Article 2000s

Beauty ideals over the decades: 2000’s

The biggest change of the 21st century was the sexualization. Women were encouraged to be independent, youthful, though, sexually liberated and ambitious fashionistas (e.g. “sex and the city”). The media was filled with virgin teen-stars, starring as the hottest sex symbols, or children of famous becoming “it girls” after an “accidental” scandal of some kind. Reality-TV became a thing, and you could now be famous for being famous, which again started a whole new level of fame obsession. (As I mentioned in my previous post) The modern society is very loud, so one has to scream even louder for attention (e.g. Lady Gaga is to modern society what Madonna was to the 80’s). The reaction was television shows, movies and music videos that seemed more like soft porn, and stage outfits that looked more like lingerie. What before had been an ideal of cool, sweet or wholesome role-models was quickly traded in for a rebellious “bombshell” look. Many turned to silicon, fake tan, and hair extensions to acquire that “flawless diva look” (which could also be described as a form of “peacocking”).  Starting the new millennia with a shiny and metallic revival of the 60’s futuristic style, we continued into the 2000’s with the glam factor as high as ever. The new retro revival was the neon colored 80’s and the psychedelic, hippie, glamorous, 70’s. Bling was everywhere, fur was “classy”, earrings were big, the skin was supposed to be glowing, eyeshadow and lipgloss was shimmering. Popular clothing was either cropped, cut-out, short or scooped, or in other cases just very close fitting and revealing. Do you remember the sexy pimp look, the sexy gipsy or the sexy kick-ass heroine? Sexy was the look, in almost every look.Natural (“mousy”) hair-colors were perceived as plain, and the most popular choices was blond, dark brown/black, and a range of red to purple. To spice up the hair even further, highlights, lowlights, wavy and layered hairstyles were very popular. In the mid 2000s artist’s such as Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez became celebrated for their healthy curves. Their “mixed” look made it easier to appeal equally to several groups of ethnicity, because more people were able to identify with them (I like to call this, “the exotic trend”). The light wanted to be dark and the dark wanted to be light, and it looked a bit like: Blue eyes, dark hair and tan skin vs. brown eyes, light hair and tan skin. The trend at it’s peek, resulted in what I prefer to call the “fake” look, and the term “tanorexia” was born (someone who is addicted to tanning).  At the turn of the century, the typical cover/spokesmodel was exchanged for actresses and pop stars. Everyone wanted to be a Victorias secret supermodel, or at least look like one, and by 2007 eating disorders was at it’s peak in Hollywood. In fact, from the year 1999 to 2010, the death of famous people suffering from anorexia was as great, as the sum of anorexia deaths (of famous people) in the rest of the 20th century alone. The media frenzy began with a growing number of underweight models and some cast members of the hit Tv-show, “Ally McBeal”. Later the torch was passed on to Lindsay Lohan, Keira Knightley, Nicole Richie, Kate Bosworth, Tara Reid, and so on…Many blamed fashion or the media in general, and the “Rachel Zoe style” was considered as a connection between the desire to be thin as a look.  In the early 2000s the silhouette was very slender to curvy-skinny. The body should appear firm, chesty or just plain super slender, but (no pun intended) very soon bootylicious was on the rise and the fuller hourglass followed. The online experiments of the University of Regensburg had divided the modern ideal (last updated 2007) into four typical looks and suggested that there were different ideal types depending on the observer.  1. the average women’s figure with “standard measures” (The girl next door, Britney Spears and Jennifer Aniston)2. classical 90-60-90-Type, with an hourglass figure  (The curvy temptress, Beyonce, Salma Hayek)3. the sportive type: masculine, tight pelvis, but big breasts  (Serena Williams and other athletic women)4. the “Barbie type”: thin, big breasts, tight pelvis, long legs  (The supermodel barbie, Angelina Jolie, Tyra Banks). This time with flaws and all, created the foundation for the body ideal and trend interpretation we have today. The line between equalization and objectification had never before been so blurred, and was the first real awakening of how damaging an unrealistic body image could be.  ICONS OF THE 21st CenturyBeyonce, Britney Spears, Heidi Klum, Salma Hayek, Tyra Banks, Christina Aguilera, Kate Moss, Calista Flockhart, Jennifer Lopez, Victoria Beckham, Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman, Adriana Lima, Gisele Bundchen, Snookit, Paris Hilton,  Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Angelina Jolie and Lucy Liu.

