Every dieter needs a system and a reality check when told diets don't work. In a space where media reiterates it's not the diet, but the portion size, then corsets modulate the scope of a woman's or man's 'voice,' food choices, and eating habits. Your diet is one more corset of portion control. Dieting, like corseting, is about how much you're allowed to show, keep, or consume. The four most addictive foods are chocolate, cheese, meat, and other dairy products.
The first step is not visiting supermarkets when you're very hungry. The second step is to go shopping without wearing tight clothing. Otherwise you'll feel rebellious against the control of the waist-cincher, girdle, belt, corset, or tummy control panel. And by rebelling, you're more likely to grab that larger portion or decadent treat as comfort.
Corsets are connected to food and eating by creating connectedness with control, reduction, and spatial privacy. They shorten breath and reduce the amount of space a woman occupies in a public place. Do you need the security of feeling laced-in control before you have to make food choices?
Centuries ago, corsets invented by men to hold women back during the ages of various reformations and revolutions that shouted “liberty, quality, and fraternity” or scientific enlightenment. Back then, corsets represented a different type of renewal or rebirth. Corsets limit your spatial reach, the amount of food you can eat at a sitting, and the depth of your breath.
The rope that bound the wrists upon union or marriage later evolved into corsets worn by men to straighten male backs or support hernias and belly fat. Symbolically, the male corset lended backbone as a full-metal jacket. A corset is cirucular, like the wedding ring and the rope that bound the ancient woman's wrists. A male corset is a weapon used against competition in war, whether in the boardroom or on the battlefield. A knight in shining armor is really a man in a backbone-supporting corset.
For the man, a corset is a brace. For the woman, it's a concealed equalizer. Corsets are used as braces and buttresses against the heavy weight of competition. After all, it has been said that the male breaks his back and takes it in the gut to care for, protect, and support his family. The male corset takes a load off his back and a burden off his shoulders while protecting his organs (and his family) from the ravages of that hernia which has torn down his wall of defense. The corset is his fort, wall, and castle.
The male corset offers support in face of pitfalls to avoid. It becomes his hindsight. A corset holds up and supports a man’s back. It gave him backbone. Everything in the world is attached to a spine, from wireless Internet servers and defense systems to electrical power grids. The corset supported society’s psychological backbone.
How a Male Corset Gave Him Backbone
The corset serves the man who seeks power in numbers or exemption from a duty. It’s a reward, a payoff, and part of his decision-making team. The corset becomes a system. Every man needs a system to run his world. The corset became his administrative support, his assistant because it straightened his backbone. The garment evolved into a sports support.
You have the male shoulder corset designed to straighten shoulders squarely into military posture so he can stand up straight while facing the competition.The male posture corset forces a man’s neck to keep his head up high. It helps to position the man first so he can lead with his chin while his shoulders are kept back.
The male had three corsets: a shoulder corset for posture straightening, a belly-fat corset usually worn for hernia support, and his 18th-century male protective codpiece, later used in sports. These three corsets worked together to keep his self-consciousness at bay. Here’s how the corset pushed up his self esteem.
When a man no longer worried about his public posture, his vision could be focused on posturing, that is positioning himself first. With a voice of confidence and resilience, he could then look forward to change or refer back to tradition. With a supportive belly and shoulder corset, like a bullet’s full metal jacket, he couldn’t be blindsided by overlooking important information that could derail his career early on and take away his family.
A man could design the present to partially control the future. The corsets kept his shoulders squarely positioned instead of rounded and hunched over a desk as he saw in his long-laboring tailor. The shoulder corset kept a man from walking as if he were depressed, defeated,and intimidated by industry.
It swept him above the industrial revolution’s dust. With his shoulders back, he could walk into his future leading chin first. The male version of a corset is a wall of support, a fort, a defense against letting it all hang out, against the proverbial hernia: free speech. A male corset sets a man free to stand up straighter and deliver his insight. A corset gives a man an amplified voice of self confidence and resilience.
Spatial Reach: How a Woman’s Corset Holds Her Back and a Man's Corset Supports His Backbone
Corsets modulate the scope of a woman’s voice. In contrast, a female corset is designed by males to hold back a woman’s spatial reach. The style of the varieties of late 19th century female corsets along with the hobble skirts kept the women’s legs back. She could not take wide steps or deep breaths. With such shallow breaths, how could she speak loud enough to be heard in public and ask for the vote?
Opera singers didn’t lace their corsets tightly to belt out their lyrics. That’s where the loose-fitting bodices gave the impression of a corset (to the impressionists). Making a speech publicly requires deep breaths. The corset silenced woman by lacing her in.
It reduced her personalized space. A female corset holds back a woman because un-corseted and unbridled as a neo-classic, or old West pioneer, she might deliver too much foresight. By limiting her spatial reach, she is reined in within a mobile corral. Wise women oracles had been revered for their foresight, then later burnt as witches. Told to be silent in public, only a corset could tighten her breath.
