Body Image In The Twentieth Century

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Twentieth Century Body Image
At many points of a woman’s life, they feel doubtful of their body and of their beauty because the standards that are set by the media of today, and the media of the past. One cannot look through a magazine without reading an article title that has anything to do with weight loss or beauty treatments. Even in magazines from decades ago, beauty advertisements and articles on how to be the perfect size or shape, filled the pages. The media’s influence on women’s body image has been very severe on women for decades.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, almost every woman was concerned with obtaining the desired curves of the time. “Buxom ladies tortured their flesh to achieve the hourglass figure… all laced themselves so tightly that they distorted their figure into the exaggerated ‘S’ shape associated with the era... the ‘health’ corset produced a hand span waist…” (Thomas). The health corsets on the early 1900s actually allowed the wearer to breathe, a new privilege every other corset did not allow. The corsets that were required to build the curves of the Gibson Girl era required lots of time, effort, and money. Women could not get these corsets on themselves
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“Lipstick was seen as ‘good for the morale of the nation’... women were applauded for the use of lipstick… and adverts encouraged women to wear lipstick” (H&MUA Team). Women of the 1940s did exceptionally well with adapting to the years of war and rationing. Women balanced both a job and maintaining the household for the first time in decades. Nevertheless, women were still expected to please the male idealism by wearing makeup, especially lipstick. If one were to look at a magazine published in the 1940s, one would find a beauty related advert on almost every

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