Historical Beauty Ideals

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Found this on reddit today (http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/1lyewk/outdated_ad_that_shows_our_perception_of_looks/). 

I have a love/hate relationship with images like this. On the one hand, I love that they show how much our beauty ideals have changed because that just further shows how arbitrary they are. Our beauty ideals are shaped much more by marketing nowadays than any legitimate biological reasoning. That said, the “hate” part of my relationship with this image is that I think it leads to the equally unhealthy practice of “curvy is good too so skinny is bad.”

Stop right there! Don’t misunderstand me! I love curves. My only point here is this: eschewing the underfed model look for the Marilyn Monroe look can be just as unattainable! The only healthy body image involves accepting YOUR body. 

There are as many ways to be beautiful as there are people on this earth. Dolly Parton is beautiful, Queen Latifah is beautiful, and Keira Knightley is beautiful. You can be skinny with small boobs or curvy or heavy set and still be absolutely gorgeous. Appreciate the body you have and love it like you mean  it!

In the meanwhile, realize that most (not all) marketing of beauty products (in this case that includes fitness/diet products) revolves around making you feel ugly and, as evidenced by this picture, pretty much has since the dawn of time. I have a mental picture of a skinny cavewoman looking longingly at a fertility statue, feeling crappy about herself. Don’t buy into it! 

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