Even in the mid-19th century era of hoop skirts or the 16th - to -18th century ages of farthingales, tiny waists, and hidden hips, or the bustles of the 1880s, corsets, holding women back, became fashionable metaphors and semaphores. From the 18th century on, bodices and dirndls of Europe served another purpose.
On top of the laced-up corset, the outer bodice acted as a crude brassiere. It pushed up the woman’s cleavage into public view while tucking in her waist over the corset undergarment. The corset pulled in her waist to the point where breathing became difficult while lifting her bust line into public view sold food and beer.
Waist-to-Hip Ratio: Attractive World-Wide and Healthier
The corset gave women the illusion of an hourglass figure. Popular culture reveals European beer-hall poetry presenting odes to the “goddess with the bodice” and portraits of tavern waitresses in cleavage-revealing bodices, corseted waists, and hoop skirts or dirndls.
A female corset that enhanced the hourglass figure (also found worldwide to measure attractiveness along with the symmetrical face) fulfilled the universal waist-to-hip ratio ‘proverb’ that “the woman with a small waist and larger hips, a specific numerical waist-to-hip ratio, meant she would remain healthier, be more fertile, and live longer than the woman with a wide waist that matched the size of her hips.”
Modern science recently revealed studies showing that a specific genetic waist-to-hip ratio issue is a predictor of many degenerative, arterial, and age-related ailments. (See the Science Daily article on genetics and abdominal fat. So the health values of the hourglass waist-to-hip ratio became proper hindsight.
How Female Corsets Lassoed Power Then Became Bustled Buttresses In past centuries, corsets originally designed for women weren’t for support as much as for curtailing voting power outside the home and maintaining public silence. Many support garments today are sewn as medical ‘aides’ as in “diabetic socks” that are designed to support your circulation by not being too tight and cutting it off.
Today’s garments are more about acting as buttresses. (Picture those flying buttresses in medieval cathedrals that held up the walls or ceilings.) Support garments evolved into sportswear for women that run in several directions.
Corset as Lasso and Buttress
Years ago corsets reined you in by lassoing your power. There were symbolic corsets—such as the corset of the 1950's secretarial pool as in the New York subways advertisement, "I have a college degree, but 120 wpm shorthand (or 80 wpm note hand) got me my first permanent job."
Now that shorthand has been replaced by digital recorders, transcribing machines, and finally, voice recognition software with dictation traveling on flash drives, another kind of corset has welled up: ageism: the corset of front-office appearance. The secretarial-pool corset has been replaced by the administrative assistant label. The racism corset has moved to the ageism and disability circumlocution.
Circular corsets found in nature are prehistoric spirals. The rope that bound the ancient bridal wrists became the wedding ring of circular hope celebrating the return of spring each year. What goes around comes around. Reincarnation and recycling are circular and binding. Energy becomes matter, becomes energy.
The purpose of a corset is to reduce space and bring the corset wearer full-circle. From starting out on a journey of life, a mission and a purpose, the corset wearer is brought back to the same starting point and to the same conclusion. It's that we come from and return to the same place. The corset curves and curbs its wearers.
It's like saddle-shaped outer space. And it's a torus of tameness that is supposed to create a well-rounded wearer, bringing us closer to the desired symmetry. Corsets reduce the space available in which women freely can move up and out in the world. A corset is a cloak of privacy, an inner burka, abeya, or djellaba worn by western women to create protection, dignity, and beauty. The corset unlike the great equalizer, the burka, reigns a woman in, but supports a man's backbone of resilience and confidence.
Corsets support that need to show hourglass figures to the world. Corsets make the figure less invisible. Burkas make the figure more invisible. Yet both become the great equalizers. Burkas extend personal space. Corsets take condign revenge on personal space.
Ironically, like opaque veils, corsets eventually become the great equalizers of woman-to-woman competition based on healthy appearance rather than inventive achievement. A woman’s purse also is her corset and sometimes her only cavern of privacy other than her womb. Women’s clothing frequently contains no pockets. Who sews money belts and pockets in corsets? Yet that's where money belts need to be zippered in, on the corset or undergarments, invisible publicly.
The Longitude and Latitude of Corsets
When one confident woman wins, her competing friends lose resilience. But the sales pitch is that the corset, like labor, makes a woman equal and free, at least in some historical slogans or advertisements. Think of a corset as a gate of grief, a silencer that supports a person from falling apart in three ways: Emotionally Physically Spatially Emotionally, the corset is a payoff for vying for power through visibility.
A corset solves problems and gets measurable results. It offers a system. The corset curtails a feminine vertical desire to reach beyond the glass ceiling. So the corset provides you with its horizontal solution by reducing your lateral space.
