A skinny history of the "thin ideal" in American culture.
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you are correct, but you miss the evolutionary attraction men have for slim women, slim makes you look young, because young females are slim, we all get heavier as we get older. Yes, society and class, but also plain old evolutionary biology
Too complex. The simplest explanation is that young women have a better chance of raising man's child to adulthood, so man are genetically attracted to young women, which are thinner than older ones.
Thin means young, fertile, non competence from another man's children, and the best chance to spread your genes. It has nothing to do with fashion, history, and cannot be removed from man's brains.
^thats kinda partially bc a lot of people did not have the money to be eating a lot of food so being bigger meant you ate a lot which meant you could afford to eat a lot of food
(But seriously if you're not dangerously thin or so fat you are at risk for heart disease and things like that then someone will probably find you attractive because humans are attracted to healthy humans)
+Labo Leta You said the reason men like skinny women is because being skinny signals youth, and men are instictively attracted to younger women. If that's so, how does your explanation account for the various cultures throughout history where skinny was not ideal?
Nope. The skinny ideal as we have it today is the historical exception. Throughout most of history, somewhat curvy women were seen as the most attractive. The fact that the general beauty standard in Western countries today is different, then, requires an explanation other than simple biology.
Yes, a century ago "fat" meant better, wealth & high-quality. Interestingly, beautiful women 50 years ago will be "too fat" today, despite there's more obesity or overweight people in the US. I don't like body-shaming in both sexes & body types, esp I'm thin or small-boned, 5'9" (short?), 180 lb (small?), white/Native American (half-French) & US American male. +
Hi Mynameis Not exactly true. Sizes have slowly shifted to become smaller. In today's sizes, Marilyn Monroe would be a size 12 which many women feel is "too big." If it was good enough for Marilyn, it is damn well good enough for me
"beautiful women 50 years ago will be "too fat" today" I don't think so, as the video explained thin being in is much older than 50 years. As an example this is some playboy playmates from the 1950's, women from more than 50 years ago considered beautiful enough to be in the premier magazine for men to perv(I didn't include topless ones, they're SFW ones only):
Update the fashion/hair and any of these women would look perfectly suited to playboy in 2016. Excluding the worst of the industry such as Victoria's secret and other such stupid fashion corporation that put ridiculous stress on their models (And also do not represent the standard of beauty) every one of the women in thoe images has a body that would be considered beautiful by today's standard.
The full gallery that is NSFW for those that don't mind a bit of skin/toplessness:
I think you'll find the common belief that fatter was in so short a time ago is not so true, it was just less frowned upon.
Actually, this "being thin is best" thing in the Western culture started earlier than Victorian times, during the Middle Ages, then disappeared for some time.
In the Middle Ages, it was a symbol of moderation, modesty and purity. Narrow hips and small breasts were also "in".
In the 20s, being thin with small breasts had a different meaning altogether. Combined with very short haircuts, loose clothing and traditionally male habits (such as smoking), the idea behind it was the liberation from stereotypically female attributes and roles. In several countries, notably the US and UK, it corresponds to the times when women obtained the right to vote.
If anything, the ideals have been fattened. Women were always wanted to be thin until about 30 years ago with the rise of pop culture and booties and the general tendency of everyone just becoming fatter, especially in America where fattening is more common
It seems to me the fatter the population gets the thinner the ideals are. I think really obese people started popping up in 1980 USA, but then they also had the fitness craze in the 80's and "heroin chic" models in the 90's
My American size would be a 10. I really resemble those Greek/ Romanian goddesses/ Venus whatever. What really bugs me is that I'm not happy with my body even though it's perfectly healthy, not unattractive but just not fitting to modern beauty standards. So do I really not like my body or does society tell me I should not like my body because it's a "little too much". Difficult.
I had just lost all the weight I gained over Thanksgiving and I really do not plan on gaining even an ounce of it back. I have read online that this was supposed to inhibit the formation of fat and of course I was eager to try it. It not only stopped me from gaining weight, but also caused me to lose 2 more pounds the first month that I took it! You can count on me drinking Weight loss green store tea religiously now that I have seen what it can do for me!
I feel more like society, if you could take it as a stand-alone entity, is more responsible for pushing the "ideal" of skinniness. I don't know any guy that actually finds extremely thin attractive anymore than excessively overweight. Most guys are interested in either an "average" or athletic figure on women. Society uses words like fat, gives them negative connotations when what they deem fat is closer to what most guys think looks attractive and looks "average", and when guys are asked about fat girls, they say they aren't interested when, in reality, your average guy and society as a whole aren't referring to the same figure. Society's view is this twisted mess of what businesses want you to look like so they can sell you something, women's own misguided perceptions of what they think they "need" to look like to be attractive, and some random guys that have uncommon taste in women's figure sizes.
