Corsetry misconceptions and how to deal with them
Many misconceptions over corsets continue to this very day. Why do some people continue to think corsets are bad?
Getting “Waisted” for the First Time!
Exaggeration of the discomfort
This short film features a woman who appears to be displeased with her figure. She puts on a corset (hilariously, it’s upside down) and an older woman then helps her lace it up. She tugs and tugs tighter and in the end, the lady in the corset falls unconscious.
How sad. She would have survived if she didn’t bother to change her figure with a corset, right?
Wrong! I think we all know that corsets have gained a bit of notoriety over the years, so it has become a “love it or hate it” matter (as said by BodiciousCorsets).
Based on the corset design in the video, I assume that the video was set in the 1880s latest (I may be wrong). Back then most boning was made either out of whalebone or featherbone, both of which are soft natural materials that with the warmth of a body, moulded with the wearer. Do you think being tugged tightly into one of those soft plastic-boned basques sold everywhere today could make you faint on the spot? I think not.
Doing a report with intention to make it negative
Need I say more? The reporter has obviously not fully researched the matter (incidentally, you should always bend with your knees, corseted or not). The corset in the video was not only incorrectly laced (laces should pull and tie at the waist, not on top) but incorrectly built as well! Aside from that, when a corset is first worn, it is advised that you do not cinch it too tight to the point of pain or discomfort. Also, corsets that are custom-sized to fit you are the best as not everyone would get a perfect fit with an off-the-rack corset. Adaption is key as well. If you wear a pencil skirt, you can’t expect to walk in strides, can you? Little adjustments will help with restricted movement. Even Cathie Jung (World’s Smallest Waist on a living person) manages to fish in her corset.
Assumption that one who wears a corset has body and self esteem issues
When I initially announced that I wanted to immerse myself in the world of corsetry, suddenly I started getting comments left and right along the lines of “you should love yourself for who you are”. I understand that there’s nothing wrong with loving the way you are but there shouldn’t be anything wrong with wanting to play with a fantasy either. While I do admit that my naturally ruler figure isn’t my favourite feature, I wanted corsets as they are beautiful garments and I enjoy experimenting with fashion. It’s a bit like wearing platforms or high heels. In my high heels, I get a temporary height boost. When a person buys a push up bra, that doesn’t necessarily mean she wants to get breast implants as well, right?
How to deal with any negative reactions
You should reassure concerned friends and family that you know what you’re doing. Because you do, of course. You’ve done extensive research. Tell them what you’ve read and learned to show them you know what you’re talking about. You could also discuss and ask for advice in corset-wearing online communities like the Corsetry Livejournal as well. For me, I tell others that the corset makes me feel like I am being hugged and that it supports my back. What you choose to say is pretty much up to you.
Till then, happy corseting and lots of tightly laced love!
For more corsetry advice & information, head over to these links below:
- Medical Advice from Dr Ann Beaumont (Staylace.com)
- History of the Corset (Lara Corsets)
- Art of dressing in the 1870s