I was once a young swimmer with an insatiable hunger for burritos. My arms and legs were toned, but I carried extra layers of fat around my hips and had chipmunk cheeks. I did not feel beautiful, and I had to endure the shame of wearing a bathing suit for several hours every day. I didn’t look like Kate Moss, so how could I be beautiful? When I stopped being an athlete, I grew a soft belly and even bigger hips (and kept eating those burritos). I felt even farther from how I was supposed to look. I’ve since learned to love my curves and muscular shoulders, but it’s been a journey. It turns out, I was closer to “ideal” beauty than I could have imagined. If only I’d seen a video like this one from Buzzfeed when I was younger, it may have saved me some teenage anguish. I can identify with many of the women portrayed here.
Are you round in the hips? Big-boned? Flat-chested? Athletic? This video shows how the “ideal” body for women has changed throughout history, and the lengths women have gone to to achieve “perfection.” Every female body type, from super-thin to voluptuous, has at some point in history been the most desired. These 11 models in white leotards show us that all female bodies are beautiful (it goes for men too, but alas, there’s no video). From the symmetrical features of ancient Egypt, to the ample bosoms and hips of Renaissance Italy, to the screen sirens of the 1940s, to today, when it’s All About That Bass, you’re sure to find yourself or a woman you love among these archetypes.