Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Table for one, Monsieur Magritte?

just for the record, THIS is not a corset:

This is a fancy and expensive sports bra. I guess some come with ribbons down the front to look like froofy corset laces for those into bows and stuff. Those pinkish lines indicate where some plastic reinforcement (or boning) goes - it's plain white plastic, usually, kind of flexible - more flexible than the average underwire in a bra -the kind I'm thinking of has similar properties as those white plastic cable-tie style riot handcuffs you sometimes see police carry into seething angry mobs of the violent unwashed. If you're the sort of girl who likes to exercise but feels distractingly floppy while clocking your 6.8 minute mile in what amounts to a spandex bandaid, I can see where such a garment could be an answer to your prayer, as long as the boning didn't work itself out of its channel and jab you to death. (for what it's worth, I am a distractingly floppy girl -- or is it woman-of-flop -- and this is the sort of garment I might consider if I ever determined to shift my ample ass off the sofa and run again.)

Now THIS is a corset:

It is probably worth mentioning that E.J. Swartwout was a lady, according to the US Patent Office. It is also probably worth mentioning that Miss Emma Swartwout's modifications to the type of corset commonly used in the 1890s were likely considered a great improvement in corset technology, offering unprecedented freedom of movement and ease of wear over such canvas-and-spring-steel lace-up straitjackets as were available previously.

Before we complain about that wispy little camisole up there (woven entirely of children's tears thanks to the fine folks at Nike), it may be useful to consider that our foremothers waged all out war amongst themselves during the late 19th and early 20th centuries over their undergarments - there was a "hygenic dress" (? correct me if I'm wrong on the name) movement, tittilating whispers of tight-lacing cults in girls' boarding schools, class issues, race issues, health issues, that rib-removal thing -

god damn but if the more things change, the more they stay the same...

note - thanks to bitch/lab for some much-needed perspective on this!

it did seem like some of the criticism was conflating the dislike we're allowed/supposed to have for this item for taking the form of a woman-constricting, patriarchy-loving garment...and the reaction we might have based on the actual properties of the sporset (or whatever the real name is).

a lot of folk seemed to know that you couldn't even breathe in it, or even move at all, yet i don't know i saw anyone say they'd tried it.

Of course, it still looks like crap in that it's deliberately paying homage to picture number two, without nearly enough irony being involved to make it funny.
Oh is THAT the thing everybody's got their panties in a wad about? Give me a freaking break. How unremarkable.
I guess picture #1 is just a variety of sporset, not even the sort of sporset everyone is discussing - I think the Twisty sporset is adjustable somehow in the waist? I don't even know.

I'm not nearly as much of a clothing historian as I should be. But I have worn accurate recreations of antebellum undergarments (a corset of the style worn in the US in 1840, to be precise, as part of my job as a tour guide at a history museum). Although I definitely wouldn't want to run a marathon while wearing one, neither did I shrivel up and die.
it's amazing however to think that women fed babies, cleaned the house, cooked the food, went to the market, nursed the sick, helped the poor and got the vote - all while strangling to death in their underwear.

just sayin'.
heh, i just ordered a black leather and, yes, metal corset on line for a fetish masquerade ball...sooo very bad of me...but I won't be playing tennis in it, that I can promise!
lol RenEV...in a former life I had a kinda cheesy leather corset (courtesy of...oh where did we get that? stormy leather?) and a totally bee-YOU-tee-ful custom-made green brocade one. the green one made me feel pretty (a rare occurrence, believe me), if slightly dizzy occasionally. I was sorry to leave it behind.
here's what it looks like.

you can get close ups of it with the zoom view.

i dont have a clue what it's about. the article i read said that the waist is something you can adjust -- how? dunno. And it described said feature in a way that made me with the short waist say, "awesome!"

now, personally? i'm not getting the corset vibe from this think. you know? not the sexy corset to be worn with stockings and garter kind.

i'm *maybe* getting the old fashioned boning corset vibe in which case all i can think of when i see it is granny panties!

what do i think most hetmen would think when they saw it? about the same thing they think when they see one of the models wearing the other nike clothing in the videos at the nike site.

