I don’t pretend to be highbrow. My idea of culture is a Dance Moms marathon, while flicking through Heat magazine; I may not know anything about art but I DO know which celeb has had a vajazzle. So yes, I know a thing or two about the Kardashians. I watch the show, follow them on Instagram, and my favourite one changes each week (Khloe, Scott, and now, obviously, Bruce). I know it’s probably turning my brain into mush and giving me very unachievable arse/eyebrow goals, but I’ve never been that bothered about the message they’re putting out (go on, revoke my feminist points…bovd), until now.
Because of this:
That, ladies and gents, is a corset. It’s being rebranded as a ‘waist trainer’, but let’s be fucking honest, it’s a corset. It’s not just the Kardashians that have started wearing these; they’ve been seen on everyone from Jessica Alba and Amber Rose, to, on this side of the pond…erm…people off TOWIE and Kerry Katona.
Alright, so people doing mad stuff to their bodies to look attractive is nothing new, but this trend has infuriated me a million times more because of what it represents. Corsets were worn extensively up until the 1920s, ostensibly to create a certain shape. But corsets meant that women couldn’t run, or even bend down. They caused fainting fits, breathing and spinal problems, even death. They kept women pinned to chairs. They made women physically weak, to go with our ‘weak minds’. They essentially constricted us for hundreds of years, and now we’re just accepting them back like it’s some kind of wanky but acceptable fad?
I wrote in my last post about accepting your own face. Accepting our own bodies is maybe harder, as there is so much stigma attached to weight. But here’s the thing: not everyone can have a ridonc hourglass figure. Kim K HAS that figure, but look at the extremes she’s going to, to make it even more cartoonish. It feels like if you’re thin, you’re too thin, and not sexy. If you’re fat, you’re gross. Being ‘curvy’ is allowed as long as you have a flat stomach, massive boobs, and no cellulite. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who naturally has that figure, so it seems the only way to get it is by trussing yourself up like some sort of Victorian turkey.
Don’t these corsets hurt? Don’t they dig in, all day every day, as a reminder that your body isn’t good enough, so it needs to be squished into submission? I don’t even get how they work anyway. Where does the fat go? Does it get hoicked up under your armpits? Or pushed down so you end up with a fat vadge? If vagina corset wearing becomes a thing, it will be the beginning of the end for us all.
Corsets are a misogynist’s dream. They fear feminists because *opinions* and, y’know, *brains*. They want some wet flannel of a wife (or to be, themselves, a wet flannel of a wife), to sit at home all dolled up and agreeable, with a perfect little waist and the inability to actually move more than 10 meters without needing help. But we all know that misogyny comes from fear. They fear change, and see feminists as a threat to the ‘traditional way of life’, not realising that maybe the traditional way of life may be outdated, stupid, and wrong. Misogynistic men fear women: our sexuality, our power, our earning potential, the fact that we don’t need them like we used to.
So us women: surely we don’t have time for this shit? Surely we should be too busy writing books and running charities, raising the next generation of ballsy girls and changing the world, to be strapping ourselves into what is essentially a tiny ribcage jail? Do we want our kids growing up to think that this is OK; that they should do it? To paraphrase Helen Lovejoy, WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!
So let’s copy the Kardashian’s business savvy, their suffocating but endearing closeness as a family, their contouring and their belfie’s, if you really must. But leave the waist training to them. It’s reductive, primitive, and I guarantee you don’t need it. Plus it means you can run for the bus, karate kick someone, and give the finger to any misogynists without collapsing on a heap in the floor. Now that’s a lesson to teach our daughters.