This was once the most common representation of female bodies. The rolls of fat and pudgy bellies existed along with thick thighs and broad hips. Some of those bodies were slim, some were chubby, some were fat, but they weren’t stretched out and smoothed out in Photoshop. They acted like bodies do, they looked real and believable. We lost that somewhere along the way, when people in the fashion business started wiping out any inconvenient fold, making us think they don’t exist and to have them is a blasphemy. Maybe it’s about time we remember they are perfectly normal and everyone has them, sometimes or all the time, no matter skinny or fat.
What bothers me about this post is that, while OP is on the right track, artists today (like photographers and stuff) will represent the nude (female) form in the same exact way. Artists have not changed. What people might not realize is that this was art, not fashion illustrations.
Fashion illustrations (and photos, later on) have been about depicting the ideal silhouette and style of clothing in each time period. As far back as the 1770s fashion plates were drawn with women in the universal conical stays. This continued through all the eras, even in the seemingly loose-fitted regency era women wore stays to support the bust and flatten the stomach. And after that, fashions were shown with women in corsets. Photoshop might not have been around, but fashion has always been about “the ideal form”
It’s unfortunately true. Ever since fashions became accessible to the general public, the way it was depicted was molded to suit the “ideal” of the time period.