It is clear that women throughout the centuries have molded their figures into many strange and different shapes. Each seemed beautiful in its day, but most of us are inclined to think none quite so lovely as today’s.
The Arts of Costume and Personal Appearance, Grace Margaret Morton, 1943. (p 234)
Later on in the chapter (Contemporary Figure Ideals), Morton lets us know that the ideal weight for five feet is 110, and approximately five pounds for each additional inch taller, “depending on the scale of the figure.” The entire chapter is very much your standard hide-the-’bad’-work-the-’good’ stuff of fashion books—pushing vertical movement of line for the “stout” and emphasising an “uplifted bosom and upstanding posture, with abdomen and posterior flat.” But Morton also quotes an article from the June 1927 Ladies Home Journal:
The popular conception of beauty is wrong, because its basis is that everybody shall look like everybody else . . . Life would gain enormously in interest if women emphasized their differences from each other.
Beauty and Plain Women, Elisie Ferguson