I was browsing around on youtube yesterday and came across this video :

Insanely fascinating. I have always loved corsets and even have a couple myself. However this, which is called tight-lacing is going a bit too far in my own humble opinion.. I like the sexiness of corsets and how they accentuate your waist and therefor also other aspects of your body, but obviously not to the extreme example above. It’s a bit creepy and sad I think.. You can read more about Cathie Jung here : Cathie Jung

Of course, everyone has their view of what they consider beautiful. Oh and on a side note, it isn’t just women who wear corsets, men as well (!)

man

Of these two ladies underneath I prefer the top one…not the bottom!

c5

c7

Apparently in the past of corsets, which is also called stays, mothers used to put broad belt like things on their daughters to start molding their little bodies at a young age. By the time they hit their teenage years they were wearing full on corsets to minimize their waists. Here is an extract from the Toronto Daily Mail in 1883 in the section called “Women’s Kingdom” :

A reader signing herself, “Corset”, inquired:

SIR, — I read with great pleasure the article about “Small Waists” in “Woman’s Kingdom.” Now, do you think that a girl can be laced tightly without injury? I have two daughters (9 and 12) whom I have never allowed to wear stays, for fear of injuring their constitutions; but they are growing up such clumsy girls that I am quite ashamed of them. Now, perhaps some of your correspondents who are mothers and have brought up daughters will give me advice. I would like to know how many inches I could reduce their waists, and whether it would be better to make this reduction all at once, or by degrees?

The next Saturday, “Staylace” offered her experience :

MADAM, — I think I can give some information to “Corset” that will be useful. Nearly a year ago a niece of mine visited me from the country to have the finishing touches put on her education. I was greatly shocked by her appearance. She was fifteen years of age, and had evidently “run wild”. She had never worn corsets, and her figure was very clumsy, her waist actually measuring 25 inches. I had at once a pair of heavily-boned stays made, in which I laced her down to 22 inches. I made her wear the stays by night as well as by day, so that the figure might not expand during the seven or eight hours of sleep. At the end of the month, when the figure became accustomed to the tightness, I had another pair made much smaller round the waist, but quite easy over the hips and chest. In these I reduced her half an inch a month until I brought her waist down to eighteen inches, which I think is small enough.
c1
If you want to read more of the above go here : corset controversy

Crazy world we live in.. 😉

I remember at my sisters wedding a few years back when I was wearing a dress with lacing in the back… and on our way to the wedding I started to have difficulty breathing due to it being too tight and sitting down made it really hard to draw a full breath of air so we actually had to stop the car for me to get out and breathe normally while standing up! This whole thing wasn’t really helped by my girlfriend going on about it probably being quite hard to take a deep breath! Thanks girl, that had nothing to do with my little panic attack at all !
Here are some illustrations of the history of corsets / stays :
c4
c3
Sources of information/images :
Advertisements