Thin is very in all over Asia. They didn't care about the victorian era. We also didn't give a shit about it in Germany or Eastern Europe. At all. Yet somehow thin is in, and has been for a long time. I don't think that the existence of a few famous artists who liked chubby women proves that corpulence has ever been the beauty standard among the general population, who would have been seriously out of luck since most of them were peasants in a perpetual state of poverty and malnutrition.
It is rather simple- when food was scarce being overweight could be seen as attractive. Today when food is abundant (in developed countries at least) it is harder to be skinny then it is to be fat therefore skinny women are perceived to be more attractive.
I like muscular women with fat to coat their rippling muscles and still make it soft and not rough and jagged, but keeping the skin tight so it does not wrinkle or roll.
Basically good athletic health.
Thin is in but it isn't at the same time. I am naturally thin and it seems like everyone is always going "Real women have curves." Or people are assuming a thin girl must be mean or something else silly. I would like a healthy body to be the fashionable body but I know that will never be the case, because society knows if we were just happy with our body looking how it should they wouldn't make a profit. I would just like people to stop slandering natural traits my body possesses just because others can't achieve them due to their different body traits even if they do dangerous things to get it.
but wait i though in the 50s the ideal was for curves? like birth control became more popular when people realized it could help them gain weight and there were other weight gaining pills and even ads telling women that being a skinny girl was no fun?
Thin might be in, but the need for thin people's clothing isn't apparently. Went to a scrub shop today and walked out with a size XXS (extra extra small in women's) top. I'm in the healthy weight range with a healthy BMI and by no means have a "fast metabolism" type body. It frustrates me that there's a lack of clothing sizes that fit me here in America! In Japan, I usually bought size M and never saw myself as "too skinny" or "too fat". Labels on clothes fuck with me because no matter where you go, the criteria changes! I prefer sizes that run by specific measurements than the generic fat lie of small, medium, and large. I just don't want to think that I have to gain thirty pounds to fit in America's ideal of a size small....
The downside is that we get this counter-reaction which is saying 'obese is beautiful' and we have these obese women who are proud of their body and want to set an example. Like you are either ridiculously thin or obese. Why aren't we advocating a healthy weight? Regardless of what the women look like. When you are too fat or too skinny, you should try to change for your own health.
+Ilselovesall This is true to an extent, and shaming people for being under or over weight has become an unoriginal cliche of bad comedians. That being said, we shouldn't glamorize it, either. It is unfair to people who are just naturally thin or naturally overweight, but right now, 80% of people who are obese are suffering from some type of metabolic syndrome. Either from diabetes, heart disease, cancer, fatty liver disease, dementia, or a combination of these, just to name a few. It's costing us billions of dollars and it's getting worse every year all over the industrialized world (sorry, UK, you're catching up with the Americans). We need to stop shaming, stop glamorizing, and try to get people healthy by treating this as a disease instead of trying to guilt people into dieting or do the "love thy self" and say it's okay to be unhealthy. Where's the middle ground here?
because people have different bodytypes, and a healthy weight is different for everyone. what is skinny for one, is healthy for someone else and what's fat for the other is skinny for someone else. It is different for every individual, and even tho our society is more and more about individualism, on this subject still take the average of that healthy weight as the standart, so anyone's healthy weight is above the average healt, or under it, will be shamed for it.
I think the funniest thing is when they named the perfect woman because she was closely shaped to venus. However most of the paintings and statues of women from the greek time wasn't actually modeled after women but men and they would just put breast on them. Ok fun facts are done now.
as a child who played with barbies i never once looked at the doll and thought "this is how i need to look when i grow up"
it would have been really weird if i thought that way with every doll i played with.
i just played with the dolls. and horses, and dinosaurs, and cars. because i was a child, and i was not concerned with the 'problems' of adults.
also, at one point being 'thin' meant that you could not afford food and therefore were poor. maybe we should be less concerned with how other people look and more concerned with how we treat those around us?
I don't think you understand me, eating healthy means you can eat as much as you want even if you are an emotional eater, try the Mcdouall diet the starch based solution, Eat as much stable foods such as potatoes, rice, beans as you want only catch is keep it lowfat and animal free. Make sure to spice it up making it real tasty, don't worry about salt, add it to healthy food and you will eat more of it. The reason this works is the fiber in the potato/rice/beans fills you up, making it feel like you had more calories than you did and these are foods that give you lasting energy throughout the day.
