In the 1940’s pinups became very popular with the soldiers going off to war. They carried pictures in their pockets and posted them on their walls. They also painted images of these starlets on their planes. The GI’s #1 pinup girl at that time was Betty Grable. Compared to what we are used to seeing today she might be considered a bit overweight. The pictures are also a bit conservative in comparison to present ones and her body lines also seem to lack ‘curves’. But this is what they loved.
In the 1940’s and into the early 50’s, many magazines and posters were adorned with images of Norma Jeane Baker, also knows as, Marilyn Monroe. We are all, or at least should be, extremely familiar with her. She harbored all traits that men and women defined as beautiful. She was voluptuous yet gorgeous. As far as I know she is also the first one who actually made a mole on the face a beauty spot. She went as far as to captivate the attention of the then President of the USA, JFK himself. Blonde voluptuous chicks were IN. And I am still in love with this one.
By the mid 50’s another new face showed up on the block. It was that of Bettie Page. This lady was a true tiger. She exhibited broader shoulders, jet black hair, and some very gothic pictorials. Her hips and thighs were also what I would call, for lack of a better adjective, thick. Her predecessors were very timid and cute whereas Betty had a lot of bite to her. There are numerous images of her in bondage poses as well which must have raised some eyebrows in time where people were not yet even exposed to full frontal nudity in magazines. She was also the most photographed woman of her time.
Modeling in the late 60s is synonymous with one name that says it all, Twiggy. The general image of what is considered model material took a drastic turn. Twiggy was long, thin, and small breasted. Women of that era also mimicked her look, such as the very popular Goldie Hawn among others. She posed for the likes of Elle magazine and strutted down runways between New York and Japan. During that era the world did see many political changes in the West, and this was just one of them. From her clothing to her hairstyle, Twiggy set the new trends for a generation that changed the world.
A solid example of the attractive body type in the 70’s would be that of Liv Lindeland. Her blonde white hair may hint a return to the era of Marilyn but it is kept straight, very much with the style of the early 70’s. Like Twiggy she was also very skinny and tall. The natural breast shape is back in order and in this picture; Liv is one of the first woman to pose exposing her pubic hair. Yes, if you look close enough you can see it. The photographs also seem to exude more natural lights, colors, and textures.
By the 80’s we saw some very prominent changes. This decade could belong to Cindy Crawford. I am sure most of us can remember how she took the fashion world by storm. Some say her most prominent feature was the mole above her lip, like Marilyn. The early years of this decade also showcased Farah Fawcett, who was probably posted up on every heterosexual teenage boy’s bedroom wall. The trend at the time seemed to be this feathered hair do and as for body shape, some curves do show and the girls are not all that skinny. The fashion at the time seems to bring up scary memories for those who lived through them. We saw some abnormally bright colors and some very frightening perms.
From the early 90’s till now we have been bombarded with magazine covers exposing the likes of Jenny McCarthy to Carmen Electra and Brittney Spears to Monica Lewinski (no pictures or links for the last 2 please). The stereotypes have changed. Money seems to get people on covers of magazines more than looks do. Lets face it, nobody would be talking about their big butts if “famous” Beyonce didn’t sing about hers being Bootylicious. There is so much damn photo shopping going on that we don’t even know if what we are looking at is real. And let’s not even get into cosmetic surgery. Our tastes vary so much now that beauty can not even be stereotyped, which is a good thing. Some magazines feature models that are tall, slim, where as others showcase, voluptuous women. Some men openly prefer older women while others not so openly chase after the barley legal, younger blood. Whatever the taste, there is a product to feed it.
But if we look at the leading mainstream magazines today, we all know the 3 features that are most important are height, face, and weight. There is an interesting illustration here where an artists has merged pictures from each decade, 60’s 70’s and 80’s to create 3 single images and you can get a rough idea about what the actual changes were. I wonder what this decade will produce.
One study shows that, “Given the perception of Playboy centerfolds as culturally 'ideal' women, the notion that 70% of them are underweight highlights the social pressures on women to be thin and helps to explain the high levels of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating among women.” So based on that we can assume that most women are striving to be like the “ideal” woman? To hell with that!!! Women really need to stop trying to be like the women who have defined beauty in their times. They should be defining beauty in their own time. Women are going nuts trying to look like supermodels and young girls are even killing themselves because they don’t meet up to standards.
Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder so fuck the standards. In the immortal words of Freddie Mercury and Queen, “FAT BOTTOM GIRLS, YOU MAKE THE ROCKIN WORLD GO ROUND”.
Brother Mogs, you know we are all thinking of you right now.