Physically, the corset is a reliquary, python-like vaso-constrictor, inhibiting a woman from taking a refreshing deep breath. Spatially, the female corset keeps you from expanding and taking up space in public.
A total-control corset forces your thighs and knees to stay together as you ride in public transportation because if you try to sit with your knees apart, even with an ankle-length skirt, the lower part of the corset becomes painful to your lower back and thighs.
What can a corset do besides pull in a protruding abdomen? It can diminish the dimensions of privacy; lessen the amount of space a woman has to call her personal space. A corset is a horizontal solution to woman's vertical aspiration. If a man wears a corset it's for a medical reason, to help a bad back or hold in a hernia until surgery is performed.
When a woman dons a corset, it's to reign her in, all of her, body, soul, and ambitions. A corset creates spatial feminism and masculinism. It's supposed to lend support to your confidence, resilience, and personal voice. You can't climb the corporate ladder in a silver-plated corset but you can do almost anything in your “18 hour bra” as the advertisement suggests.
Without pockets, your purse becomes your private world. But does a corset protect women from pick pockets and purse snatchers? No. Did you ever see a purse or pocket built into a corset unless you sewed one in yourself?
Woman's space or a pocket of privacy is irony. The more private space changes change, the more purse space stays the same. Women are still squeezed into tight corsets. Some women's only private and personal space is the inside of their purses, since no girdles have money belts built in and few dresses, blouses, or skirts have pockets. You’re lucky if you can find a jacket with pockets that can be snapped, Velcroed, or zipped shut to discourage pickpockets.
Women are relegated to carrying heavy tote bags or purses that easily can be snatched. You'd have to wear a money belt to feel a cavern of privacy. Take off your corset, leave the purse home, sew pockets in your clothing, and suddenly you feel you have a cavern of deep thinking. Did mankind remove the pockets from women’s clothing because they can’t remove a woman’s womb as a cavern of privacy? Why are women denied space?
Corsets, purses, bonnets, and the ribbon-tied, ankle-length crotchless panties of 1907 all became containers of personal space without constraints of time. In 1880, women contracted their bodies into hard-wired corsets like full metal jackets, whereas men spread their knees when taking up an entire seat in trains and busses, to make a spatial power point.
The aging creative woman—writer, scientist, or artist--whose vocation is prepaid self-expression is squeezed into the corset of loss-of-self when faced with younger competition. The whole problem of being squeezed into modern corsets of the mind centers around the problem of being denied woman-space. Corsets trade the wisdom of age for the energy of youth.
Space in Public Transit
In a bus, plane, or train seat women squeeze their knees together or cross their legs to crawl into the smallest space possible. In movie theaters, men tend to hog the armrests and let their knees flap wide apart to take up as much space as possible. Men’s arms flail across backs of bus seats or across the front of the empty seat in front of them. In a theatre, often men’s feet get propped up on the neck rest of the seat in front of them. A man’s elbow (and some women’s) juts across the seat in front, butting into the back of the head of the next female passenger, but rarely if a man is seated in front seat.
Men in public transit, theaters, and at dinner tables spread their thighs so far apart; comediennes comment that their knees are practically in different time zones. Another famous TV joke heard a decade ago ran something like: "he spreads his knees so far apart, a Mack truck could drive through it." It's not because an individual is wearing long pants.
Watch how uncomfortable this makes the women sitting next to men hogging a bus seat, squeezed into a metallic corset between the men's flapping knees and the metal wall. The men’s shoulders move so far to invade the woman’s personal space area so that it becomes difficult to take a deep breath.
As men spread their arms across the top of a bus, train, or plane seat, the woman’s shoulders are nearly crushed in a vise-like grip between the men’s shoulders and the metal wall of the vehicle. Men are unaware of how they take up so much space and allow so little to women. Even in the home, a woman's only personal space lies inside her purse or pockets.
It's the only place her mate doesn't sometimes order her to arrange items to his thinking, sensing order. Even her emails or Web sites are never private. There is no privacy in cyberspace let alone in personal space.
A woman often loses her own bedroom upon marriage, unless her husband’s loud snoring becomes the drive to separate rooms for sleep. She shares the bed with her husband. The blankets, sheets, and even the amount of oxygen in the air is measured and counted by his consumption, his hogging of space.
Two people sleeping in the same bed share each other’s viruses, vapors, cold sores, morning breath, and sweat creating too much carbon dioxide in a closed-door, close-windowed room. And there’s the dog at the foot of the bed.
Square Footage Allowed Per Person is a Spatial Corset
The number of square feet allowed a woman in her home is about two-thirds less allowed to the man. At home he hogs space, assuming the home is his, particularly if he has paid the greater share of down payment or mortgage payment on it.
There are spatial corsets of resistance confined to homes, bedrooms, private bathrooms, and office cubicles. Until recently, most private homes affordable to average income people had one bathroom and two tiny bedrooms.
