Slum Issue Resolved!
<<The corset (may its shadow never be less) is the root of morality, self-respect and health. It braces up the moral energies as much as it does the physical; many a slatternly Blowsabella that we see lurching along the pavement in a slum would take an entirely different view of life and its responsibilities if she were put into a properly built corset.>>
The above quote is from a 1883 Montreal Witness, a newspaper founded to promote the temperance movement--but which also was in favor of women's suffrage, unlike the more mainstream newspapers of the day in Montreal.
This quote pretty well sums up a philosophy reflected in pagan and Judeo-Christian myths, that female energy, sexual or otherwise, is so vast, it must be contained somehow--or all of civilization falls. See Eve and the Apple and Pandora's Box...etc.
Ironically (but not surprisingly) the fashionable women of the Victorian and Edwardian Eras wore corsets not to hide their assets but to accentuate them, big time. The corset pushed in the waist, pushing out the bust and bum. Pamela Anderson has nothing on the fashionable women of these eras--and era women didn't have to get plastic surgery to get that silhouette. They just had to hold their breath from puberty until death.
Madonna, as buff AND uber-feminine as any woman gets, (hermaphrodite-like) was making a very complex statement by wearing her corset 'on the outside', a message so complex it is difficult to deconstruct.
Coco Chanel freed women from the corset.
Picture of some very poor Montreal area women 1912.
Back to Tighsolas Fashion Pages Index
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Back to the Homepage of Tighsolas, House of Light, the lives of women in 1910.
Picture of Corset from Ladies' Home Journal
Beautiful Cover Art 1910--Woman's face as decoration