Like many of us, fitness blogger Cassey Ho of Blogilates feels a bit insecure when she sees so-called “perfect” bodies on her social media feed.
“The excessive amount of ‘belfies’ (aka, butt selfies) I was seeing on Instagram made me feel like there was something wrong with my small butt,” Ho told TODAY Style.
The fitness star certainly isn't alone in her feelings. Ho is sick of people judging women who don't fit whatever the latest standard of beauty is, so she decided to track historical beauty ideals in her new “Perfect Bodies Through History” project.
The social media star used Photoshop to alter her body to fit a series of historical beauty ideals — starting with 2018 and ending with the Italian Renaissance — providing commentary on the “it” look of each period next to a photo of herself.
Ho tried on the trendy wide hips, tiny waist and butt implants of the 2010s to 2018, for starters.
Mid-1990s to 2000s
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Then she tackled the mid-1990s to 2000s when big boobs, flat stomachs and thigh gaps reigned supreme.
The blogger discovered that thin was definitely in during the early '90s, and notes that angular bone structure and a skinny frame was disturbingly called “heroin chic.”
The hourglass shape of the 1950s came next. And then Ho tested the boyish, androgynous look of the 1920s.
Lastly, she explored the rounded stomach, large hips and ample bosom of the 1400s to 1700s.
1400 to 1700
Ho said she's wanted to explore beauty ideals throughout history for quite some time.
“I find it disturbing that an aspect of a woman's body can be deemed hideous in one era and then glorified in the next! The fact that women fall prey to these changing beauty standards and try to change their bodies to suit those ideals is something I've always wanted to bring attention to and discuss,” she said.
Social media users are definitely responding to Ho's positive message, with many sharing their own stories of body positivity.
Twitter user @DebsDoesDimples wrote: “I thought 'my body doesn't fit any of these eras', so does that mean it's timeless? Beauty is timeless.... and while I still dislike the shape and size of my body, I am always trying to accept it. Thank you for making this post”
@isabelc121 also chimed in: “Love yourself! Thin, full, tall, short, dark or light! Love yourself because you’re all you’ve got!”
It’s not the first time Ho has taken aim at unrealistic body standards. In 2015, the blogger airbrushed herself in a moving video that quickly went viral. After repeatedly reading hurtful comments about her body on social media, the Pilates instructor enhanced her bust, took in her waist and gave herself a virtual thigh gap with the help of Photoshop, naming the clip “The ‘Perfect’ Body.”
This time around, she definitely took away a few different lessons, though.
“I learned that media, art and men's desires are the dictators of beauty ideals. Only now has there been some change to that! I hope women can now be stronger drivers in the conversation of beauty,” Ho said.
The fitness expert said she's always been alarmed by the way society treats women's bodies and has a piece of advice for those struggling with body image.
“Don't treat your body like fast fashion — in one day, out the next. It's your flesh, meat and bones for goodness sake, not a piece of fabric! Treat your body with respect and love what you've got,” she said.