If You Think Models Are Getting Smaller, This Study Says You’re Not Wrong

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If you’ve noticed in the last 20 years that models on the runway are getting smaller and smaller as the years go on, you’re totally right. During a study published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal entitled, “Unattainable Standards of Beauty,” researchers from Boston University School of Medicine measured and compared the body measurements for Victoria's Secret models from 1995 to 2018. 

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The study showed that over the years the average body weight of Victoria’s Secret models has decreased and their breast, waist, hips and dress size have shrunk as well. Additionally, the researchers used waist-hip ratio (WHR), which measures body fat distribution, as a gauge to help quantify female body attractiveness. The data showed that while the model’s bodies were smaller, their WHR remained the same. So, in other words, today’s models are thinner and smaller, but expected to have the same curves and body shapes as their sturdier predecessors. 

“Conversely, the average American woman's waist circumference and dress size has increased and varies between a misses size 16 and 18," explained study co-author and assistant professor of dermatology at BUSM Neelam Vashi, MD.

Researchers also found a parallel uptick in women seeking cosmetic surgical procedures to reshape their bodies since 2000, as buttock and lower body lifts have increased by 4,295 percent and 256 percent, respectively since then.