There is a persistent rumour that Marilyn Monroe was a size 16. Or that she was just bigger than today's stars. As I got curious about sizes, I went looking.
Her statistics were height 5' 5" 1/2. Her bra size was a 36 D. According to the studio, she was 37 -23 -36 and according to her dressmaker she was 35 - 22 - 35. In other words, she had a near perfect body. It is not a today size 12 or 16, more like a 4 or a 6! But I can well imagine that she was a size 12 in 1950 sizes. She had an hourglass figure and was perfectly in proportion. Disgusting really.
And as I happen to like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, I became curious about her co-star who recently died -- Jane Russell. Howard Hughes made great play of the fact that he needed to engineer a special bra for her)
Jane Russell was a 38 D bra size (so much for needing a specially constructed bra) Her stats were 38 -25- 36. She was 5' 7".
Sometimes, though you just have to say that nature made them that way. (But I suspect it was not easy to keep it up) Sweating does help. As does not eating processed foods. Plus youth was on their side.
I bring these women up because when I was a teen, it was very much flat chested and slim boyish hips. This is not a body type I will ever get. And I know having an hourglass figure means you are often over looked in the clothes stakes. Being 5' 6" with a bust and a waist (even if it is currently larger than I'd like), it is good to find role models or people to shoot for.
It is all about finding appropriate bodies to aim for. Kate Moss, Kiera Knightley, and many others, I will never ever get that figure even if I starve myself. BUT I can do hourglass... If you look around, you can find them. It is about doing things with what you have got, rather than hankering after the unattainable. And just as an aide- memoire for anyone who also suffers from an hourglass: