I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.
Overview: It seems like the mainstay of Victorian fashion has made a comeback. The corset is being bought so that women can get a similar shape as some of today’s actresses and singers. Oh boy! Vanna B. is going to show us how to properly use one.
Story Telling: We have some interesting tidbits of information here. Other than that, or because of it, this is a typical self-help book.
Likes: This was a pretty good way to learn how a corset works, what they look like, you know the things that those with an interest in the medieval, or even Victorian era, might find fascinating.
Dislikes: Now, my problem is that some of her sources ignored the wisdom of the doctors of the time of the corset’s height of fame. Perhaps, both Ms. Steele and our host should give those experts, at the time, credit. After all, as it is mentioned, corsets were a vital part of a lady’s modesty. In fact, women were seen as indecent without them. I think it was more along the lines of the doctors suggesting that, perhaps, the extreme hourglass figure was just too deforming. Do you really think that any doctor at that time would come out against corsets, and keep his job?
Now the other part. The ‘Measurement Tracker’ seems like a dangerous position to include in a book like this. It will not surprise me to find that some have used this to aide their self-competition for the perfect form. It could lead easily to a new style of body image problems.
Favorite Quote: This fits simply because it comes at the end of the chapter advocating the corset’s safety. “Trying to rush the process by tying our corset too tightly, wearing it for too long, or forcing it to lace to small too soon is dangerous and increases the risk of injury.”
Favorite Scene: This really makes the song “Yankee Doodle” a lot funnier than, perhaps, it was meant to be (I hope). All I can say, is to read the little square on dandyism in Chapter 4. You will see what I mean.
Conclusion: I can understand the use of a basic corset. Some times the smooth look is required. It’s the deforming corsets that I don’t like. I see it the same way as the Indonesian neck-stretching, or the Chinese foot-binding, or wherever they stretch their earlobes. There’s just something wrong with such self-mutilations.