As I previously described in this post, corsets have long been used to contour and shape women’s bodies to give a defined waist, and voluptuous curves. Historically worn under clothes, they have now been developed as a fashionable form of outerwear with nearly every female celebrity such as Beyonce and Lady Gaga having worn them in all their splendor!
Lady Gaga and Beyonce showing off their curves
I have a personal collection of custom-made corsets, which are boned with steel to give them support and structure. As much as I enjoy the shape they give me, I couldn’t wear them all day every day as I would find it hard to move or breathe! Much like the underwire in a bra, the steel boning ensures that garment doesn’t lose its shape, and helps contour your body better. However, many women have taken this to extremes and adopt a form of body contortion called ‘waist training’.
In Victorian times, the society was very male-dominated, and women could only really progress in life through a profitable marriage. Women would dress to impress, and playing the ‘Damsel in Distress’ card would often be a quick and easy way to obtain a husband! Fainting, fleeing at the sight of a spider and being unable to withstand vigorous activities were the hallmarks of ‘Ladylike’ behaviour, and would make feminists of today (and then) despair!
Victorian women would want to enhance a feminine figure, and highlighting their (often painfully thin) waists was an excellent way to gain male attention and draw attention to their fragile femininity. Wearing an extremely tight corset would reduce their appetite and often induce fainting due to the restricted amount of breath they could take in. As well as preventing them from taking part in any activity more strenuous than walking, it would also (over time) give the women a contoured and tiny waist without their corset on.
Nowadays, the popularity of retro fashion and vintage clothing has prompted women to copy this hourglass figure, and women will wear corsets for up to 10 hours a day to achieve this small waist. The corset would be gradually tightened over a period of time, and usually would take about one year to reduce three inches.
No pain no gain! It may seem like a painfully long time to achieve such a contoured figure, but no diet will give you a waist like some of these women:
Dita Von Teese Cathie Jung:Worlds Smallest Waist-15inches!
Does this sound like something you would try? Or do you think these women look strange and uncomfortably proportioned? Comment below and share your thoughts.