IOW, I hardly think that this thing is screaming "fuckmenowharderharder i am your blow job queen and never ask for my own pleasure."
I'm getting the, "Has this woman ever tried to jog with enormous tits?!" vibe from this. I got to choose between bras that were simply too small to cram my junk into and bras that were so flimsy I might as well have been wearing a camisole. My solution was just to not exercise. This thing would have been a godsend.
My reaction to corsets these days is almost always a longing regret at how crap I'd look in one.

(Sigh. In my heart, I'm a Frank; by temperament, I'm a Riff; Nature, alas, made me an Eddie.)
I'm getting the, "Has this woman ever tried to jog with enormous tits?!" vibe from this.

Me too. Running is fucking PAINFUL for me.
Nature, alas, made me an Eddie

oh god. thank piny and amber for saying what no one ever has said except Nina the slackmistress.

i have had this problem since i was a kid. i have this one bra now that is too tight, gray, thick sweatshirt material. i love that i feel like i'm cram packed into it.

that's why i was hoping that, T be my human bra while I do some kickboxing action. HA!
Descending the stairs was painful for me. Title 9 bras are way more constricting than this thing; are they not blameworthy because they also tend to cover more?
If not one had a chance to read this, it was quite brilliant. you should make it a post AP:

<<< antiprincess
Aug 29th, 2006 at 12:38 pm

“I just observed that escaping from the political dimensions of your appearance is potentially not so easy as switching heels for flats.”

Delphyne - out of the five pairs of shoes I own, three pairs are more-or-less modest heels that I never wear. They gather dust and get ignored, and for what I paid for them, it’s just as well (they’re all second hand, bought to serve a specific purpose like attendance at a wedding or something). The other two are godawful practically-orthopedic slipons (hand-me-downs from a spectacularly fashion-backward aunt), one pair of which I’m wearing right now, as I do every single day and will continue to until I can feel the asphalt on my feet.

I have essentially switched my heels (such as they are) for flats. and you’re right - it was easy. While I was at it, I stopped shaving and started to pretty much ignore all aspects of my appearance. I feel better and have more time to read.

But now that you know what I look like IRL, I’m willing to bet that you still probably think I’m kind of an unfeminist dimwit, even though I don’t look even remotely sexbot-like. You probably conform more closely to patriarchal beauty standards than I do, without even trying.

My choice of footwear does not change the fact that you and I still disagree about almost everything under the sun.

It’s not really the shoes. It’s not really the clothes. It’s not the ribbons or the bows or the boning or the heel or the random odd sucking of whatever sticks out. It’s how we assign meaning to these objects and actions. And those meanings will vary from person to person, some folks investing them with deep symbolic resonance, others with barely a second thought.

glad you dug it, b/l.

hey, I've been trying to read your blog (the UBUNTU post referenced at Belledame's) but I get nothing but a blank page. is something up?
the crazy thing about corsets is that they evolved from an undergarment known as "stays", which prior to the 1600s gave women a sort of cylindrical shape, like a pillar or column. but I don't know whether a woman or a man invented stays in the first place. I can't imagine it being cool for a man of the 1500s to be overly interested in women's undergarments in any context. I guess I'd really have to know a lot about how men and women related to each other in that time.

better do my homework.
thanks for saying something. i didn't realize there was a problem!
yeah, I do love that bit, you know, that what everyone's all got their sensible non-patriarchal panties in a bunch over is the SYMBOLISM of the thing, and that it might make some woman uncomfortable, you know, some OTHER woman on account of NO ONE IS EXACTLY HOLDING A DAMN GUN TO THEIR HEAD AND MAKING THEM BUY THE FUCKING THING, ARE THEY,

but BUT apparently everything ELSE made by Nike is, what, okay-dokey? not nearly as important? take out the pretty-pretty laces and the "boning" and we've got nothing to say? what, the exploited woman and kiddie labor here is barely worth a mention because it doesn't have any SEX in it?

oh, listen, the dinner bell.

what, the exploited woman and kiddie labor here is barely worth a mention because it doesn't have any SEX in it?

Sex is easier and more fun to talk about.

of course, it's kind of a new and innovative definition of "fun" here lately...
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