A Slimming Trend-Overview

Timeline

Women React

Pictures of women in television and related links

Eating Disorders

The Future of Women in Television

Sources

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Copyright 2000
Cherie L. Marcus
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Last Updated November 30, 2000


Timeline

1890s

1900s

1910s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000

One man's trash is another man's treasure. In other words, beauty is a subjective measure. Society's standards of beauty shift as womens figures have changed through the decades. Actress Lillian Russell is still considered one of the most beautiful women of all time, just as she was during her life at the turn of the twentieth century. At the peak of her fame, she weighed nearly 200 pounds. Marilyn Monroe, considered an American icon of beauty, had a full, curvaceous body during her popularity in the 1950s. A decade later, model Twiggy weighed around 90 pounds, creating a new image of what was considered a beautiful body.3

1890s

Actress Lillian Russell weighed around 200 pounds in the peak of her fame.

1900s

The first American brassiere is invented. Surgeons begin to use plastic surgery in private practices for cosmetic purposes.

1910s

Feminism spreads and women are portrayed as big and powerful. The images on magazines covers show little men against larger, stronger females.

1920s

The roaring twenties changes fashion trends for women. Women began to wear more revealing clothing such as the flapper dress. This popular fashion revealed arms and legs and allowed women to flirt with their sexuality. The dress donned a baggy fit to prevent the appearance of promiscuity. Women become more body and image conscious as they start to wear makeup and bobbed hair styles.

Tobacco companies begin to target women. The advertisements show that smoking can help control weight.

1930s

Modesty returns after the 1920s. Women's clothing starts to cover more of the body, and cleavage is viewed as obscene. The halter dress appears, but censors require that the navel is covered.

Bette Davis becomes an American icon. The 5'2" actress was an average weight.

1940s

Bra sizes are introduced.

Women are viewed as independent and strong. Posters give women encouragement by saying, "We Can Do It".

1950s

Marilyn Monroe becomes the 1950s pin-up icon. The beauty standards focused on large breasts.

1960s

Skirt hems rise and dieting becomes popular. The average fashion model weighs eight percent less than the average woman.

Fashion model Twiggy shifts the image of models. In her modeling peak, she was 5-feet-7-inches and weighed 91 pounds.

Feminists burn bras and female accessories in protest of the Miss America pageant.

1970s

The look shifts from thin to toned. Exercise becomes a more popular activity.

Fenfluarmine, an appetite suppressant, is approved by the FDA.

1980s

Singer Karen Carpenter dies of heart failure due to anorexia.

The average model weighs 23 percent less than the average American woman.

1990s

Five million American women suffer from eating disorders in 1990.

Fenfluarmine is taken off the market after heart disorders are linked to their use.

2000

Actresses including Calista Flockhart, Jennifer Aniston, and Gwyneth Paltrow are criticized for being excessively thin.

Plus-size models and actresses make a come-back and start to become more widely accepted.


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