Beauty ideal over the course of time

At no time did the perfection of outward appearance have such a place as in the present. The body plays a very important role in the self-esteem of humans. However, the quest for beauty is not an invention of the modern age. It has accompanied people since antiquity, perhaps even since there are people, reported Dr. Lutz Kleinschmidt, senior physician of the Park Hospital Schloss Bensberg, at the 4th International Dietetics Congress of the Society of Nutritional Medicine and Dietetics in Aachen.

Ideals of beauty: as old as humanity?

From time immemorial, people have tried to change their appearance through, for example, jewelery or painting, that is, to embellish it. What has changed is only the desired ideal. Every culture and every time has different models that are extremely different.

However, the ideals of beauty of modern times are more and more similar between different cultures. The reason lies in the general globalization, mainly characterized by the global spread of the media and their protagonists such as stars from film and television as well as models. The current ideal of beauty of the female body shows very slender, sometimes even bony, by the preferred Breitschultrigkeit in some ways androgynous forms.

In the past, "well-meaning" was considered beautiful

For many thousands of years, obesity was regarded as the ideal of beauty prior to this change. Here was a preference for voluminous bellies and big breasts. The fat reserves were then as a guarantor for the rearing of the next generation. In the Greek Classical, male and female beauty, especially the proportions, were at the center of the ideal. Through the spread of Christianity in the Middle Ages, the ideal of beauty changed, so that there was no naked representation of women's bodies for centuries.

Beauty ideals: from the industrial age to the 80s

It was not until the 20th century that the ideal of beauty changed fundamentally. The women developed in this time a new self-employment. As an outward sign, they cut their hair off and aimed for a very slender, androgynous figure. Through the Second World War, the more feminine forms prevailed again. Motherhood and well-fed women were rich and beautiful in the post-war privations.

The 50s and 60s were initially characterized by women with long legs, narrow waist and big breasts. But clothing size 44, such as that by Marilyn Monroe, no longer fit into the image of social transformation and feminism at the end of the 1960s. The model Twiggy finally shaped a new ideal. She brought with her 42 kilograms at 170 centimeters numerous women also a new disease, anorexia. From the 1980s onwards, the beauty ideal alongside the narrow hips was a broader shoulder and a bigger breast.

And what about the men?

In men, the ideal of beauty has not changed so much. Broad shoulders and a tall stature were always sought. The beauty care, which until the 18th century was also common in men (at that time wigs, make-up) is, however, for a few years for men again generally accepted and is no longer considered unmanly as for the most part in the 19th and 20th centuries. Besides the women, "man" does something for his appearance as well.

Today, both sexes strive to emulate the beauty models through aerobics, fitness and dieting. In addition, for the first time in human history, it is possible to approach this desired ideal through surgical intervention.

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