I’ve been reading my medical book from 1866 and I have to wonder if some of our cultured hatred of the concept of the corset does not come from the Victorian era itself. I’m interested in this topic because-as I have said a few times-I wear a corset daily as it helps my back pain. I wear it at a comfortable constriction where my breathing and circulation are not noticeably affected. I believe that there is wearing a corset and then there is tight lacing. But, if you did not read my old book carefully, you’d come to the conclusion that there was no difference and that it was just plain bad.
In the following photo I was taken by the idea that the corset and tight lacing was soon to be heard of no more. WRONG! It continued for at least another 50 years. I also found it humorous that the author felt that girls submitted to this because they wished to hear the marvelous exclamation uttered by some would-be-exquisite or FOOL. The author also felt that not one in 500 women wore their corset loose enough to avoid the pit falls of the corset. Not one in 500!
The funny thing was that after listing it as a horrible thing, the Dr went on to tell his readers how to get the benefits of the corset (the figure enhancement) with out the damage. But, the implication is that the materials the corset is made of is as important or more important than simply loosening the strings.