Thing is none of this is new. And when I say not new I mean it goes back centuries. The Dandies of the 18th century spring to mind. And that is just the men. Women were just as dandified.
I remember reading about the fashion in the early 19th century when men wore stocking, what we today would call calf length socks. This is when men wore britches. Women were attracted to men’s calf’s so it gave a chance to show them off. One man who was lacking in this area of his anatomy wore falsies. See girls there is nothing new when it comes to anatomical enhancements. I found it humorous when he described taking a woman to bed and how he had to without the woman finding out about his falsies. And then having to get up before her so he could get dressed before she woke. He came unstuck once when she awoke first and discovered his secret.
Okay, you may say. What about plastic surgery. To which I reply The Romans. Yes the Romans were no stranger to a bit of plastic surgery. And because of their adoption Greco-Roman culture Jews wore a fake foreskin.
As for judging standards of beauty, again nothing new here. My reply to that is the Judgement of Paris, where he had to chose between Aphrodite, Hera and Athena as to which goddess was the most beautiful. Okay these may not be real but that just shows that they were judging standards of beauty.
But I think that much of this is there for another reason. In the past, when we lived a subsistence life style, it was more important to pick a mate for the purposes of survival. So judging how strong and agile someone was, or whether someone was good at getting food was important. Too small or too thin could indicate someone who may not be able to provide food.
Some of the sillier and, in on case, more dangerous things we do for fashion. Women in the 17th century used to wear white face powered. One of the reasons for this was to cover any blemishes. The problem was that the white face power included powdered lead. Constant use destroyed the skin and some more powder was used to cover this up.
One of the first men to have a Stovepipe hat was arrested, charged and convicted for wearing it. Why you ask? Because it could frighten the horses.
The Duke of Wellington, the man who had defeated Napoleon and finally brought peace to Europe after twenty five years of warfare decided to visit Almack’s, a club to which he was a member. On arrival he was turned away because he was wearing trouser, the latest thing for many but something the British army had worn for years. Almack’s had a very strict dress code said men had to wear britches. So the hero of the hour was defeated by not wearing britches.
So all this is inbuilt and part of a survival instinct until it became corrupted, and as much by ourselves as others.