You do not count calories on this diet, You do not suffer on this diet,
Who said anything about almond flour?
eat fresh fruits and veggies, go at your own pace, your own comfort zone, but 100% fruits and a bit of leafy greens. That's where it is at! If you detox too quickly add some mucuslean foods "google is your friend"
buy Produce at farmers markets/wholesale to save a ton of money, also as the years go by gradually you will need less fruit if you are "cleasning" clearing the colon regularly.
The only shame is people refuse to eat healthy, if they did they wouldn't feel bad about their bodies, >.>
veganism is not a religion! It is the way, cannot change physics, cannot change the way your body was designed/adpated to work.
There's actually another, insidious level of the perception that weight is inversely proportional to a woman's morality, and it's origins go back much further than the Victorian era. In the Catholic Church, it is/was impossible for women to be as righteous as men and were far more prone to evil (i.e. Original Sin, women can't be priests etc.). Interestingly, menstruation was considered to be an indicator of this. If you look at the Old Testament, menstruating women were forced to stay on the outskirts of the community, and if a women on her period even touched a man, he needed to spiritually purify himself. The key though, is when women abstained from food for extended periods of time to show devotion to God, many stopped menstruating. This is, of course, because they weren't getting enough calories to support reproductive function, but in the eyes of the Catholic Church it was just proof that abstaining from food allowed women to conquer their inherent unholiness. It's called anorexia mirabilis and is recorded as early as the 1200s.
I definitely agree with what's being said here, but I'd also like to mention that growing up being a naturally thin person, I've been the target of plenty of weight jokes. People throw the "go eat a cheeseburger" attitude at me often and it's very uncomfortable. No weight will ever be safe from people's cruelty.
I never knew thin was in, I always got asked if I eat, EVEN BEFORE social media. Society loves to complain "you're too skinny" "you're too fat" How the hell does my weight have anything to do with you?
If you haven't done a video about this, I think it would be interesting to do one on why the hell our society seems to never want to age. As if they can stay young forever. It's weird and I can't be the only one noticing it.
If you look at statues of greek and roman goddesses they were for the most part rather thin and seeing how the gods were idealized humans it stands to reason that thin was attractive back then as well, and that predates the victorian era values by quite a bit.
If you look at Renaissance-era paintings, you'll notice a much larger figure. The Mona Lisa, for example, has a rounded face with noticeable fat under her jaw.
Standards about weight and beauty have shifted back-and-forth over time, but the conflation of "fat" and "thin" with "morality" in the modern era is firmly linked to the enlightenment notion of "modern civilization" as pertaining to a progressive evolution of humanity from an 'immoral' past towards a 'more moral' future.
The the physical body was simply one aspect of this new form of enlightenment-era moralism. While many of these enlightenment-era physicality==morality notions (e.g. physiognomy) have disappeared due to their association with racism, the relationship between weight and morality has remained intact or even grown more pervasive.
Could you please do a video on "boob shaming". Girls with small breasts like me get given crap about our boob size and treated almost like it lowers our femininity or our attractiveness. And girls with larger breasts automatically get sexualized and slut shamed for showing any cleavage at all even when they would have to wear a turtleneck to completely coverup. In addition no matter what size you are you get shamed somehow, if your an A or B you get "small boob shamed" and if you're a C or above you get "big boob" / "slut shamed"
Respectfully I have to disagree with the starting point of your historical timeline. I wrote a paper on this very topic and if we want to go to the extreme we can trace this preference towards thinness to the Greeks. However, if we want to discuss it in modern terms with thinness being connected to morality, then it this trend most certainly began in America during the Jacksonian era. While thinness has different timelines all over the world, America and England share a close bond for this topic. Though I would say that historically Americans have taken it a few steps further because English tourists during the early 19th century commented on how sickly and thin American women looked. A really good book on the subject is "Fat History: Bodies and Beauty in the Modern West" by Petern N. Stearns. I can go on but I'll spare you ;)
Hey Kristen, I could really use your advice on something. I have been struggling with the lowest self-esteem possible. It stops me from identifying anything that I could be good at it, it constantly ruins my chances of advancing in life and, on occasions, led me to making terrible, self-demeaning and humiliating choices. I pathologically feel like I don't deserve happiness and can't help but hurt myself... help!
