Friday 4 June 2010

Corsets And Bustiers For Society's Sake

Clothing sure has changed over the centuries. What would be
considered masculine just two centuries ago, now would seem
ridiculous. It took lots of hard work just to become
enticing to the opposite gender. This leaves me to question,
would our society as a whole ever allow corsets and bustiers
to make a comeback?

Corsets were an awful creation. These were made with heavy
material which had to wear calluses on the body of the
individual who had to wear them. In order to achieve even
more rigidity bone and metal were used. This created
"board-like" conditions in which a poor woman had to suffer.

From what I understand, corsets were used mostly by
aristocrats, in the beginning. Then, it became imperative
for a woman to wear them simply because she was looked at
like a Jezebel, if she did not wear them. Did men really
think a woman was so loose if she did not have this vice
upon her body? What kind of crazy mind thinks that way?

Whether anyone want to admit the true or not, corsets were
painful to wear. It had nothing to do with comfort level.
Women were supposed to look like women, as the society,
dictated. If ribs were squeezed so much as to cause a woman
to use only the top part of her lungs to breathe, it
mattered not. Presenting yourself in the proper manner was
all that mattered.

Corsets were made from course fabric and were made stiff
with the help of whale bones or metal. The metal had a
tendency to rust and the fabric to shrink if they were
washed so, that chore was mostly left undone. These were
hardly ever passed from mother to daughter or grandmother to
granddaughter. Corsets had the habit of forming to the body
of the original owner so, it was not practical to had it
down. Second hand corsets were very rare.

Bustiers on the other hand were more delicate to a woman's
skin. Bustiers were used to hold up the bust. Any woman who
has run without wearing a bra can understand the need to
protect the breasts. It may be sexy to some to see a woman
who does not use a bra and has them bouncy around but, truth
be told, that is not good for the woman's bosom. The
difference between corsets and bustiers is corsets squeezed
the body, bustiers lifted the breasts.

I have found it is quite difficult, if not impossible, to
find an ancient corset. Apparently, when a woman was through
with hers, she was through! It usually wound up in the
garbage heap. I can not say I would blame them. Even if for
sentimental reasons, I think I would also just do away with
it. Who wants to remember a device that instills this type
of affliction.

All in all, I think of it like this: Corsets and bustiers
served a purpose a long time ago. Whether I agree with the
purpose is really insignificant. They were thought of as a
way to give a woman that "womanly" figure and the whole of
society accepted it. I am so thankful we do not have that
mentality when it comes to the anatomy of a woman. But, we
still expect women to have a certain look. Maybe we are not
different than people of times past.

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