Monthly Archives: February 2012

More Balderdash — related to sex

I just finished talking with the neatest young woman who is a student, but also works part time as a waitress at a restaurant in a small town in West Virginia.  “Neat” I think, for several reasons, not the least of which is that we are both soldiers in the world-wide army of corset enthusiasts who attempt on a daily basis to de-bunk common stereotypes against corsetry.

She like I, believe that the first movie in the series “Pirates of the Carribbean” is among the worst offenders who perpetuate balderdash about corsets and cater to an unthinking public. You’ll likely remember that the heroine wears a Renaissance corset, faints, and falls off a sea wall. It likely never happened in the entire history of the  world, but in Hollywood, who cares about fact?

However, my new friend’s personal experience of the fallout of such prejudicial balderdash was more upsetting to me than the movie, because it was real and it caused her to suffer, but gratefully, not to give up on corsets. Another waitress in the restaurant who had just had a baby, began to notice my friend’s svelte figure when she was wearing a new corset under her work uniform. Quite innocently, as my friend began to enjoy the benefits of better back support, posture, and figure control, she began to verbally extol the corset’s virtues to this waitress and to anyone else who would listen.

The new mother complained to the restaurant owners that my friend “could not do her job wearing such a rigid , body-limiting garment to work,” yet there was no evidence that the corset impeded job performance at all. Bowing to social pressure and continuing negativity, the overly-sensitive owners ultimately asked my friend to take off her corset when at work.

We both agreed that jealousy was at foot in this experience. At a deeper level I believe something else was going on. I concur with UCLA Art History Professor David Kunzle who points clearly to our puritanical American society that inveigles against corsetry out of a deep seated, subconscious anxiety about sexuality. Wearing a corset sexualizes the body and makes female curves obvious. Sexual females are threatening upstarts to the puritans and sexist males among us, representing persons to be controlled and put down.

I was reminded of one of my early waist-training students, Camille. During the three months I coached Camille toward a four-inch waist reduction goal that she so admirably reached, I heard about increasingly frequent negative comments from her husband. His comments always targeted her corset.  Camille never could exactly grok to what he was objecting, although I was pretty clear about it when she reported one of his complaining comments to be that “other men are looking at you.”

Toward the end of the three months her husband somewhat unexpectedly to Camille, served her with divorce papers. I wasn’t surprised. Camille, her sexuality, and taking control of her own appearance and body without his prior permission or support, had simply gotten out of his masculine control. She was no longer willing to be “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.” I was relieved to see that Camille completed her waist-training program and began to thrive in her new life unburdened by a clearly troubled former husband.

The happy end to today’s conversation is that my West Virginia informant is planning to complete her studies, quit her job, move to a larger city, and invest in a fine custom corset. She wants to waist train in preparation for her upcoming wedding.

Which all goes to prove that corset ignorance can be defeated with persistence, courage, and commitment to living a fact-based, fashionable, and fun life — while happily corseted on proper occasions!

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“I can’t breathe — I can’t move in a corset!” – -Balderdash!

I found the most bizarre article mid-January about corsetry. It was published online by an author and blogger who seems to fancy herself a ‘creative writer’ and quasi-corset-sociopsychologist.  I might or might not set it forth for your consideration later.

Suffice it to say that the article was generally full of balderdash and poppycockery to the max, plus perhaps worse for those of us who still use and respect the English language and clear writing, replete with nonsensical sentences. One point the uninformed author made about corsets was that they rendered the body inflexible and immobile to the max.

Take a peek at this photo that my webmistress found on a former ROMANTASY webpage, taken at a fashion show held at my original boutique in San Francisco. I sponsored the event about 1997 or 1998, before I closed my retail venture. In it you will see a body contortionist who attended, wearing my own 1901 True Grace 1901 corset in blue satin with lace overlay. (Don’t panic:  she is discretely clad, more than you may think, wearing a net top and a solid G-string below the corset!) She is sitting on the stage with admiring corseted models including our corsetiere Sheri Jurnecka in the center, looking on. This lady amazed me with her bending and twisting performance and agility, proving beyond doubt that night the fallacious nature of our misinformed author’s statements as well as disproving many common prejudices against the corset.

