|« Stay thin 'is like a full-time job' - famous singer Claire Richards||Magic Of Stripes »|
Most women in the twentieth century fell for this ethereal image that denies woman’s earthy femininity, and makes of her an ethereal waif. This image was fed by the fad diet and beauty industry worth billions, and women and even girls barely in their teens bought into it. What is more, it is the rich in the Western world that had easy access to diets, to organically grown food, to health spas and personal trainers. The relatively poor brought up on a combination of calorie-rich food and sedentary lifestyle usually could not afford to be as thin.
At this point it may be useful to mention that most of the aristocratic women in Peter Paul Rubens's time were rather large and it was the norm for beauty. The less privileged women portrayed in the paintings of Vermeer were not so well-fleshed: slim meant poor at the time. But in the end of the 20th century, it was the rich and powerful that could be thin and chiseled: slim meant rich.