shape. Diet and exercising were fairly common. They wanted a mascular body, but with nice curves.
  • Weight Loss

    Weight Loss
    Weight losing became popular. Women wanted to be tall, skinny with big breast. Women still used lingerie to help get the body shape they wantt, including corsets, body-shapers, control tights, push-up bras and magic knickers.
  • Thinness - the ultimate body shape goal

    Thinness - the ultimate body shape goal
    Thinness is the ultimate body shape goal. Women nowadays do plastic surgery, gastric reductions and radical diets to get skinny.