So, these are the perfect facial proportions according to this chart from the 1930s
About a month ago, we were all totally wide-eyed over a feature TIME discovered which featured 20-year-old June Cox from over 70 years ago. The story, originally published in 1938, was about Cox’s “ideal figure,” and depicted her posing in numerous positions, showing off her “perfect body.” According to Life, the most ideal bod in 1938 was quite specific indeed: a 34-inch bust, a 24-inch waist, and 19.5-inch thighs. Your wrists, of course, must have a 6-inch circumference. Yeah, sounds pretty exhausting to be a woman in 1938.
Turns out that women in the ’30s not only had to worry about their body proportions, but their facial proportions as well. Unearthed and brought to light, Good Housekeeping presents us with a chart from 1934 that features actress Sylvia Sidney’s face. Why Sylvia Sidney? Because she was praised for having the “perfect face.” Daily Mail reports, “At a 1934 Southern California Cosmetologists meeting that took place in Hollywood, the screen legend’s face was chosen as a standard of beauty because of its symmetry and ‘perfect oval shape’.” Yup, there was an actual meeting that actually decided on whose face was the most perfect face.
According to this chart, which was meant as a guide for makeup artists, the ideal face must have these seven things:
1. Length of the face equals the length of three noses.
2. Width of an eye in between the eyes.
3. Upper and lower lips are the same width.
4. Symmetrical eyebrows conforming to the line of the nose.
5. Space from the lower eyelid to the upper eyelid is the same as space between the upper eyelid and eyebrow.
6. Eyebrow begins on the same line as the corner of the eye nearest to the nose.
7. Width of the face across cheeks is equal to two lengths of the nose.
But just in case any of that was confusing, it provided a visual explanation featuring Sidney’s face:
If you don’t have any of these features, sorry, ladies, you have an imperfect face! JK — of course, this is totally ridiculous, and just another example of crazy-specific rules women must *somehow* adhere to. Honestly, being a woman in the ’30s sounds totally exhausting, and unfortunately, we still face the same kinds of pressures and expectations today from our image-obsessed media.
There is still much to be done in the realm of beauty standards and body positivity —we continue to face unfair and impossible societal pressures to be beautiful and sexy and perfect. And the standards of attractiveness are still pretty narrow. But, the good news is that we’re fighting those unrealistic beauty ideal every day. We’re advocating more and more that it’s OK to embrace your natural body and love yourself —ALL of yourself. And hopefully one day we can stop fighting that battle.
Image via Getty