I completely love everything about the 1960’s, the fashion, the music, the art and the entire zeitgeist of the decade. However, the curvy and glamorous ideal of previous decades changed suddenly to a preference for slim, boyish frames. Female ideals consisted of very slight, slim figures, with short pixie crops and heavy eye make up. The fashion encouraged women to look like young girls, with short shift dresses showing off full legs, and boxed jackets not allowing the waist to be cinched in. Most women wanted a boyish frame with fashion models becoming slim for the first time since the 1920’s female ideal. The contrast from 1950-1960’s was evidently huge and could be considered one of the biggest changes in the ever-changing ‘ideal’ of the female form throughout the decades.
The 1970’s again promoted the female body ideal as slim and slender. This image shows a 1970’s fashion model, showing less skin and flesh than a 1960’s model but still with an innocent look. However, the late seventies allowed women to dress with freedom and with maxi dresses and flares being high on the fashion front, women were able to cover many parts of their body with voluminous clothing and long tousled hair. The unkempt look was popular and ‘bed-head’ hair was seen for the first time, in the decade of peace and love!
The 1980’s female ideal often celebrated the legs, with very high cut swimwear and underwear. Shoulder pads were worn to emphasise the new power that some women had in their careers.
The 1990s made women want to look healthy. With toned, muscled slender bodies as the ideal female shape, women took exercise and health very seriously. Women wanted to be ‘girl next door’ character, with a natural and fresh appearance. This gave women a chance to work out alongside men at the gym and take sports seriously for the first time; the 1990s saw women want to be gym bunnies!
In the ‘naught-ies’, the size zero issue has become prominent and the debate is long from being over. Skinny models are seen all over the catwalks and many ‘average’ women aspire to be as skinny as possible, with this issue sometimes taking over their lives. Women are bombarded with diets, fitness regimes and celebrities showcasing the skinny ‘ideal’. Today we are trying to tackle the pressure on women to be skinny, emphasizing that they should be able to celebrate their body no matter what shape, size, age or ethnicity they may be.
Join us in showing the decade that we’re happy with our bodies and that we want to celebrate body diversity!
Post by Zina Graber
Zina is a fashion styling student from Cornwall who has a huge interest in celebrating the female form and individuality through styling. I want to be part of changing women’s negative perceptions of themselves so I have recently created a campaign that promotes global style and fashion diversity. The idea is to collect photos of individuals around the world, no matter who you are and showcase you’re style to the world. Check out “What Ya Wearing World?” and find Zina on Twitter @whatyawearingw