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Article 1990s 2

Beauty ideals over the decades: 1990’s

The 1990’s was the beginning of the rejection of fashion. This lead to the popularization of the “Casual chic” look, including t-shirts, jeans, hoodies and trainers, which we still have today. Street wear was in and couture was on it’s way out. The modern woman was a working woman who needed to dress in a more practical and efficient way. She was also supposedly equal to the man, and at this point women and men dressing in a similar style had become a regular thing (Both dressing as men, that is..). Fashion had more to do with the expression of a personal style than the old fashioned “proper” way to dress like a lady or a gentleman. The effect became a wider range of styles to choose from, and an understanding that fashion was a way to signalize who you were, on a deeper level. The silhouette was minimalistic, straight, oversized or boxy. You could have a messy and casual grunge look, be punk, hippie or goth, be a clean modern preppy, smart casual, or business casual, be a playful or classy minimalist, have a colorful and oversized hip hop style, or just wear flashy fashion statements. Depending on what group you belonged to, “the choice was yours”. All of the 90’s featured many styles never publicly accepted before, and definitely added a new twist to the ideal of beauty with it’s anti-fashion mix and match clothing, silly hats, platform shoes, as well as the start of the tattoo and piercing trend (You no longer had to be a rocker type to have one). But, the biggest change of the 90’s was probably the new acceptance of the edgy or quirky look as a fashion style. With the help of iconic anti-heroes in television, film, and the fashion icons embracing this look, being a “misfit” quickly turned into “cool individualist”. This change opened the door to a more relaxed and playful form of beauty and a new type of woman. In the beauty department, makeup and hair trends dictated that the skin should appear matte and flawless, eyebrows defined or super thin, noses very narrow and small, “sucked in” cheeks was hot, body glitter and bedazzling was cool, and lips were supposed to be full with a deep red lipstick or frosted with a pencil outline. The Rachel haircut became a big hit throughout the entire 90’s and then some. Other popular hairstyles were slightly odd, messy, crimped, straight or just plain natural, and both men and women started to cut their hair short.  The 1990’s had two main beauty ideals. On one side there was the glamazon super model, such as Elle Macpherson, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, with their athletic, but curvaceous figures. On the other side there was Kate Moss who marked the beginning of the ‘waif’ look (A physical presence of youth and extreme thinness; a fashion style featuring this look), and started a revolution not only in modeling but also consumer fashion. Off the runway the ideal could be divided it into four accepted looks. 1. The thin, straight figure (Brick and Column), 2. The athletic (Cornet), 3. The chesty but slender (lollipop and goblet), and 4. The slimmer fit version of the classic hourglass (hourglass and vase). At this time it was still considered to be a sign of overweight to have a large bottom or thick thighs in the western society, and the pear-shape was a negative word. Larger women were basically never cast as the “hot girl” which sent the message, “only skinny girls are beautiful” (Although, plus size modeling was already a profession).  The 90’s was really big on skinny, short skirts, cropped tops, bellybutton piercings, the braless look, and large knockers, so the pressure to having perfect boobs, slender long legs, a flat tummy and abs was huge. It did not take long before the plastic surgery and dieting trend eventually started to blossom, and the pressure kept rising all the way into the new millennia.  ICONS OF THE 90sSuper models Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Cristie Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigova, Nadja Auermann, Carla Bruni, Tatiana Sorokko, Helena Christensen, Yasmeen Ghauri, Stephanie Seymour, Carolyn Murphy, Amber Valetta, Shalom Harlow, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Anniston, Pamela Anderson, Catherine Zeta Jones, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Princess Diana, Bjørk, Michelle Pfeifer, Katie Holmes, Christina Appelgate, Shannon Doherty, Juliana Marguiles, Neve Campbell, Gillian Anderson, Keri Russel, Teri Hatcher, Jenna Elfman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Calista Flockhart, Kellie Martin, Melissa Joan Hart, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Lisa Bonet, Courtney Cox, Jennie Garth and Heather Locklear.

