Corsetry 101

Written By Joe Bickel

The art of corsets has been around for centuries, yet many are still misinformed about them. Some of the first-ever recorded use originated from Crete in Greece, which was worn by Minoan people. When people today think of a corset, our minds are brought to the 18th and early 19th century of the Victorian era and their societal views on beauty. Corsets provided many uses for women of these periods.

When asked if corsets provided health benefits, Savannah Sosna, a Freshman at Murray State University said this “No I don’t believe that corsets have health benefits. Corsets if tied tightly can provide the complete opposite. I’ve read things about how they can damage your internal structure.”

This allows the transition into the misconceptions of corsetry. When asking a peer about corsets and the art of corsetry, many picture the tiny waist, the displacement of organs, and the deformation of the wearer’s ribs. Now, these do happen if the wearer is over-tightening their corset. However, by wearing one of these contraptions, posture would be greatly improved and the design of the corset truly enhanced the natural shape of a woman.

When asked why corsets and the art of corsetry were so profound in the earlier centuries, Alyssa Vandiver, a Junior at Pleasure Ridge Park had this to say “People have always preferred skinny women and it’s deemed ‘more feminine’ to have a small waist.
Many confuse tight lacing and corsetry. Simply because a woman is wearing a corset does not mean that she is or indeed has to lace down to such extremes. During the golden age of corsets, tight lacing was not common. Having a waist small enough to wrap your hands around was rather alarming for them as well.

More recently, corsets have found a resurgence in popularity. Celebrities such as the Kardashians, fashion brands, and designers have been implementing them into their fashion shows as part of their garment. Debra Murray, a Freshman at Western Kentucky University, said “I think if corsets were being used exclusively as an accessory to an outfit rather than something that is being worn to restrict a person’s natural body then I feel like it is perfectly fine to wear!” The use of corset definitely brought up a stigma on the ideal body type for a woman. It created a toxic mentality over a woman’s body shape.

With modern society trying to bring down the idealogy of one supreme body type for a woman, corsets are a controversial topic. The art and common misconceptions and uses of corsets continue past the information that was delivered today. Many will have different opinions on the matter but without the proper education, misinformation can spread like wildfires.

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