Posts Tagged ‘thelma todd’

Has Thin Always Been ‘In’?

May 29, 2008

I’m sure many of us already know the answer to the question (No, of course), but what’s interesting is HOW the perception of sexy has evolved over the years to what it is today!

To understand the evolution of beauty standards worldwide, how can we not start off with the West where the “thin” trend began in the first place!

“The arrival of cable television and Western fashions and films has given today’s teenagers the idea that thin is beautiful…” BBC

“But standards of beauty have changed dramatically… as South Korea’s government decontrolled TV and newspapers, allowing in a flood of foreign and foreign-influenced programming, information and advertising.” Dr. Sing Lee, psychiatrist, Chinese University of Hong Kong 

So, here goes:

 A poster pin up girl in the 1920s 

Hollywood celebrities in the 1930s and 1940s, the beau in the middle being the famous actress, Thelma Todd, who was at her peak in the 1930s and 1940s

How can we not mention Marilyn Monroe, the sex bomb of the 1950s and 1960s?

 And… Elizabeth Taylor, a famous Hollywood actress in the 1960s!

THIS is where it all began. Presenting… Twiggy Lawrence, the skinny androgenous model with a sweet angelic face who surprisingly took the world by a storm in the 1970s when curves were sexy!

Goldie Hawn, in the 1980s, when the ideal body weight was beginning to dip, thanks to Twiggy Lawson!

The figure you would have wanted to have in the 1990s!

Beauty standards today as depicted in the hit show, America’s Next Top Model!

Not surprisingly, beauty standards in Asia have undergone a similar evolution pattern, with the thin trend kicking off in the 1970s and 1980s when Western media became increasingly popular in Asia!

Evolution of Beauty in Japan:

 A Japanese pin up beauty in the 1930s! 

 Japanese beauty standards from the 1950s to 1970s

Momoe Yamaguchi, a Japanese hottie in the 1980s! Clearly beauty standards are shifting away from the curvier and fuller figures appreciated in the 1930s!

SPEED, the girl band that was overwhelmingly popular in Japan in the 1990s!

 

Last but not least, Ms Japan 2007!

Evolution of Beauty in Hong Kong:

 Lin Dai, a phenomenal actress in Hong Kong who was the epitome of beauty in the 1950s and 1960s!

 

Beauty in the 1970s which is clearly beginning to move towards the “thin”

Anita Mui (left) who enjoyed widespread popularity in the 1980s and represented beauty standards in the 1980s

 Thinner ideals in the 1990s

Beauty ideals today!

I don’t know about the rest of my dear readers, but for me at least, just looking at the evolution of beauty in both the West and in Asia over the years reminds me that at the end of the day, chasing beauty standards is not unlike chasing trends, meaningless after a while. And, perhaps, even if we’re not considered beautiful in this time, it does not reflect that we are any less valuable. It just means that we’re not conforming to the beauty standards of our culture in our time. If we do not follow the fashion trends of today, does it mean that we are any less forward-thinking? Trends will be trends – there will always be followers and rebels. Whichever we choose to be, it’s a choice, not a reflection of our worth and value. I sincerely hope that this post will be as comforting to my dear readers as it was to me.

Till the next time!

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