‘The history of Western film is a pretty good barometer of beauty standards from decade to decade. We’ve ricocheted from girlish innocence in the early 1900s to Flapper-style raunch and 1970s high-cheekboned neurosis, all the way to the approachable-yet-gorgeous Jennifer Lawrences of today’s red carpets. The ideal face shape, hair, eyes, even eyebrows have been both mirrored and dictated by screen sirens throughout the years, and they’re an effective lens to see just how the “perfect” face, body and attitude have developed over time. 

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but you can’t use this list to say that things have changed all that much: for all the differences in make-up and style, the ideal face has always been symmetrical with big eyes and good bone structure, and the ideal body has always been some interpretation of “slim.” (In other words, it’s remained unattainable for most of us.)’

The symmetry ideals/icons over the decades.

Early cinema—
According to JR Thorpe, ‘Lillian and her sister Dorothy Gish were the queens of silent, black-and-white cinema in America. With huge eyes accented by kohl [dark makeup], tiny demure lips, ladylike curls, and intensely innocent expressions, they were the incarnations of perfect, restrained femininity. And their bodies? Tiny, frail and draped in wisps of lace.’