Isabella/Susan and I have devoted quite a bit of blog space to dealing with corset myths. Here, for instance. (For more, please search “corsets” on this blog.) However, we are only two nerdy history people against a tsunami of myths.
In an essay in a May issue of the New Yorker, the writer referred to women removing ribs to make their waists smaller as an example of how women torture themselves for fashion. We addressed this rib-removal urban legend in our myth-busting talk last spring at the New England Romance Writers Conference, and will no doubt address it again. The short version: No one has yet found a shred of actual medical evidence to support this; the evidence against, on the other hand, is substantial.
Meanwhile, here’s some footage to help bust the myth about Victorian ladies languishing on their sofas (when they weren’t too busy fainting, that is).
And you might want to check out her blog post here.
Image: Henri de Montaut, Etudes sur les femmes 1882-1890, courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1951.
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