The "Ideal" Female Body

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I’ve been really interested in modeling and the modeling industry since I was about 7 or 8 years old. Because of this, for the past few years, I’ve been looking into different modeling agencies. However, most of the modeling agencies I’ve looked at require their models (more specifically, their runway models) to be at least 5’ 7” or 5’ 8”. I’m 5’ 6” at the tallest. The agencies’ requirements make me wonder why they are that way and how they got to be that way. They make me question if that is the “ideal” height a woman must be to be considered beautiful or “perfect”.

The topic of the “ideal” female body is really important to me because not only does it affect me and could potentially affect me as a model, it affects all women, and has been affecting women for thousands of years.

Opinions on what the female body should look like have existed since men and women were first created thousands of years ago. People’s opinions on the “perfect” female body have evolved and changed more in the last few hundred years than in the thousands of years humanity has existed.

Lesley Hornby, or more commonly known as Twiggy, was the first underweight woman to be a representation of the “ideal” female body (Meredith). Although the “ideal” female body size has gradually become skinnier, especially over the past thousand years, Twiggy’s famous era was the first time in history where the “ideal” female body size was/was near the Body Mass Index physical criteria for anorexia (Abraham).

Today, the average fashion model is 5’ 10” and weighs 110 pounds (Hesse-Biber). According to “The 50 Best Female Bodies in Sports”, “the ideal body is both sexy and muscular, and appealing and chiseled” (Rapp). It’s also commonly known that the “hourglass” shape is the “perfect” female body type, which requires a 36” bust, a 26” waist, and 36” hips. Obviously, everyone’s idea of the “perfect” female body is definitely not the same.

To be a fashion model today, however, as mentioned...
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