It is tiresome because the article takes the statement:
“Now women are buying corsets to express their individuality”
and contrasts it with some – yanno – FACTS:
“Ebay has reported a 185% rise in the number of corsets being sold over the last three months, with 1,900 listed over the period.”
“Marks & Spencer says it sells one item from its new corset-inspired Waist Sculpt lingerie line every three minutes.”
Production-line individuality, eh?
Ambassador, weez zeez doublespeak, you are really spoiling uzz!
Oh, you WOMMENZ, with your topsy-turvy, tipty-tupty ways! Bless you.
“Women now seem aware that they need correct shapewear in order to achieve that vintage silhouette, and preferably they would rather go for a solution piece which looks desirable – as opposed to unattractive beige spandex pants.”
I love this quote. Women seem aware. Like a dog with specs perched on its nose. Like a monkey at a typewriter. But they only seem aware. And what they seem aware of is how unbelievably hideous and unacceptable they are unless they conform to a vintage body template of cartoon femininity. OMG, have you even seen a real woman lately? Did you claw at your eyes and sob?
WOMEN! You’re ugly almost beyond belief. BUY THIS, and from a distance your hideous body will seem almost acceptable! Perhaps if you can make this happen, you will not be cast out by society. PERHAPS. Try hard now, girls.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I love corsets – always have. I’m not (and was never) a goth. I don’t like corsets as outerwear, and unless you’re at a tarts and vicars party (and have gone as a vicar – fnarrr!) I really dislike that aesthetic.
So why do I like corsets so much? I’ll tell you. It took me a long time to work it out myself, and it was only when I was going out with a really horrid chap, that I realised that on days when I was going to meet him and I knew, before I met him, that he was going to be shitty to me, I would wear a corset. Not to make myself more attractive. But like armour.
I didn’t wear one at any other time. It was a preparation for violence.
A proper corset is made of silk and steel. The steel is spiral-wound and incredibly strong and flexible. It’s a heavy garment, not flimsy in any way. The fabric is in dense layers. When you put it on, it feels like a bullet-proof vest. When you lace it tight, you feel held. You feel safe. It has nothing to do with how it looks (for me), and everything to do with feeling less vulnerable. All your soft places are hard, inviolable. If someone punches you when you’re wearing a corset, nothing happens. You know, unless they punch you in the face, obv.
That might just be me, and my experience of men (THANKS, MEN!). But I bet it isn’t.
Are corsets empowering? Fuck no.
Also yes. They empower me to feel slightly less afraid in situations where I am very afraid. But I’m pretty sure that not dating a dick would actually be FAR MORE empowering.
Personally, I view the rise in popularity of the corset as a sign that women are getting more nervous, more insecure. That their social value is becoming ever more predicated on whether or not they can make someone’s penis happy, whether they can be said – literally – to fit an acceptable mould, and less predicated on who they are, what they are capable of, what about them as a human being adds value to the world, what about them is regarded as inherently precious by society.
And I say this as a woman who owns (but no longer ever wears), eleven corsets.