When and why did modeling become an obsession with thin?

I've always wondered this. People talk about Marilyn Monroe and her size being a size 16 I think it was, but now models are under size 5. Why the change?

Updates:
Ok well if she was a size 8 today that's still considered to be fat in the modeling world I'm sure. At least with "supermodels". Actually even VS models aren't that size.
Oh I'm not hating on thing, saying fat is good, blah blah blah. I just never understood the sometimes understood the below normal thin.
Random number best answer goes to number 4.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Different generations have different ideals of attractiveness

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    • Ok they changed the update limit. This isn't a random number best answer. So ignore the update.

What Girls Said 11

  • When Twiggy came around and showed the world thin can be cute and/or beautiful

    We forget Marilyn popularized the hourglass shape, THAT'S more of what people found attractive. Not to mention she was gorgeous. Although many people(girls) try to put her down due to her actions(sleeping around, drugs).

    Thin detracts the attention away from the person wearing the clothing; hence advertising better on the runway.

    The clothing lines which use thin models are often Haute, or "House of ..." and those clothes are often targeted to foreign countries and the wealthy. America has a problem with obesity; the rest of the world does not (miraculously). The rest of the world has no problem being thin or within a healthy weight range. Wealthy people tend to be thin or within a healthy weight range. So those clothing lines with thin models are aimed toward those with money.

    However being a size 16 is plus sized, that's overweight and I don't feel there's any excuse for being overweight.

    I know I have an unpopular opinion, since overweight is "in" on the internet(which is why thin is put down so much on the internet, but irl it's different).

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    • I don't have a problem with thing, but from what I've seen they always look rail thing. I could understand like size 4-8 being models, but when you see like a size 0. It's just kinda gross, but that's just my opinion I guess.

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    • lol Yeah. Seems like someone is always offended somehow when you ask anything about looks. So I guess you must be into fashion? You seem to know a lot.

    • No lmao

      Not really...the most I'm into is handbags and modeling for those doesn't require anyone special.

      I like regular brands like...Levi's, American Eagle, Forever21, Charlotte Russe, Macy's. I'm a typical teenage girl.

      I find Haute Couture to be tacky. They often have these wacky ass hats and dresses.

      But no, not really into fashion.

  • The reason why the models are required to be so thin - primarily runway models - is because the clothes they wear psychologically look better on a tall thin person. When you watch a fashion show you aren't suppose to pay attention to the model but observe what the model is wearing. How the garment drapes, what the trends are, how the garment is overall.

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  • Hold on hold on, yeah you're right she was NOT a size 16 nor an 8, she's like a size 4-6 in todays sizing even her wardrobe assistant said so, and the reason models are thin is because #1 if you put a thicker girl in it #1 more fabric, #2 you won't see the clothing but the girl herself, models are meant to be like clothing hangers, sad to say so you can notice the clothes, not the girl

    -I've worked in the industry

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    • lol Clothing hangers. It sounds kinda funny yet creepy that the same time. Like the girl is just a tool and nothing more.

    • yeah it's sad but that's why it's called a model, it's a model for the clothing and nothing more :) unless people point the individual then yes, but we're just chosen, put on what we're told & dress what the designer or owner want. People criticize them but it's a tough job, you're basically criticized, and people who go to the extremes & blame models is just unfair, I blame the parents for not educating them. We just do our job & nothing more :) clothes hangers we are sadly

    • also on a sider, back then people who were portly were considered beautiful because it used to mean they were wealthy & had a lot of food to eat, in todays time it's the opposite, If you're portly or over weight it shows you of a lower class than being thin, The least healthy food are cheaper & make you gain weight, diabetes, cholesterol, etc while organic & quality foods are expensive & gym memberships are expensive so it's like showing off your wealth thing :/ in today's society (not modeling)

  • well it's just the way things work. it's kind of crazy

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  • I do not know.

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  • models in her day were still thin, its just that curviness was more attractive. I know she would be a size 14 or so today. she was taller as well though.

