Body Types Throughout the Ages

It's fascinating how different body types come in and out of vogue. Right now is a confusing time, on one hand we are dealing with an obesity epidemic yet there are many young girls (and also adult women) that have anorexia. According to Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old system of traditional medicine from India, every body type or dosha has its pros and cons. Vatas are the thinnest body types, Pittas are well-proportioned and of medium size and Kaphas are the heavier and more sturdy body types. In many cultures outside of the U.S., Kapha is the ideal body type which is viewed as kind, nurturing, stable and maternal. What I value from these principles is that there really isn't one body type that is better than another. Everyone has beauty despite what a fashion editor might dictate. I would like to see a future where we strive for health over body ideals. There is some hope in that there has certainly been a rise in appreciation for plus size models. Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty featuring real bodies has been very successful.

Spoiler alert: I recently saw Eat, Pray, Love. In an Italian pizza parlor, Julia Roberts says to her friend who was lamenting about the recent addition of a "muffin top", "Has a man ever thrown you out because of a few extra pounds?" Of course she nodded " "no". Julia went on to say, "He was just happy, to a have girl undressed in front of him." Now I'm not saying that all thin girls should run out and pack on weight just to be curvy. Audrey Hepburn never had a shortage of dates. Ultimately we are not our bodies. Our bodies just get us where we want to go. Women's bodies have certainly been pushed around a lot over history. Check out our ever changing beauty ideal through the ages:

If you are as fascinated with body image as I am I invite you to check out Jean Kilbourne's Website and videos. Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. is known for her work regarding the image of women used in advertising.

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