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.
Since the Roaring ’20s, the archetype has changed significantly. The perfect postmodern body now requires big chests and butts for a curvy shape, a slim waist, thigh gap and a toned abdomen.
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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