They are called starter homes today, but more often are retirement dwellings. In a one-bathroom home, the bathroom belongs to the man and his possessions. The woman cleans his toilet. He'll knock on the door and complain if she stays too long, but she'll never knock on the bathroom door and complain loudly if he stays in too long.
It's the woman in the tight corset who complains when her husband, father, or brother uses anger and loud banging on metal with a hammer to get power. The woman with pain stays in the bathroom longer (pain of hemorrhoids, pain of healing after childbirth, pain of arthritis inflamed more by repressed anger than joint wear and tear, pain of migraine from estrogen fluctuations before each period, pain of ovulation, pain of menopause and reactions to medications taken to "keep her quiet, and the breathing-related pain of a tight corset." The man or family assumes she's reading in the john.
Houses with Less Space
Today homes and apartments are being built with less space to be more affordable. The less space a woman has in her home, work, or private life, the larger her purse or tote bag. A bag lady is a bag lady in order to get private space. Inside a woman's purse is a private and personal world, like a fishbowl universe. The insides of a purse can take on the essence of a science fiction universe.
A man's space reveals the need for a small wallet and a thick roll of cash or cards or a thinner cell phone. Woman-space reveals large tote bags and lots of private space inside the bag, but tiny wallets with less money and more family photos in plastic sleeves.
The woman who wears a money belt under her blouse instead of carrying a purse has felt more personal space than the woman who carries a large canvas purse or tote bag covered by home-sewn brocade fabric.
Bag Lady Corsets
The bag lady’s corset is carted on the outside, not worn under her clothes. It is her only semblance of privacy and personal space. Bag lady woman-space contracts into a corset that varies from a shopping cart to a walker or power chair. Perhaps it's time to seek out new world, new personal spaces, multi-universes, wombs that are great caverns of deep physical thinking and talking tombs that pay homage to the ticking clock. Corsets snare women on the barbed wire of time. Too tight, too much time, too little money.
Tightening Waistlines in Reaction to Expanding Brain Lines
Our world is full of silver-plated and whale-bone corsets, no matter how tough the woman is, no matter how much she questions all authority and thinks for herself. And the world is awash in purses of all sizes, into which she must squeeze that last bastion of personal and private space. The more things change, the more they stay constricted to a tiny cell of space. The world is growing smaller, and cannot support all the people in the world unless new resources are found that won’t be depleted in the next generation. The solution is another corset such as Internet Three or Four or Five and beyond the next means of fast connections.
The Internet is a corset--a grid of connection that gives the illusion that the world is shrinking. We try to share meaning and define it as communication with connection. Corsets are about retention, tradition, and regulation. They are successful giants of the past that people seek to imitate. The enemy of corsets is not the stress of rapid change or visions of the future. It’s irony.
That's the irony in woman-space. Every woman's corset or stretch purse is her private womb. The more space a woman takes up, whether it be with her arms or knees, the more she’ll be able to assess a semblance of privacy at home or at work.
The world can’t corset a pregnant creator. It has been said that life will not be contained here or in outer space. As pregnancy expands a woman’s private space, men take up more public space in order to get equal space. A pregnant woman shares her womb with her baby. It isn’t privacy at all, but it’s a built-in corset of creation. It’s a pocket, a money belt, and an inner way of getting the space she needs. It’s an inner-programmed drive toward expansion to understand and control nature.
What women need is a corset of courage that also encourages expansion in an infinite multiverse. Atoms are moving apart in space. Minds also need to expand and grow. Was the tightening of the female waistline in reaction to the expansion of the female brain line? By whom? By the same males that destroyed the worship of pregnant goddesses that fed the milk of humanity to the prehistoric world before societies became too complex? Perhaps they realized.
Corsets tell the evolving woman, "I'm scared to make a change." In contrast, the neo-classic Empire waist dress of 1803 told women, "I'm free to speak with a voice of confidence and resilence." The loose-folds of the high-waisted, flowing garment allowed women to breathe as deeply as they needed to relax as they spoke out.
It resembled the dresses of ancient Greece and Rome, without the inheritance restrictions on women. Most free and uncorseted were the big-bellied, perhaps worshipped for their ability to create life, stone-age “venuses” sculptured 26,000 years ago were simply human. Perhaps the corset issue really is about privacy and equal space in latitude?
What if the answer lies… as it has been said in “the horizontal expression of a vertical desire?” As mankind reaches with his knees in a plié and outstretched arms across the seat of a bus for more space laterally, women reach vertically for the new glass ceiling and eventually become astronauts. What kinds of out-of-sight corsets provide hindsight, insight, and foresight? Or do we need the opposite of a corset—an expansion gadget? Listen to my audio on this topic at: Open Source Audio. Anne Hart. Listen to my audio lecture....