• Wed, Jun 16 2010

Wait – Corsets Are In? Didn’t The 19th Century Prove They Were A Bad Idea?

You know, I distinctly remember being about 10 years old and learning about corsets. It was my Gone with the Wind phase where I was all Scarlett O’Hara, all the time. Around that time, I asked my mother if, instead of a training bra I could have a corset – so that my waist could be 18 inches just like Scarlett’s! – and my mother stared at me and said “you are a very odd little girl.”

She explained to me that I couldn’t because 1) I was 10, and my waist did not exceed 18 inches 2) they could constrict my breathing and cause me to faint 3) I would never be able to run in one 4) they could give my problems carrying children and giving birth later and 5) they could seriously fuck up your internal organs. The encyclopedia (it was like wikipedia but with paper) confirmed that she was not “a dirty liar.” Even at the time, these seemed like disturbingly good points.

Now, to be fair, she and I were obviously talking about whalebone, major waist cinching corsets, not Victoria’s Secret sexy-time corsets. Breaking out those on an anniversary? Sure. Great. Fun. But the tightly laced 19th century corsets? Probably best left in the 19th century.

I guess Megan Fox doesn’t have an encyclopedia.

Megan was recently laced into a serious old school corset for Jonah Hex, which did, indeed, get her waist down to 18 inches. She talked to Instyle about how they “would leave these deep grooves, these deep indents from the boning in the corsets, for the whole next day.” Sounds awful, right? Megan Fox sure must suffer for her art. Oh, wait. She meant that as a selling point.

Megan went on to say “I do think there’s a place for corsets. I think they should come back. They should make a reappearance. I enjoy them.”

I know this, because I received a press release talking about how “Corsets are Back!” Which mentions Megan’s 18 inch waist corset and reminds me that “other celebs, from Eva Longoria Parker to Kim Kardashian have recently been photographer rocking corseted looks and the feminine figure is here to stay.”

This seems kind of like a bad idea for all the reasons it was always a bad idea. In conclusion, Megan Fox, I need you to stop being crazy, okay? You’re giving publicists terrible ideas. That’s all.

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  • Corporate Tool

    Actually, for larger-breasted women, corsets are a better option than strapless bras. They don’t need to be restrictive, just supportive.

  • eEv

    I’ve gotten down to 18 inches in a corset before, and it’s really not that bad. There are up-sides– they support your back, for one, and a lot of women with back problems find corsets helpful. Granted, I don’t wear one every single day, which women in the 19th century did.

  • porkchop

    In the 19th century, tight lacing was mainly for aristocrats and whores. Most surviving victorian dresses have pretty reasonable waist measurements, when you compare them to the tiny bust and shoulder measurements.