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    • im sure her weight fluctuated but she is much curvier in shape than todays models regardless of her size. kim kardashian is pretty small in size but 10x curvier than most models I see today. marilyn looks bigger in some photos which is natural because our weight changes over time. also sizes are different. I think she was an American 12/14 but I've heard 16 as well. she definitely was a size 4 at her peak.

    • link

      link

      link

      lol NONE of that looks like a size 4. size 4: link

    • *she definitely was not a size 4 at her peak.

  • I don't understand American sizing. I am size 6 Australian, I think that is the same as 0 American, as anything smaller is children's clothes. Size 16 is quite big though. I don't think she was that big. Also she was an actress not model. Models are tall and thin to make the clothes look better. Your suposed to be looking at the clothes, that's why models always have a blank looking expression.

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    • From searching for a conversion chart a size 6 there is a size 2 here.

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    • It would be a size 4, but since that doesn't exist it would be kids clothes.

    • Yeah size 4 doesn't exist in womens clothes here lol it goes 6,8,10,12,14,16 then there are plus sizes into the 20's.

  • Fashion Industry's rules. Their game their rules. I once heard the reason for this was because of the gay designers and they wanted the models to resemble little boys?

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  • She was not a modern day 16. At all. She was much smaller. They changed the sizes as America has gotten fatter and fatter.

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    • What do you think she would be today? She's still not like a size 2 or anything. I would guess she must be like a 6 or 8? Maybe more.

    • 6 or 8 maybe? Either way, she had a great body. Way better than those stick skinny sh*ts if you ask me.

  • In Reality. She was actually only a size eight if you compare the sizing from then to now. They made smaller sizes bigger over the years to make woman feel better. So it hasn't really changed. Just sizing has.

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    • PLAYBOY modles, are many different sizes. She was NOT a supermodle. She was a nude magazine modle. Size eight is accepted in mags. Not on the runway. She was not there.

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    • Obviously she wasn't a runway model. However, people love to complain and overlook magazine models since they tend to be nobody's. People just want a reason to complain, especially women in America

    • Exactly. Just like people assume. But indeed. She was just a mag modle, none other than that. Just mag :P

  • the sizes back then are bigger than the sizes now, so by today's measurements, she's probably be a size 8.

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What Guys Said 5

  • Well, there are a number of changes.

    One, sizes have changed dramatically as clothes makers try to pretend that the average woman isn't fat, which she is. A long time ago, '36-24-36' was considered an ideal, curvy, hourglass woman. I just looked at the sizes for gap women's jeans, that would be between a 0 and a 00. People shriek about the existence of 00 and 0, yet those sizes were not even considered 'thin' 40 years ago.

    Marilyn was NOT a runway model, they were never that curvy. Glamour models today are not super thin ... well they are often quite thin but ...

    Breast enlargement surgery has changed the game. It used to be that you were not going to find large breasts on a thin woman. You can find them now, outside a surgeon's office.

    Runway models are extremely thin and tall, which means that no matter what crap designers put out, no woman seeing it on a runway model considers that it has any chance of making her look fat.

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  • Because they feel that they can push the limits of the body? I don't know but its insanity to push women to drop that amount of weight. I'm not saying I have anything against thin women , but I'm someone who hates seeing people struggling to lose weight or change themselves because of an insecurity or what someone else said/prefers. Its just how I see things.

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  • In my opinion models change in line with the societal ideals not the other way around. If being overweight became "in" models would gain weight overnight. On average our society prefers a girl around size 5 to a size 16 but things may have been different back then I'm not sure.

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    • Pretty sure models are smaller than those sizes though. And since everyone is going on about how she'd be a size 8 I doubt she'd get very far.

    • Maybe not as a model, but as an actress I'm sure she could get away with it. It's not like being a size 8 makes girls unattractive.

  • Female body insecurity is highly profitable.

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  • Um.. as I recall a size 16 isn't what a size 16 is today. At least that's what dress make told me. So, if you're thinking Marilyn Monroe look like a woman who is a size 16 today, I think you'd be wrong.

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    • *sigh* Thanks for telling me what every other answerer said. lol

    • Time is money. I don't have to read all the other answers. I'll bill you later :)

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