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Topic: i am ambivalent about the corset thing  (Read 2031 times)
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sf craftster
« on: October 23, 2008 03:59:05 PM »

am⋅biv⋅a⋅lence [am-biv-uh-luhns] –noun
1.    uncertainty or fluctuation, esp. when caused by the inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.

i'm totally ambivalent about the corset movement. i mean, 85 pages of corset questions and answers and growing!

so here's the thing. one side of me says that it's great, people are crafting, it doesn't really matter what they're making, they make a woman's body look hot, they're sexy, as lingerie, they totally turn me on (i'm queer, by the way) and i kinda want to make one.

but then the feminist in me starts ranting about what would women from the 19th century and before say? women who were forced to look a certain way and made to wear dangerously tight corsets. women who were diagnosed as "hysterical" because they fainted when wearing them. and why do i think that the look a corset creates (slimmed down waist, ba-bam bust and hips) is so sexy? is it fundamentally sexy or is it because fashion magazines and the media make me think it is?

obviously, i hope you realize i'm not making judgments, just trying to understand my own feelings. and i hadn't seen any sort of debate about this, so i want to know what everyone else thinks.

[moderator: if my post should be moved to the corset post, feel free to move it. i just figured it was a different topic entirely...]
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008 04:07:48 PM by sf craftster » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2008 04:27:33 PM »

Personally, I think part of freedom is the freedom to wear whatever you want.  I will probably never wear a corset myself, though I like them on other ladies.  Very few women wearing corsets now do any serious "waist training" of tightly laced corsets, so the health issue is just not an issue.  It's no more sexist a piece of clothing than a bra.  And of course some women don't want to wear those either.  Smiley

People should wear what they like.

I don't see a need for debate on the issue of personal clothing preferences, it's like debating what flavor icecream you like, or something...



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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2008 05:37:46 PM »

I'm relatively pro-choice on most matters including this one. So long as no one's forcing a woman (or man... heh) to wear a corset, why would it be a bad thing?

I always see the feminist movement as the fight for a choice. Decide to be the SAHW/SAHM or go to work. Your decision and no one should look down on you for it (and if they do, to hell with them, their opinion probably doesn't matter anyway).

To end that, I have a couple of corsets and my husband loves them on me. I love that he loves them and I think I look damn good in them. So I wear them. End of story. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2008 05:42:21 PM »

I get it...there's a particular sort of symbolism that can be read into corsetry by a certain brand of feminists.  The constraint, the rigidity, the "proper" nature, the anachronism...  At the same time, a completely different brand of feminists have turned the corset into a sexy, daring, and exciting garment.  Women have claimed the corset, dominated it, and shown it who's boss.  I love a good corset...they're sexy, flattering to just about everybody, and offer great support.  But they're not for everyone.  I wouldn't over-think it.

Oh, and women who lived prior to about 1910 would have been scandalized that a lady from a decent family would dare to wear a corset as outerwear, would be my bet, even the feminists  (there's a difference between not wearing underwear and brandishing it in public).  Remember the outrage when Demi Moore walked around with her bra hanging out her shirt for all of, what, two weeks? 

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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008 11:43:18 AM »

Honestly, no one was forcing victorian women to wear them, the same way no one forces modern women to wear high heels. And high heels are much less comfortable than a good-fitting corset. A corset supports your back and keeps you from slouching, which both looks and feels good. It also takes away any pudge you've got on your tummy.

I wear corsets occasionally if I think that certain clothing would look better with an hourglass shape, or if it's a fabric that is totally unforgiving. I also wear them on long car/train trips, so that I don't slouch. It means I can get where ever I'm going without being in significant back pain once I get there. I like how I look in them, and other people's opinions don't really matter. It's my underwear, and I'll wear it how I want.

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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2008 03:08:12 PM »

my opinion on this is freedome too. plus not all corset restrict you. i am thankful to the women before me for paving the road for me.
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2008 03:34:12 PM »

For me, wearing a corset is much like donning battle armor.  I feel stronger, stand taller, and more powerful.  True, some others feel smallar, restricted, etc... but I think it's all personal feelings.
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2008 11:50:57 PM »

I am a feminist and I love corsets. I also love to wear high heels and makeup. I wear them because I want to and I like the way they feel and look. I also enjoy designing and constructing corsets and applying makeup. I suppose that society could be subconsciously influencing my love of these things because we've all undergone some degree of societal programming. I don't think there is anything inherently feminist or unfeminist about clothing (or a lot of other things for that matter) it's the reasons behind doing something that give it meaning. If you want to wear a corset then go for it, you're an adult and it's your body and you have the freedom to do with it what you want to. If you like the way women look in corsets, there's nothing wrong with that either. I think it's only problematic if one person is being forced into doing it by another person.

As far as the history of corsets, yes, there were some health issues associated with long-term use of them (particularly with excessively tight lacing) but from what I've read most of the health issues weren't that severe unless some one was lacing far tighter than most women did. Society has always expected women (and all people really) to look and act a certain way. The corset is not the only article of clothing that has been used to oppress women. Many women who didn't like to wear corsets found other ways around them. Personally a well fitting corset can be very comfortable. I like to wear ming when I'll be walking a lot because it supports my back. It even offers good bust support. I'm sure victorian women (who had no elasticated fabrics to use for bras and things) also enjoyed spine and bust support.

In short, I don't think it's unfeminist or celebrating oppression to enjoy wearing a corset or to enjoy seeing others wear one. As long as everyone is happy and comfortable then there's nothing wrong with it. It's not hurting anyone Smiley.


Stop being so damned positive. Staring at the sun only blinds some one. By only looking at the positive, you miss an entire beautiful world of shadows and colors. Don't be overly negative, be realistic. The world is so much more complex and beautiful that way.
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2008 01:10:56 AM »

to me part of freedom is being able to choose what i want to wear, so if you want to wear a corset, wear a corset, does it really matter what other people think?

as for the attraction of the female form in a corset, apparently the most appealing shape for a woman's body to be is hourglass (the waist measurement should be 80% of the hips) and a corset can give you that

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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2008 04:06:54 AM »

What they all said, re the freedom to choose. And as for who made that shape appealing?? As Selnith said, the hourglass is the most attractive shape, and that's backed up by science. Something to do with health and fertility, if I'm not mistaken, lol. Our genetic code is wired to want to propagate that shape. Tongue

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