The ideal body shape has changed many times in the history of mankind. At some points, the desired shape of the female form was the flat chested boyish look, whereas at others, a voluptuous woman was deemed to be beautiful. This changing ideal of beauty has led to many cultures adopting varying degrees of body altering rituals, which would seem to be barbaric to many people today.
For example, in China, a girl child used to have her feet tightly bound so that they would not grow properly and this would give her a dainty walk. The truth was that the feet would be so misshaped that the poor girl would spend her life with pain when she walked.
Then there was the custom of wearing corsets. These were restricting undergarments which contained bits whale bone or ivory to make the wearer stand straight and the whole thing was bound so tightly that the women could not eat properly and so remained slim. This practice was carried out till only about a hundred years ago and if you look at the old pictures, or museum pieces, you will notice that all the women were stick thin and standing ramrod straight. In reality, they could hardly breathe and their organs could not develop fully. This is why they were famous for fainting; it was not a lack of strength, but a lack of air!
Even these days there are practices where young girls in particular are forced to be restricted in their deportment and development, in order to be more feminine. Women still go out of their way to conform to the body type which the media and advertising have declared to be the norm, whether or not this fits in with their natural body type.
These days' women do not wear corsets to appear or stay slim, but instead they turn to the medical profession. They will either start to take diet pills or resort to cosmetic surgery in order to achieve the body that they want. There are all sorts of procedures which come under the heading of body contouring, and what they basically do, is re-shape your body to fit the image that you want to see when you look in the mirror. None only women, but many men are also guilty of going under the knife to try and look better in their own and in the eyes of a society which is obsessed with body image.
One of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures is the breast reduction, and increasingly, the male breast reduction. This is not a joke, because many men have a lot of excess weight on their chests and this can affect not only their self esteem, but also their health. Having a large chest size will affect your balance and more importantly, it will lead to back pain. This is due to bad posture and the way that you will sit and slouch, in order to hide your chest.