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BEAUTY has always preoccupied women But over the past two centuries as women have gained more rights the association of self-worth and appearance has intensified There has been this enormous change from girls being principally concerned with good works to now being concerned with good looks as a measure of their self-worth says Joan Jacobs Brumberg author of The Body Project An Intimate History of American Girls and Fasting Girls The History of Anorexia Nervosa Brumberg attributes the transformation in girls behaviors to changes in technology the coming of mirrors modern hygiene the rise of consumerism and popular culture Attitudes towards attractiveness and ideals of beauty have changed drastically over the past centuries she says This timeline traces many of the body trends leading up to todays ultra-thin archetype 1950s Black magazines like Ebony preach the advantages of lighter skin Training bras and girdles become common Marilyn Monroe epitomi zes shifting beauty standards with a change in focus from weight to large breasts 1959 Phentermine Phen an appetite suppressant that increases the bodys metabolism is approved by the Federal Drug Administration to help speed weight loss 1960s Skirt hems rise and pants become acceptable for women Dieting becomes popular Weight Watchers is founded in 1963 recruits 500000 members and grosses 55 million in revenues Doctors prescribe amphetamines to women seeking weight loss 1963 The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan ignites the modern American womens movement 1965 The average fashion model weighs eight percent less than the average American woman The National Organization for Women advocating womens rights is founded in America 1967 British fashion model Twiggy arrives in America weighing 91 pounds on a 5-foot-7-inch frame triggering a shift in average sizes for fashion models 1968 Feminists burn bras make up and high heels to protest the Miss Am erica beauty pageant 1970s The toned look becomes popular contrasting the former thin ideal The trend continues into the 1980s with exercise tapes promoting fitness 1971
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