Loose Women Don’t Wear Corsets
Plenty of women’s fashions restrict them — intended or not — whether we’re talking girdles, spiked heels, bound feet, or wearing curlers to bed (who can sleep?!)
And how about that corset?
This ubiquitous pre-20th-century garment was so tightly laced that organs could be pushed around. And they promoted lung disease. Those things were not comfy!
Despite the health risks, some 19th century doctors believed that women’s bodies were too weak to hold themselves up, so they needed the contraption. (Scientists of the time also thought that education shrunk a woman’s womb!)
The undergarment really restricted women’s lives.
And in fact, the earliest wearers were trying to convey the impression that they did not — and could not — work. Thereby displaying the family’s wealth. (In a time before you could just buy a Porshe.)
Chinese women once bound their feet for the same reason.
But whether Chinese or American, the lower classes mimicked upper-class style, making labor excruciating for anyone working with bound feet or waists.
Meanwhile, the garment created a “respectable sexuality.”
The lifted bust and narrowed waist accentuated bodily parts deemed sexual. But at the same time, women were all penned in — symbolic of being sexually restricted, or “respectable.”
Check out the definition for “straightlaced.”
- Excessively strict in manners and morals
- A tightly laced bodice
And where do you think the term, “loose woman” comes from?
Prostitutes didn’t wear corsets. They already stood outside respectable society, so why torture yourself when no one respects you, anyway?
I wonder if women thus grew habituated to being bound, body and soul?
Posted on January 6, 2016, in body image, feminism, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged body image, corset, feminism, foot binding, psychology, sexism, sexuality, women. Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.