The idea of the "perfect" female body type has changed drastically throughout history, but one thing has remained true over the years: These ideas are all a bunch of BS. It seems that, regardless of what century it is or what's going on in the world, there is somehow always some bogus beauty standard that women are told to live up to. Does that make you want to bang your head against the wall? If so, then first of all, same. Second of all, you should see Cassey Ho's Instagram of "perfect" bodies throughout history, because it completely squashes these arbitrary ideas in the best way possible.
In her Instagram post, Ho, a fitness trainer and creator of the popular YouTube channel Blogilates, posted several different photos from an app that had photoshopped her figure to look like the "perfect" body type, according to different time periods throughout history. If you swipe through the photos in her post, you can clearly see how different Ho looks in 2018's version of "the perfect body" compared the '90s, the '50s, and so on.
I, for one, think that Ho made an incredible point in this post. Beauty standards are ridiculous and harmful for so many reasons, but one of the more subtle reasons is that the idea of what's considered to be "perfect" clearly changes all the time — so, clearly, it's all nonsense.
Basically, Ho is reminding her followers that it's a total waste of time to spend your life trying to conform to an unrealistic ideal, particularly one that's constantly being reimagined anyway. "Why do we treat our bodies like we treat fashion?" she asked in her caption. "'Boobs are out! Butts are in!' Well, the reality is, manufacturing our bodies is a lot more dangerous than manufacturing clothes. Stop throwing your body out like it’s fast fashion." Preach, girl.
"Please treat your body with love & respect and do not succumb to the beauty standard," Ho continued in her Instagram caption. "Embrace your body because it is YOUR own perfect body."
The fact of the matter is that achieving self-love and body acceptance can be a difficult journey, regardless of who you are. But, as Ho said in her Instagram post, treating your body with respect is, above all, the golden rule. Moreover, all of the body types depicted in Ho's post are beautiful in their own way, and what the fitness trainer really wants to know is, who has the right to decide that one of them isn't? Curves can be beautiful, thin bodies can be beautiful, fat bodies can be beautiful, cellulite can be beautiful — it all depends on what beauty means to you as an individual.
So, rather than let other people tell you what's considered "in" or "out" at a certain point in time, Ho is suggesting that you take a moment to see the beauty in all different kinds of bodies, and simply let go of the idea of "perfection."
The fitness trainer followed her initial post with another, unedited Instagram photo of her real body, today, in 2018. She confessed in the second Instagram caption,
You know, this project was so interesting to me because as I was looking at myself getting photoshopped, I thought that I might secretly like one of the results. But the super odd thing was…all of them didn’t sit right with me. Not one! As obvious as it is to say this, I didn’t look like myself in the photos. I actually much prefer my body just as it is. Sure I’ve got a small butt, small boobs, a soft belly, and hip dips, but I’ve also got powerful legs, strong shoulders, and a figure that is all mine – unlike anyone else’s.
Celebrating the sheer fact that your body is your own, not to mention all the unique things only your body can do, sounds way more rewarding than worrying about what complete strangers think you "should" look like.
Thank you, Cassey, for reminding us of that.