Ideal Female Bodies (iv)


Swinging Sixties (c. 1960s)

Women in the 1960s benefited from a liberation movement that saw more women in the workplace, gave them access to birth control pills, and gave rise to feminism. “Swinging London” had a profound influence throughout the western world during the 1960s, and it helped usher miniskirts and A-line shapes into fashion.

Supermodel Era (c. 1980s)

Jane Fonda created an aerobics fad in the 1980s, which made women want to be fit. Supermodels like Cindy Crawford typified the ideal body of the era: tall, slim, athletic, but still buxom. This era also saw an uptick in anorexia, which some experts thought might have been tied to the sudden emphasis on exercise.

“I’m no model lady. A model’s just an imitation of the real thing.” ― Mae West

Heroin Chic (c. 1990s)

After the materialism and overexertion of the 1980s, fashion swung the other way. Thin, withdrawn, and pale, Kate Moss typified the heroin chic look in the 1990s. Heroin use actually rose during this time, causing President Clinton to comment on the trend in 1997.

Postmodern Beauty (c. 2000s – Today)

Women in the 2000s have been bombarded with so many different requirements of attractiveness. Women should be skinny, but healthy; they should have large breasts and a large butt, but a flat stomach.

To achieve all this, women have increasingly been turning to plastic surgery. Studies have shown that butt augmentation procedures, patients under the age of 30, and patients citing selfies as a reason for plastic surgery have all increased in recent years.

See other: Ideal Female Body Types Throughout History

Ideal Female Bodies (iii)


Roaring Twenties (c. 1920s)

Women in the United States were given the right to vote in 1920, and it set the tone for the decade.  Women who had held down jobs during World War I wanted to continue working. Prohibition caused speakeasies to spring up, which, along with the rise of “talkies” and the Charleston, created a flapper-friendly culture. Women favoured an androgynous look, downplaying their waists and wearing bras that flattened their breasts. Beauty in the 1920s was a curveless, boyish body.

“Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them.” ― Oscar Wilde

Golden Age Of Hollywood (c. 1930s – 1950s)

The Golden Age of Hollywood lasted from the 1930s through 1950s. During that time, the Hays Code was in effect, establishing moral parameters regarding what could or could not be said, shown, or implied in film. The code limited the types of roles available to women, creating an idealized version of women that, for the first time, was spread around the world. Movie stars at the time, like Marilyn Monroe, flaunted curvier bodies with slim waists.

“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” ― Marilyn Monroe

See other: Ideal Female Body Types Throughout History

Ideal Female Bodies (ii)


Italian Renaissance (c. 1400 – 1700)

Renaissance Italy was an extremely Catholic, patriarchal society. Women were meant to embody virtue and were often separated from men both in public and at home. A woman’s value was linked to her relationship with men, whether it was God, her father, or her husband.

The quality of both a wife’s behaviour and looks were thought to reflect her husband’s status. Beauty in Renaissance Italy meant a rounded body, including full hips and large breasts. Pale skin, strawberry blonde hair, and high foreheads were all thought of as the height of physical beauty.

“Choose neither a woman nor linen by candlelight.” ― Italian Proverb

Victorian England (c. 1837 – 1901)

The Victorian era of England lasted the length of Queen Victoria’s reign. She was the most influential figure of the era, a young queen who became a young wife and mother. Domesticity, family, and motherhood were highly valued in Victorian society, because these values were embodied by Queen Victoria herself.

The style of the time reflected women’s motherly position in society. Women wore corsets to cinch their waists as tightly as possible, creating an hourglass figure. These corsets physically restrained women’s range of motion, flaunting their separation from physical labour. Women also wore their hair long as a symbol of femininity.

“She wore tight corsets to give her a teeny waist – I helped her lace them up – but they had the effect of causing her to faint. Mom called it the vapors and said it was a sign of her high breeding and delicate nature. I thought it was a sign that the corset made it hard to breathe.” ― Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

See other: Ideal Female Body Types Throughout History

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Whenever the Torah is dropped on the floor, tradition holds that every person in the room must fast for 40 days in atonement.

One in four Canadian children between 7 and 12 are obese.

Approximately half the inhabitants of Indonesia live on the island of Java.

Jeremy Clarkson’s parents ran a business selling tea cosies before they invented the stuffed Paddington Bear.

The hemline index is supposed to predict how the market will fare. Coined in 1926 by U.S. economist George Taylor, the idea has been spookily accurate. When skirts get shorter, the market goes up.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

On Diaries


“It’s the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time.”

– Talullah Bankhead


If claims that the actress slept with ’40 per cent of the British aristocracy’ during her eight-year stay in 1920s London are overblown, her reckless exhibitionism is well attested. When crew complained of her lack of underwear on the set of Lifeboat in 1944, Hitchcock’s laconic reply was: ‘I don’t know whether that’s a concern for wardrobe or hairdressing.’

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Salvador Dali broke his jaw while putting his fist in his mouth as a party trick. He was trying to impress the woman who would later become his wife.

Odontophobia is the fear of teeth.

Queen Victoria wore a bridal veil made from human hair.

According to USA Today, North Koreans must abide by one of 28 approved haircuts. Unmarried women must have short hair, but married woman have many more options. The hair of young men should be less than 2 inches long, older men can go as long as 2¾.

Since 1968 onwards, more Americans have died from gunfire on home soil than in all the wars in United States history.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Chastity of Monks


‘Unlike other monks, Cistercians wore plain, undyed wool – for which reason they were known as the ‘White Monks’. The return to heroic monasticism meant that they ate only the coarsest wheat bread, and were ordered to avoid coloured glass in the chapel, and gold and silver on the altar.

And they were not allowed to wear underpants. St Benedict had not mentioned them in his list of permitted clothing for monks, so the Cistercians would have no truck with the evil things – much to the amusement of a number of their contemporaries. Some called it ‘bare-bottomed piety’ and Walter Map, the twelfth-century author, wit and foe of Cistercians, suggested they shunned underpants ‘to preserve coolness in that part of the body lest sudden heats provoke unchastity’.’

– Jones. T., Ereira. A. 2004. Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives London, Great Britain: BBC Books (2005) p. 99