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Article 1980s

Beauty ideals over the decades: 1980’s

Model Brooke Shields was an icon of the time, and the late 80’s marked the beginning of the age of the supermodel. There were more women of mixed, or non-European ethnic and racial backgrounds portrayed in the media, than ever before (Although still not nearly in proportion to the population). Women step into the spotlight as the career-woman was “born”, and power-dressing became exceedingly popular. This was an “age of excess”, which was easily translated into fashion. In general, the bigger and bolder, the better. It was the decade of big hair, big shoulders, and over-the-top makeup.  The 1980’s woman was a fresh faced “all american girl” with a wholesome figure. The aerobics obsession of the 80’s continued to emphasize fitness for women, and the female body was expected to maintain a certain weight, but still appear toned, all without being too muscular. Although the ideal size was fuller than the 90’s and the early 2000’s, all these body restrictions still caused eating disorders to skyrocket throughout the decade. Between cropped football player shirts and shiny spandex leggings (that was just a few of the typical trends that was considered sexy), the body was very much on display. At this point in history, being sexy was an acceptable and expected thing for most young people.  The silhouette was oversized, high-waisted, cropped and cut off. Floral patterns, neon and pastel colors, puffy sleeves and skirts, shoulder pads, ripped sweatshirts, fanny packs, stone-washed straight legged jeans, big earrings, lace and pearls, were hot commodities. Oversized gold jewelry were used by both men and women, and tracksuits worn even when not exercising. The beauty ideal was somewhere between overdone and unkempt, and natural makeup was uncommon. The ideal woman had bold “virgin” eyebrows, wore blue eyeshadow or eyeliner matched with shiny pink lips. Nose jobs was on the rise and the beauty spot’s was the “it” thing to have.   Many styles from the late 70’s remained fashionable in the early 80s, but soon both men and women began wearing looser shirts and tight, close-fitting trousers. In the mid 80’s, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper became fashion icons for young women with their “street urchin” look, which popularized the heavy makeup with vibrant neon colors and intentionally messed-up and off-colored hair, short skirts worn over leggings, brassieres worn as outer clothing, crucifix jewelry, and fishnet gloves. Michael Jackson sported the “jheri curl” (a sparkling wet-looking, heavily processed version of the Afro), and some middle-class teen-agers adapted the punk-influenced spiked hairstyle. Androgyny was also an important look of the 80’s, from Boy George, to Sinead O’Connor’s shaved head, to the Glam rock, Goth fashion and Heavy Metal bands, with their makeup and wild, long and dyed hair. There are only two words to describe 80’s hair: big and bigger, with multiple cans of aerosol hairspray in it. The choices were wild, crimped, permed, dyed or sun bleached. It was the beginning of hip hop, the golden age of “the mullet” and “the rat tail”.In opposition to these trends, a new romantic or neoconservative “preppy” look was also in, popularizing traditional short hairstyles for men and women, and not to forget the “New Romantic”, “Yuppie” or “The Miami Vice style”. Many of the iconic beauty ideals of the 80’s might have been unconventional and extreme, but it was due to the fact that the true ideal was to make an impact and create attention. It certainly made it’s impact on fashion history as the infamous 80’s look has paved the way for any fashion related extreme form of self-expression ever since. ICONS OF THE 80sBrooke Shields, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Demi Moore, Princess Diana, Meg Ryan, Joan Collins, Lea Thompson, Daryl Hannah, Lisa Whelchel, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tawny Kitaen, Jennifer Grey, Kathleen Turner, Carrie Fisher, Ally Sheedy, Claudia Schiffer, Paula Abdul, Kim Basinger, Grace Jones, Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith, Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephanie Seymour, Christy Turlington, Helena Christensen, Iman, Linda Evangelista, Linda Evans, Whitney Houston and Cyndi Lauper.

