1950s advertising

Modeling, Post Processing, and Our Ever Changing Definition of Beauty

Friday, January 24, 2014 Kenny Muzzey

This goes without saying, but a lot has changed over the years.  The economy, popular brands, clothing, diet fads, advertising campaigns; everything and everything we once knew as children changes eventually.  

And the more time passes, the larger a change we see.  Cars once didn't come standard with seat belts, magazine ads portrayed blatant sexual bias', and the public had a much more favorable view of smoking cigarettes.... Just to name a few.  

And these changes, for the most part are often positive...  Efficiency, safety laws; better information and social standards.  As a society however, we have seemed to regressed on the standards for what defines beauty.  Take a look around; magazines, televisions, billboards.... Thin is In.  Or at least that is what mainstream media has lead us to believe.  

I am, oftentimes, shocked by how many of us believe what we see.  Perhaps, I've developed a photographer's eye, but so much time is spent post processing (photoshopping) images after they are initially shot.  The end result?  A vastly different image from what was originally taken.  Undesirable features are nipped, tucked, smoothed over, sharpened, erased and slimmed.

Once upon a time, what we now deem as imperfections, was celebrated as beautiful.  Did you know the average model in the 1950's capped out at about 5'8.5"?  Typical measurements for a model in the 50's came in at about 35-23-36.  Marilyn Monroe for example.  An undisputed iconic beauty from that era, was rumored to be a size 12-16.  Her small stature capped out at 5'5" and weighed roughly 115-135lbs.  Keep in mind, measurements have fluctuated somewhat, so by today's standards she'd be roughly a size 8.  

Compare that to today's model 'standard.'  

5'9" - 5'11"

If you are not a size zero or a size two, you just don't have what it takes to be model.  

The lesson?  Curves have definitely been more appreciated historically and skinny was seen as unattractive.  So what do you consider beautiful?  Have we regressed in terms of what defines beauty?  You be the judge.  But remember, you are only as strong as your weakest insecurity.  The individual who notices your flaws with the greatest frequency is oneself.  If you spend too much time examining your shortcomings under a microscope, you are going to miss the bigger picture.  You are beautiful.  Each and every one of you.  

Special thanks to OJ.

~Kenny Muzzey~
Halfstack Blogger & Photographer

Images provided and copyrighted by http://uberhumor.com & http://envisioningtheamericandream.com

You Might Also Like



Contact Form