The ‘ideal’ body type

Women’s bodies are constantly under the eye of scrutiny.

Undoubtedly, the big names in the fashion industry are the ones who determine the ideal body type of any given era.

After World War II, ideals became more conservative. This era saw the emergence of the all-American woman—Playboy, Barbie, Marilyn Monroe, etc.

On another level, entertainment programmes meant for children also uphold these unrealistic body expectations.

From Cinderella (1950) to Frozen (2013), Disney princesses have impossibly narrow waists and tiny wrists.

It is sad to realise that entertainment carefully implants self-image issues in a girl’s mind at such a tender age!

Even though beauty standards vary from country to country, the larger narrative that emerges from the West primarily regulates them.

This makes body dysmorphia—an universal issue—especially grave in the age of social media influencing.

The male body goes through the same, to varying degrees. Men are expected to be muscular, reasonably tall, and have chiselled jawlines and six-pack abs.

Manscaping and hairlessness have become more prevalent, and hairy bodies are considered comical for some absurd reason.

The funny thing is men are expected to have all these but should not appear as trying too hard.