Its the one topic that often incenses corstieres the world over, when celebrities, glossy mags and the people who read them – and BELIEVE them, jabber on about #WaistTraining, about how bad corsets are for you, how uncomfortable and sweaty they are, how painful they are… and then, you see it – the picture of the ‘Corset’ they are actually talking about:
and of course this:
Images Courtesy of Hourglass Angel & What’s a Waist/Kim Kardashian
Immediately my blood begins to boil, frustration levels rise, my anger toward celebs/glossy mags increases tenfold who do nothing to dispel the myth of corsetry, particularly modern corsetry where we have learned so many new techniques, new ways and materials for construction, more understanding of how the body works, (and doesnt) we have learnt from the methods and mistakes of the 15th centrury onwards.
You would think that journalists and article researchers – note that word, RESEARCHERS, would actually do even a tiny bit of tangible research into their articles, instead of their lazy journalism of copy & paste, perpetuating centuries old myths, scaring readers half to death with un-researched ‘facts’ before telling them that essentially “Its okay…because Kim Kardashian does it.” I recall one glossy promoting Kim Kardo’s latest post pregnancy HEALTHY diet to its readership which advised that the breakfast plan was:
- 1 Glass Hot water with squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon of Ghee (for those who dont know, that’s clarified butter where the milk solids are removed, popular in Indian cooking)
wait… what? clarified butter? they want me to get a tablespoon and dig in and eat clarified butter for breakfast?! Sorry love, but screw that, I’ll stick to my shredded straw, im sure thats WAY more healthier that a mouthful of clarified butter…urgh.
These facts alone are why i’ve basically given up on the glossies, they are basically stupid, lazy, celebrity obsessed journalists who dont like basic facts to get in the way of a good photoshopped picture. So lets take a typical comment, (not researched at all, just copied and pasted from the <insert brand of rubber tube here> and dig a little deeper (but not too deep yo!)
- they compress your core, ramp up perspiration, release toxins, and metabolize fat. Does it? does it really? Yes, it will squish you in, I agree there, but really, does it just make you sweat more, thus lose bodily fluids faster which are IMMEDIATELY replaced as soon as you chug a glass of water post-wear/workout. Sweating naturally ‘releases toxins anyway so nothing special there, and please do explain how this rubber garment itself, metabolises fat other than how your body well, normally metabolises fat?
- The tight fit also restricts your abdomen, reducing your food intake during the day. – as would any super tight fitting garment – have you even managed to eat comfortably, or shoved that Big Mac to one side because the waistband on your jeans is digging in when you sit down?
then whilst reading the comments under the glossy articles.. apart from the general body snarking, horrid comments and general misinformation are these types of remarks – all basically reading and believing whatever the magazine tells them, all believing they are wearing corsets *sigh* :
…Corsets are very tight and extremely uncomfortable, painful OMG….
….Corsets are the ones you string up and pass out if you have it too tight.
…my skin has been bruised very badly by this corset, ill never wear one ever again…
….Corsets can snap your ribs, which then puncture your lungs and can kill you…
…”Sarah Gottfried, an integrative physician and gynecologist told us: “The problem is that when you constrict your waist, your organs have to go somewhere…corsets push your lungs up….”
Er… what? silly me… and heres me thinking your lungs were actually under your ribcage, buy hey who am I to question the ‘opinion’ of a Gynecologist? oh wait…
Whilst its true that wearers can often feel ‘constricted’ in a corset, even REAL corset, rest assured your lungs are not being shifted anywhere. The shock words are also rife in the articles particularly the word “compress” as in the ‘corsets compress your organs – making the reader think all manner of horror stories and visions but really, put into context:
Corsets compress your organs!!!
- So does Pregnancy
- So does basic movements such as leaning over or bending. (temporarily)
- So does Yoga (particularly Nauli Kriya) (thanks Lucy – she goes into much more – and better technical data on her post on shapewear here
So I guess that before I finish Part 1 (I dont want to witter on too long) its also time to drag out that old Victorian drawing that so many corset haters drag out year after year to attempt to bolster their zero researched arguments:
There we go, because corsets are BAD!! this drawing tells you so! (Like, I could draw a picture that looks zero like your mom and say “Thats your Mom that is!” and it must be true) there is absolutely no artistic licence here at all, there is of course, staunch medical evidence to back up this ‘drawing’ they did medical X-rays and everything…didnt they? Erm, no. However, a German quiz show did recently do an MRI scan of what happens – See the Youtube video here of Lucy (Bisonenrancher) discussing the show and the results HERE which pretty much blows that old Victorian drawing out of the window and we are all eagerly waiting to see if they do a follow up to this experiment.
Next Time I’ll be discussing happier things and what IS a corset… for now, I could murder a cup of tea and some Hob Nobs…
A Real Corset
The other day I posted the first part of this, what is NOT a corset featuring those, quite frankly, ugly car tyre innertube contraptions. So today I’m going to go onto what is a corset – but first, im really sorry to break this to you all, but so long as i draw breath, I will never consider one of these to be a real corset – ever.
This particular one is an infamous Corsets UK/Corset Story/Corset Wholesale/Corset Deal/ Punk 69/ whatever other domain they can get their hands on ‘corset shaped(ish) garment. Yes it has a few separate panels, Yes it has a busk, Yes, it has lacing at the back, and yes, it has steel bones (sometimes). Aside from the sheer tackiness of the item (this would count as something a rather naive, and soon to be EX boyfriend might present to their lady on Valentines day perhaps) There are a few things about this piece that should instantly raise suspicion as to why is might not be all that great to not only wear, but might not do what you expect a real corset to do – cinch you in at the waist:
- These are made in Pakistan/China. whilst some good things come out of Pakistan/China, have you ever looked at the difference in body shape? Western women are, by hereditory and diet/nutrition more rounded, and curvier than say, a Chinese woman. This is not to say ALL western women are curvy, and ALL Chinese Women are slim & boyish, but you get the idea. This could explain why so many of this companies ‘corsets’ look like tubes, and have no real curve – dont let those photoshopped pictures fool you!
- Have you ever wondered why a corsetiere in the UK will charge you anywhere from £150 upwards and well into the thousands in some cases, for a corset, yet Corsets UK et al can sell them for £50 or LESS? its not because we are greedy, its because we we have a UK minimum wage per hour which is more than some of these places pay their workers PER MONTH.
- The materials we use are top quality, to give you an idea, I have just finished a commission where i used a ‘spoon busk’ that spoon busk alone cost me £28. However, several corsetieres I know, including myself (pictured) have actually cut apart these imported ones to find them full of scrap metal, electricians tape and other things: I doubt the sum total of the busk was 28p.
SO, NOW I’VE FINISHED RANTING ABOUT THOSE TUBES, LETS LOOK AT REAL CORSETRY!
There are so many other designers that I absolutely adore and aspire to be as good as, that this blog post would go on forever, so ill stop with 4 (including my own work of course) and simply say that:
if you want curves like the ones that a real corset will give you, save up your pennies and buy a real corset!
Many corsetieres work off bespoke made of order’s but there are still a few companies who sell off the rack corsets that are real corsets, and are suitable for waist training and tightlacing (yes, there IS a difference and many people do get the two confused) and this is something im going to discuss soon – probably in my next blog post.
Now, where are those Hob Nobs again?