And now for something completely different.
Well, 'current obsession'... I've been ever so slightly intrigued by corsets as long as I can remember, but for the last couple of months I have learned, done my research and was ready to put my fascination into practice!
I've always had a soft spot for both the Victorian age and the pin up style. Combine these two and what do you get? Yes, corsets, which explains my fascination. A lot of people tend to think of corsetry as something that was done in the 19th century: a 'torture device' that caused women to faint and was highly uncomfortable, so the trend was neglected at some point. ...Think again! As far as I know, corsets never have been away completely. In fact, my grandmother used to wear them and even now, plenty of celebrities like Madonna en Lady Gaga are still spotted with corsets here and there. And have I talked about Dita Von Teese? My goodness, that woman is like a goddess to me.
|Dita von Teese, everyone. Can she BE more perfect?! - Source|
So the question may start to rise: why on earth would I want to get into this? Well, a couple of reasons actually. Here are some:
- Back issues. I've always had the tendency to slouch over slightly whenever I walk or sit. Corsets are basically fabric with some steel bones in them so they simply don't let you slouch! I hope this way I can get my muscles to get used to the upright position so I can sit straight even when I don't wear it (not sure if it actually works this way, but hey, a girl can dream).
- Curiosity about the sensation of wearing one. How uncomfortable a very tight corset may sound, a part of me was very intrigued by it. Now I actually own a corset, I'm happy to report that I was right: it can definitely be very comfortable. There are plenty of times when I prefer wearing it as opposed to going bare-belly'd (hehe). I also feel safer when I'm wearing it, funny enough. It almost feels like an armor.
- Dem curves! I was never a very curvy girl to begin with. My hips aren't big and my chest is humble. Now, don't get me wrong, I really like my body the way it is and I would never (permanently) change it, if given the chance. But still, having the opportunity to have some curves every now and then would seem really tempting, especially when I'm going for that retro look.
Some people actually waist train, which is wearing your corsets very often for a long period of time so your waist will actually adapt the shape of the corset and gradually increase your reduction over time. I don't really do that, I just wear a corset when I feel like it and that's that.
Is it safe?
There has been some controversy around corsets the last couple of years. Apparently, the Kardashians started "waist training" (they didn't even wear actual corsets, mind you, hence the quotation marks) at some point, of which I was completely unaware. Since then, articles has been all over the internet about "how bad it is for you" and "how dangerous it is". This is such a shame, as these articles have been written by journalist who don't know shite about corsetry and are just written to bash the Kardashians because you know, that's cool 'n stuff. Ugh, it makes me so mad. It is really not that bad as people make it seem to be. Sure, it can be harmful if you're going crazy. But that's the thing: everything can be harmful when you overdo it: alcohol, eating, excercise, watching television, etcetera. If you don't lace up too fast or more than your body can take (and have the correct corset for your body), it should not be a problem (unless you're dealing with some bodily issues, like muscles/bone diseases, but I don't know enough about that to cover that, so speak to your doctor first if you're planning on wearing corsets).
Many people are afraid that corsets move around your organs, but guess what: that's natural! That also happens when you simply bend over. Pregnancy for example moves your guts around way more than a corset would. If your organs couldn't move at all, you would be dead. Oh: and yes, you can still breathe fine.
|Bettie Page in a corset - Source|
About a month ago I finally bought a corset! For reference: it is the Petite Josephine by Isabella Corsetry (I got it secondhand). It is so beautiful and comfortable, I love it. The reduction at my waist is not too big and so far I am surprised at how comfortable it is: sometimes I just forget that I'm wearing it.
I have not told many of my surroundings about my new hobby. Only my parents and my boyfriend know so far. I have not been out and about wearing it yet either, but I'm in no rush. I have a new goal thoughl: finding clothes that emphasize the shape!
When it comes to health/eating: I notice that my appetite decreases slightly. Also, the restriction doesn't allow your belly to expand as much, so you will get the feeling that you're 'full' faster. As I tend to overeat (damn you, delicious food!) this does help me a bit.
Want to learn more?
If you want to know more about how corsets influence (or don't influence) your health, I recommend the articles from Lucy's Corsetry, especially this article and this one. Lucy is like the corsetting guru. She is very intelligent and really reliable, so if you're interested I would really recommend checking her out.
If you're interested in learning about corsets and want to see how other people experience it, I can recommend joining The Tightlacing Society on Facebook. I'm part of that group as well. The ladies (and some gents) are incredibly kind and are willing to help you with any questions you have.
I can make more corset-related posts in the future if you're interested, just let me know! This blog will stay a beauty blog, so no worries if this mambo jambo is not interesting for you at all. Corsets will pop up here and there, but probably not too often.
I understand corsetry is not for everyone and a lot of people don't like it. That's fine! Each to their own. Just be respectful in the comments, please.
I could talk about corsets all day but this will be it for now. If you have some questions about corsets you'd like to ask me, requests for upcoming (corset-related) articles or you just want to say hi, leave a comment below!