Commenter Emma mentioned thin = Healthy. That's not quite true. There is a lot in between thin and fat. And I think you'll find that thin is not as healthy as slim with some protective body fat. Or slim with muscle weight. Thin is just an altogether shitty word to define healthy.
Wait. be fore i watch this i am gonna drink. because people both men and women hate me because i am thin. (men hate me because women talk to me, women hate me because i can eat two burgers and not gain weight) And i can't get fat. Women like fat guys. They trust them more. so now watching.
It's because thin = healthy. No no no, do not reply to this and bitch to me about how "all shapes and sizes are healthy!" Thinness is indicative of a healthy body, therefore it would stand to reason that one who is healthier is capable of making more and healthier babies, which is what is always the goal. Do not. Do not bitch to me with your Seventeen body-positive jibber-jabber. I get it: people come in all shapes and sizes. But thin = healthy, therefore it's attractive, the same way that big eyes are attractive because they make us look younger, and in turn more fertile. The same goes for soft, glowing skin and thick, lustrous hair. Younger, more fertile, more and healthier babies. It all goes back to babies, as Cristen likes to say.
+MsDanceDiva234 Women only need 12% body fat to have a baby. Most women have a lot more than 12%. Pretty much if you have a period, you can have a baby.... Although certain body TYPES (not body fat percentages) carry babies better. But those body types are only prevalent in 8% of women. (hourglass figure)
+Breanna Anderson to be healthy and birth healthy children a woman needs at least 12% of body fat. Do you know what that looks like? I was a size 1 at about 18% body fat. Weight is different for everyone, an extremely thin girl may have enough weight to be healthy. You never know.
Um,actually,fat can also equal healthy..No I don't mean fat to the extent of obesity,but the more fat that surrounds the visceral organs,the more well protected they remain.Better immunity.Advisable for a healthier pregnancy,too.
Besides ,who defines if thin is a standard of attraction? Society? Fat people can't make more babies,because we have a culture that wants us to believe body type is major factor deciding infertility?
So,fact remains that healthy is healthy,an individual difference,irrespective of body shape and more dependent on habits and lifestyle.
I don't know why people think that being thin is healthy and it shows a woman's capability of making babies. Personally, I find thin women unattractive, I like women who have got fat as much as not to see a bone in her body. I'm not into fat women, but I'm not into thin as well. I (and believe me, a lot of other men) am extremely turned on by a woman's curves. I believe that a woman can achieve a perfect body with just a bit of diet and exercise twice a week(where perfect doesn't mean calorie-deprived diets, starvation to become 'thin')
Or think logically... in areas where food is scarce, "bigger" women are viewed as more desirable to men and their society. It shows that despite the food shortage, that person has managed to find plenty of food. Whereas in America, for example, we have plentiful food, so being "thinner' is seen as more desirable because it shows self-control in a over-abundance of food.
It makes sense.
It also explains why "back in the day" all the "rich" dudes were kind of pudgy.
As a diabetic carbs are NOT your enemy, although it does depend on what type of diabetic you are.
Look up diabetes treated with a vegan low fat diet.
The starch solution is also a great program.
80/10/10 is also really good but isn't perfect, and The mucusless diet healing system is the best, although simply not realistic for most people.
I think thin being "in", is also a change of our societies need for strength, and heartiness. Before "civilized" society, it was good to be thick, for BOTH men & women. A thick women meant perfect child bearing, and a thick man meant heavier work loads. Now, it's all about intelligence.
I consider myself a stocky build (broad shoulders, barrel chest, big hips), but I've always been passed up for the narrow waist, thin shouldered, lanky guys that I could break in half.
It's just a change in times. 500 years ago, I'm sure things would have been different.
Here is the thing about the thin ideal: it is very much a westernized concept as in many places it is still viewed as larger - but not necessarily too large - being better, as it suggest being more well-off and having the ability to buy more food and other necessities in excess thus being able to live a life in luxury.
Whatever is "hard to achieve" in a society is what is "in." If I lived in a society that had a limited food resource, but happened to be fat, I would be looked at as a goddess. But in The western world, where it's easy to be gluttonous, thin and fit is what is attractive because it's a harder physique to achieve and maintain.
++RYOU+0013+ It's not ok to call everything aesthetic out of empathy or sympathy because that takes away from what is truly beautiful. Like the word 'love', I think people misuse the word beautiful too much. Perhaps if everything is beautiful, then nothing is.
What should ultimately decide are ideals, morals, ethics? Sorry if I put all three there , I get them mixed up a lot as far as definition. What should we let decide these things?
I tired to decide for myself and got it very wrong sometimes.