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Aug. 4th, 2004 | 01:16 am

I've been wearing my corset while awake for since saturday.

It was a sudden and large enough shift in my appearance that random coworkers noticed and have commented (dropping from somewhere around a 36 inch waist to a 33 inch waist over a weekend is fairly dramatic).

It is surprising at how easily I've adapted. I can walk, bike, carry heavy objects, and breathe deeply. I also show decent signs of manual dexterity in how quickly I've learned to tighten and tie the laces behind my back.

I'm aware of many aspects of how US culture has become more conservative and thus periodically struggles to force women back into being oppressed. For instance, the ever popular trying to define womanhood solely through the ability to be a mother. For a number of years, the constrictive garments of yesteryear were considered symbols of this oppression, and thus it is a bit disturbing for me to be willingly choosing to wear a corset.

Also I've read a number of psychological studies showing that "beautiful" people are not any happier than the general population, and thus I have to question if trying to significantly alter my appearance (above and beyond what is required to be healthy) is worth the time and money.

Wait a second, though "beautiful" people aren't any happier I think there are claims that they do tend to get promoted more often.

Or maybe I'm just frustrated at trying to find a balance between being superficial and trying to focus on "deep and important" issues.

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