I’ve been boogying the night away on several occasions tightly corseted, as have other corset enthusiast informants. My GF Robby (seen in the photo left wearing a green skirt and black BR Creations corset) wears a white cotton BR underbust corset for back support when she plays golf. Some informants from Europe told me they even ride bikes for 20 or more miles while tightly laced.

I’d be curious to hear from you if you have exercised in a corset, or done more corseted than just walk around like rigid zombies that some folk imagine us corset enthusiasts to be!

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Compression Garments Improve Muscle Fatique

I’m always happy when a corset enthusiast correspondent and/or client sends me research from reputable groups or reports, that relate to the beneficial results of corseting. There are so many claims out there that corsets cause physical damage, that I’m always happy to see research to the contrary!

Thus, I was gratified to hear from Milton Simmons, M.D., a physician consultant,  referring me to this January 21, 2012 news report:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328485.000-compression-garments-reduce-muscle-fatigue.html?nsref=online-news&DCMP=OTC-rss

“Dale Lovell and colleagues at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, measured lactate levels in 25 rugby players after they’d exercised wearing either spandex-like compression garments or regular shorts.

Lactate levels were significantly lower in players kitted out in the compression garments, possibly because they stimulate blood flow that clears the substance.”

We receive numerous inquiries about our experience and information relating to the possible detrimental physical results of corseting and waist training. As a consequence we added an FAQ page on health, and hope it may be helpful to you:

http://romantasyweb.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=R&Product_Code=What+Health+Matters+Are+Related+to+Corseting%3F&Category_Code=cfaq

If you know of other health-related information including reputable studies and reports, I would be grateful to learn about them!

 

 

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A reminder — it’s all common sense!

While I was in Atlanta on a family health emergency for six weeks during the past holidays into the New Year, I had time to read the daily Atlanta Journal Constitution.  Sure enough I came upon a reminder of what we know, in the December 29 (?) article, “Portions issue run deep”.

“The three biggest drivers that mess us up are how big our portions are, how frequently we eat and what we eat,” said the quoted author of “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We think” (Bantam, $7.99 paperback).

The sociologist Batty Glassner (author of “The Gospel of Food: Why We Should Stop Worrying and Enjoy What We Eat,” Harper Perennial, $14.95), refutes the common notion that it’s the economy and saving money that drives us to poor choices offered by many fast food chains. Note that we spend less money on food, but portions have grown! It was a surprising fact to me, assuming that to be true.

What is undoubtedly true is that the obesity rate nationally is near 34%, and what we expect and plan to eat, has expanded with our girth.

I was nursing and encouraging my ailing elderly mom over the holidays, and noted that the ex-military cook who prepared some of her well-balanced, nutritious meals and those of others in her assisted living facility, appeared to have a troubled concept of ‘moderation.’ This was true even tho I discussed with him the matter of quantity served my mom, that seeing too much food on her plate literally freaked my mom out.  The nurse supervisor confirmed the same fact for many elderly she knew:  too much food on the plate motivated their refusal to eat.  The quantity served to mom and others seemed to satisfy this caring cook’s needs regarding food and nurturing, but not the resident’s actual needs.

Glassner claims that we have at play, a lot of social and psychological aspects to food. We can’t pretend that it’s just a nutritional issue.

Neither can those who have a desire to corset waist-train, pretend the same, regarding the body size or shape that they wish to modify. How one gets to where one is and regarding what one wants to change, has to be analyzed and understood. Otherwise we will yo-yo right back to where we began!

While corset waist training is not rocket science by any means and mainly requires common sense, overall life-long well being and figure control is a complex matter. Maintaining both requires a considered an honest look at the process and at one’s self. However, like common sense, personal insight is often exceedingly rare, to paraphrase Will Rogers.

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