Every decade there is a celebrity who sets the bar for beauty. Dr. Manish Shah, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon based in Denver, takes nostalgic look at these classic beauties through the decades and points out what today’s women would critique about them given today’s beauty standards. We also have an interesting look at predictions for what the beauty ideal will be as we approach 2020. We already see a shift taking place to a strong body, smaller breasts and a more natural facial aesthetic. Let’s look forward by first looking back.
1950’s Marilyn Monroe, the Ultimate Icon
Marilyn Monroe is still a beauty icon and despite transforming from brunette to the ultimate blonde bombshell, she is still the embodiment of sex appeal. “Marilyn Monroe was infamous for her hourglass physique, sexy lips and dreamy eyes. Today’s women would consider her “curvy” and would suggest Marilyn get inner thigh liposuction to achieve “thigh gap,” which became a thing over the past few years. I say Marilyn was gorgeous, feminine plus she knew how to dress for her frame. At 5’5” 120-130 pounds she was proportioned and looked lovely,” says Dr. Shah.
1960’s Raquel Welch, the Glamazon
Raquel Welch embodied the exotic bombshell. With a Bolivian father and an Irish mother, Raquel’s features were unique and stunningly beautiful. “What’s interesting about Raquel Welch is that she was all natural and women of today would want her body. She wasn’t skinny at all with beautiful full breasts, athletic legs and beautifully symmetrical facial features. She’s also aged gracefully over time, and still looks elegant well into her 70’s,” Dr. Shah points out.
1970’s Farrah Fawcett, the Girl Next Door
In this decade we see a shift from the voluptuous to the slender with a more girl-next-door approachable look. “Farrah’s lips are actually quite thin by today’s standards yet, they work perfectly with her other delicate facial features. Her megawatt bright smile was what supercharged her look. In the 70’s, plastic surgery wasn’t as mainstream as it is today. Women simply went to the hair salon for the Farrah Fawcett feathered hairstyle. At 5’7” Farrah had a 34B breast size which we are seeing a return to,” explains Dr. Shah.
1980’s, Brooke Shields, Endless Beauty
Time magazine put her on its cover with “The Face of the 80’s.” During that decade Brooke was known for her natural bushy eyebrows. According to Dr. Shah, “Brooke’s facial symmetry was and still is exceptional, her nose is perfect for her face and everything just worked together. One thing I can see today’s women suggesting for the 80’s version of Brooke, would be breast enhancement, something she never had nor wanted. Brooke now 53, looks radiant and relies on diet and exercise to maintain an age appropriate, classy look minus the need to overdo it with fillers and unrecognizable facelifts. Brooke looks like an older, gorgeous version of herself.”
1990’s Kate Moss & Pam Anderson, The Waifs vs. The Beach Bunny
The early 90’s beauty aesthetic was highly driven by the Grunge Rock music scene. The “waif” which was embodied quite controversially by Calvin Klein model Kate Moss and actress Calista Flockhardt, known for her popular TV character Ally McBeal. Both were scrutinized and shamed for being “too thin” pressuring other Hollywood celebrities to keep up. On the other extreme was bombshell, Pamela Anderson of the iconic Baywatch TV Show of the same era. A favorite of Hugh Heffner, who considered her to be the ultimate bombshell, put her on the cover of Playboy a total of 13 times in the 90’s and first decade of the 2000’s. “Pamela Anderson absolutely boosted demand of breast implants in the 90’s and made it much more mainstream to look more like an exotic dancer than a fashion model. I’m glad to see that Pamela, now in her late 40’s, didn’t overdo it with any facial plastic surgery and opts now for a more elegant look,” offers Dr. Shah.
2000’s, Livin’ LaVida Lopez
In February of 2000, Jennifer Lopez and her ample derriere got massive global attention for the infamous green Versace dress she wore as Grammy presenter. She was already turning heads on the red carpet as an actress and singer. “Jennifer Lopez was the first woman to bring attention to a curvy fuller butt. The Brazilian Butt Lift came into popularity to meet the demand of more women wanting a curvier, fuller, yet lifted bottom. What’s great about Jennifer Lopez is that she’s now in her late 40’s, with a packed schedule which demands that she is in excellent physical shape. Her physique is very athletic and muscular yet, feminine at the same time. This is a woman who did a triathlon months after giving birth to twins. Jennifer has maintained herself exceptionally well through the years with facials and lasers which can help women ward off any need for a face lift,” says Dr. Shah.
2010 – Present… Keeping Up with the Kardashians
“The Kardashians were the tipping point to both surgical and non-surgical treatments going to another level and they built an empire out of all of it,” says Dr. Shah. If you watch old episodes of the show you see Kim, sisters Khloe and Kylie and momager Kris radically changed their appearance. Plus, they are always touting procedures such as Kim did with the “Vampire Facial.” Kylie Jenner looks like a totally different person than she did as a teen just 4 years ago. Her admitted lip injections gave her a new facial appearance that now has her at the top of the family income chain.
2018 and Beyond… All Eyes on Kendall Jenner
Kendal Jenner is the hottest model right now and the face of Estee Lauder. While part of the Kardashian clan, she’s an actual model with extraordinary bone structure, long legs, and a body for high fashion. “I predict we will see a new crop of beauties like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Kia Gerber (daughter of Cindy Crawford) set a new more fashionable aesthetic. I’m hopeful that the over-done lips, the over-filled faces and over-sized breasts will fall away with a shift to preserving ethnic features and body type for a more interesting, less generic “done” look, says Dr. Shah who prides himself on delivering a more natural look.