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Article 1970s

Beauty ideals over the decades: 1970’s

Women began to revolt in the 1970’s. They wanted to be treated equal to men and empowered themselves by becoming self-sufficient, and stepped out of the kitchen and into the work-place. They had already started burning their bras (late 60’s) and wearing pants. This to rebel against their role as a sexual object and prove that “she” could be one of the boys (…or better).  As the era of the housewife was coming to an end, the motherly curves was out, and the cinema icon was no more. Instead, it was replaced by the free-spirited new ideal, of the independent, youthful and naturally skinny woman with a tan and rosy cheeks. After the cinched waists of the 50s and the super-slim models of the 60s forever changed the way women viewed their bodies, by the 1970s, the thinking-thin phenomenon was in full force.  The silhouette was slim and flared, and the androgynous hippie look was worn by both women and men.Clothing became sexier as the disco-style became the “it” thing. The classic look with lady-like dresses and classic suits became more loosely fitted. The glamour look became more revealing, paired with wilder hair and lots of accessories, such as bangles, pearls and fur. Most women aspired to imitate the ultra-glam ‘Studio 54′ look popularized by Bianca Jagger. Another big icon of the 70’s was the fresh-faced Farrah Fawcett. Her blown-out waves and natural makeup, demonstrated a mixture of the hippie ideals of beauty and the early disco trends. The bronzed skin, glossy lips, and layered, feathered haircut, revolutionized women’s beauty and became the look that every woman wanted to have.  This decade marked the beginning of the bronzed beach look and with it, the popular tanning booth trend. Women also began relying on bronzers and self-tanners to get that Charlie’s Angels look.Typical for this era was lots of wrap-style dresses, oversized sunglasses, very close fitting high-waisted jeans, bell-bottom pants, shirts with long pointy collars, frilly and flowy dresses, Mexican peasant blouses, platform shoes, shiny materials, sequins, tie-dye, batik fabrics, paisley and psychedelic prints. Strong or natural colors, highlighter colors, mismatched patterns, and colors such as brown, orange, yellow and red was very popular.  The standards of beauty reflected the values and commotion of the 70’s revolution, and natural beauty became the new look. Hair became a symbol of the era, as a powerful aid for projecting an image or making a statement. For most of the decade, men and women of all ethnicities wore their hair long, natural and above all free. Other new and typical hairstyles of the 70’s were, Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill’s short and sassy wedge cut. Men adapted Farrah’s “wingback” style into the center-parted, “feathered” hairstyle. The “rebellious” afro hairstyle remained popular and was also adopted by many mainstream men and women. Toward the end of the decade the punk movement arose in opposition to the hippie-influenced values of the era. Punks created a deliberately shocking, provocative look that included spiked hairdos dyed bright fluorescent colors, shaved and tattooed scalps, facial piercings and spectacular makeup. Although the 70’s played a big part in the history of the thinner ideal, it also spawned a revival of a more casual and natural look. Which in it’s own way has paved the way for the focus on diversity and that healthy body image that we are so conscious about today. Another important message from the androgynous 70’s (other than peace and love), is that fashion and clothing can be a powerful tool in the development of a more generous ideal and gender equality. The objectification of the female body, and the predetermined roles and virtuous of what a man or a woman should be, has often been enforced through mainstream fashion. The lesson that the 1970’s started to teach us, is that you shouldn’t have to erase or reinforce your gender-identity to demand the respect you deserve, or look or dress a certain way to be “woman/man enough”.As the 70’s icon, Iggy Pop recently said  -“I’m not ashamed to dress “like a woman”, because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.” Just think about it….  SOME FASHION ICONS OF THE 70sFarrah Fawcett, Bo Derek, Jacqueline Bisset, Brooke Shields, Dorothy Hamill, Bianca Jagger, Angelica Huston, Olivia Newton John, Marie Helvin, Liza Minnelli, Cher, Patti Hansen, Debbie Harry (Blondie), Faye Dunaway, Jerry Hall, Ali Macgraw, Iman, Beverly Johnson, Janice Dickinson, Christie Brinkley Original article : 12/2/2014 –

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Beauty Ideals over the Decades: 1960’s

The 60’s was all about youth and rebellion. It was the era that brought us hippies, “mods”, Twiggy, and the biggest change in ideals of the 20th century. It was the start of feminism and the hippie era. Designers started producing clothing more suitable for young adults, which lead to an increase in interest and sales. Jackie Kennedy introduced the pillbox hat, Mary Quant invented the mini skirt, and the bikini came into fashion in 1963 after being featured in the musical “Beach Party”. The ideal was super skinny and girly or ultra feminine and curvy.  Women were once again moving out of the domestic sphere and into the workplace, pursuing careers as well as an education. As a result, in the early to mid-60’s women reacted against the time-consuming, complex hairstyles of the 50’s and went for more practical short styles.Mimicking the popular skinny models of the day (such as Twiggy), women became obsessed with being rail thin. In terms of fashion and beauty, two polar opposites emerged: the androgynous hippie flower child and the modern swinging 60’s woman.  The very modern “Twiggy-girl” put time into her appearance and favored things like high boots (go-go boots), A-line coats, miniskirts, short shift dresses, culottes, PVC clothes and box shaped dresses. She also opted for short pixie cuts and dramatic eyes. There was only one makeup look throughout the 60’s, and it is famous for it’s black bold eyeliner, fake lashes and lighter lips. Mascara was applied to achieve the popular tarantula lashes.The hippie movement started late in the decade, having a strong influence on ladies’ clothing style, with emphasis on casual materials and shapes like bell-bottoms, tunics, and platform shoes. It also featured long no-maintenance hairstyles and typically avoided makeup.Popular culture, especially rock ‘n’ roll, had a big influence on the standards of fashion and beauty. In 1964, The Beatles created a revolution in men’s hairstyles with their their “mop tops”, making long hair fashionable for the first time since the 18th century. The British youth culture “Mods”, focused on fashion and music, and was known for driving around on scooters wearing well-tailored suits. Social movements such as Black Power and the anti-Vietnam War campaign also helped shape the perception of beauty in the 60’s. Many African-Americans rejected white-influenced styles such as the conk, and adopted the Afro as a sign of black pride.  The silhouette was straight, boxy, fluted and A-line. Some of the main styles were, lady like, preppy, girly innocence, ultra feminine elegance, and the hippie look.Accessories were less of an importance and the focus was on colors and tones. Lots of bold prints, stark contrasts and bright colors.  SOME FASHION ICONS OF THE 60sSuper skinny model Twiggy were in stark contrast to the actresses of the time, Jane Fonda (Barbarella), Sophia Loren (the “perfect” hourglass), Catherine Deneuve, Ann-Margret and Ursula Andress. Jackie Kennedy was also an important fashion icon.

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