Woman's edited photos exposes 'ideal body' expectations: 'Which one is the real you?'

Fitness influencer Sia Cooper shared a series of edited photos to her 1.1 million followers, showing the evolution of what society deems “the perfect female body.”

She starts a century ago in the 1920s — where women were expected to have more of a boyish figure with flat chests and downplayed waists — to today, what Cooper dubs the “postmodern beauty” look.

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THE PERFECT FEMALE BODY THROUGH THE DECADES. TRIGGER WARNING:If I had the perfect body through the decades, this is how I would look. Roaring 20s: this body style was all about boyish. Women even opted for short hair. Boobs and waists didn’t matter and women felt liberated as they were. Hollywood Era 1950s: Women focuses on curves-think Marilyn Monroe. They didn’t care about weight, but a slimmer waist was ideal. Playboy was also introduced in this era. Swinging 60s & 70s: this was the area of the “twig” body style thanks to famous model Twiggy. Women wanted a thin and girly, adolescent appearance. Supermodel 80s: catwalks and supermodels became the it thing. Think Naomi Campbell abs Cindy Crawford. Lean and tall legs and an athletic body type were ideal. This was also when fitness started hitting big. Heroin 90s: the waif look took over once Kate Moss took the world by storm. This gaunt malnourished look was the thing as well as appearing androgynous-neither female or male. CK One was also created during this time. Postmodern Beauty aka today: it’s the era of @jlo and the Kardashians where big boobs and butts and flat tummies are on the rise. Women also turn to plastic surgery to achieve their desired look. Women are unhappier than ever with their appearance. It’s no wonder why we are all so obsessed and screwed up with our self appearances. We’ve let society tell us how to look for YEARS-it’s nothing new. If you want to be truly happy, focus on self acceptance and body love. Make this the decade you choose to forget what the media says and choose to love your own self as you are. Huge thanks to @blogilates for inspiring this! Comment your opinions below.

A post shared by SIA | FITNESS WORKOUTS RECIPES (@diaryofafitmommyofficial) on Feb 18, 2020 at 7:46am PST

The body type is unrealistic looking, which is exactly the point Cooper attempts to make. She mentions in the photo that the “perfect body” today is achieved exclusively through plastic surgery.

“Women are unhappier than ever with their appearance,” Cooper told Insider.

According to a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation has been the most popular procedure since 2006 and continues to increase in popularity (there was a 4% increase in the number of women who underwent the surgery between 2017 and 2018 and a 45% increase since 2000.)

Three of the top five most popular surgical procedures focus on “body enhancements.” From 2017 to 2018, there was also a huge surge in buttock augmentations and thigh lifts.

A 2012 UK study found that out of their pool of 204 participants, survey results indicated that women who rated their self-esteem, overall life satisfaction and attractiveness as “low” and rated their media exposure as “high,” were more likely to undergo surgery.

That’s why Cooper wanted to run this photo collection. Working full-time on Instagram made her susceptible to the same “ideal body” pressures other social media users were facing.

“I kept seeing the trend changing from thin back to thicker and back to thin again every 10 years or so,” she said to Insider.

The comments on Cooper’s post were majority positive, with many people being surprised to find out that apps existed to edit someone’s body so drastically.

“Learned yesterday that there are apps that help u change the shape of ur body for photos and videos,” one person responded.

“Wow, super creative and original content,” someone else wrote.

Another person asked, “Wondering which one is the real you,” to which Cooper replied with, “None.”

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