I used to love them, their hourglass shape. But corsets and I have a longish history of ambivalence.

Their point is to re-shape, re-curve, re-move. As if our natural shape isn’t good enough.  In “Femininity Beyond Fairy Tales” (from the introduction of Ruby Slippers) I make a list of the corsets we wear: the invulnerable athlete, the anxious single woman, the unhappy married woman, the sexy woman, the perfect mother, etc. The point: the corsets make us less, not more of what we are.

Just ask sixteen year old Judy Garland, cast as the child Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz.  She had to wear a corset to minimize her curves. She started to wonder if she could even fit the part, if she was right for the role.

Silly, sad, strange. That women feel they don’t fit in unless they alter core, cool aspects of their body or soul.

. . . . .

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