The different images of beauty that have existed and the methods women would commonly use to alter their shape in the name of fashion can be read on Fashion Era if you're interested in knowing more about it. Beauty is really quite the dangerous thing.
"Fashion is a shape, a changing shape. That shape is mainly formed and controlled by some device which affects part of the body's natural outline. What is considered beautiful in the eyes of one race may be thought horrific in another. Beauty then is in the eye of the beholder, and for centuries beauty has been shape."