A body confidence writer has revealed how her figure would look if she were to have the ‘perfect’ figure from the past seven decades.
Starting in the 1950s, Alex Light, 31, from London, used the Facetune application on her mobile phone to transform herself and make the point that ‘ideal’ body types are fleeting and unrealistic.
The beauty editor, who edited the same straight-on and profile shot of herself every time and shared the results on Instagram, sparked a conversation about how people tend to view their self-image according to trends.
Alex told how she came up with the idea while reading an article about the dangers of Brazilian bum lifts.
She said: ‘They are so dangerous and people are going to these extreme lengths to get a figure that is unrealistic and it’s kind of just for a standard that is of the moment.
‘So I read this article and I think it’s crazy because, think of the standard of beauty back 10 years ago and 20 years ago. They’re all at odds with each other and it’s crazy and we seem to blindly follow each of these trends.
‘So I thought it would be good to highlight that actually what might be in trend now won’t be in fashion in 10 years, so just be who you are rather than follow a trend – especially if it’s going to lead to dangerous consequences.’
Alex tended to find that the ‘ideal’ body hinged upon who was in the spotlight at the time.
During the 1950s the ever-growing popularity of Marilyn Monroe gave rise to the hourglass figure, while the 1960s and 1970s saw the beginning of the ‘thin’ and ‘petite’ image demonstrated by Twiggy and Farah Fawcett.
n the 1980s, the athletic look sported by models like Elle MacPherson was in vogue, followed by ‘heroin chic’ in the Nineties, which Alex branded the ‘thinnest feminine ideal in history’.
The beginning of the Noughties saw a return to washboard abs, this time with a thigh gap and big boobs, followed by the Kim Kardashian-esque ‘bootylicious’ hourglass figure of the 2010s.
Alex concluded with 2020, in which she shared the unedited photos of her body as it is, and said she felt better about her own image after doing the project.
She said: ‘I actually felt better about myself because I thought it’s absolutely nothing to do with us or our bodies or what our bodies lack or what standard they don’t meet, it’s to do with a warped perception of perfection that actually changes.
‘It’s like an ephemeral ideal and it changes and transforms, and we can never meet all of those ideals, so why not just be exactly who we are?’
Speaking about the pressures young girls now feel to conform to an ideal body type, Alex added: ‘With social media and we have so much more access to plastic surgery nowadays.
‘I think with Instagram, unfortunately people are not even changing their bodies through plastic surgery but changing them through Photoshop and editing apps that are really simple to use.
‘It’s creating and perpetuating this ideal that young girls feel that they need to live up to, and that’s why they’re going to extreme lengths to do so. I guess we’re hardwired as humans to want to fit in and fit the norm.’
Alex now hopes to continue spreading her message about body confidence and the dangers societal pressures and diet culture have on young women.
She added: ‘I would say that you’re absolutely fine as you are. There’s no need to change a thing, trends will come and go and we believe that once we meet this ideal, that perfection, that we’re gong to be happy, but that’s not where happiness comes from.
‘It comes from building a fulfilling life – that’s where true contentment lies, and looking a certain way isn’t going to be your legacy, so don’t spend your time and energy focusing on it.’