How beauty standards have changed

If you ask 10 people what they consider to be 'beautiful', each of them will give you a completely different answer. 

This is because beauty really is in the eye of the beholder!

Although this is true, over time in a majority of the western world there have been many versions of beauty that have been celebrated as the 'ideal'. These are known as the 'beauty standards'.

As we take a look back at beauty standards from the past, have a think about how quickly and often it changes! There is incredible body and look diversity in what has been considered 'perfect' in the past!

So, if you take anything away from looking back at these beauty trends, it should be to embrace your unique beauty because the trends CONSTANTLY CHANGE!


The 1920s had some pretty incredible fashion that fell particularly well on very straight, curveless figures.

Things that were celebrated in the 20s include:

  • A super cute bob hairstyle
  • Straight figure with minimal curves
  • Small chest

Source: Marie Claire


Curves are back! Say goodbye to the boyish figures of the 20s, and hello to the perfect hourglass!

Things that were celebrated in the 30s-50s include:

  • Curves
  • Hourglass figure
  • Tiny waist

Source: International Business Times


And... we're back to tiny figures again! The 1960s is when women were again encouraged to lose the curves and go for a more adolescent figure once more.

Things that were celebrated in the 60s include:

  • Straight figure with no curves
  • Long, lean legs
  • Small shoulders

Source: Mirrorpix via Getty Images


Moving away from having a small overall figure, in the 1970s broader shoulders came into fashion.

Things that were celebrated in the 70s include:

  • Broad shoulders
  • Small hips
  • Long, lean legs

Source: Vanity Fair


The 80s was the real start of the athletic beauty. Women were encouraged to be lean, strong, and toned.

Things that were celebrated in the 80s include:

  • Hourglass figure
  • Toned legs, arms and stomach


When the 90s hit, as did society's obsession with becoming as thin as possible.

Things that were celebrated in the 90s include:

  • Very thin
  • Translucent skin
  • No curves


With the millennium came another change in beauty. Washboard abs were the thing everyone wanted!

Things that were celebrated in the 00s include:

  • Washboard abs
  • Toned bodies


Kim Kardashian began to bring curves back once again. Women began to chase those hourglass figures more than ever before.

Things that were celebrated in the 10s include:

  • Slim hourglass figure
  • Big bottoms
  • Highly airbrushed perfect skin

Source: Harpers Bazaar


Let's go diversity! In the 2020s, more than ever, women are embracing their natural body shapes and encouraging other women to do so too. 

Things that are celebrated in the 20s include:

  • YOU

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