wtf: “Megan Fox Reveals She Wore 18-Inch Corset in New Flick”

Holy crap. I saw this headline the other day and I was going to relegate it to this upcoming weekend’s Leftover Links… and then I saw the movie, and saw exactly the kind of torture that Megan Fox had to endure during shooting.

First, a few choice excerpts from the Us Magazine article:

In the DC Comics adaptation, Fox, 24 — who plays the gun-wielding prostitute Lilah — is forced to wear a very tight-fitting corset.

Just how constricting was the costume (which raised eyebrows last year after early film stills hit the web)?

“It’s small,” she tells MTV News. “We got it down to 18 inches. But in the action scenes, we loosened it up, because everyone was afraid I was going to pass out.”

And why were they afraid she might pass out? Take a look at this image from the set:

That is not normal. I don’t care what sort of historical accuracy the film was shooting for (it’s not concerned with historical accuracy in other areas) — there was no reason for her to have been “forced” to wear a device like this. It makes Fox look terrible onscreen: it is freakishly distracting. And it is a torture device:

Her midsection ached even went she removed the corset.

“At the end of the day when we would take it off, it would leave these deep grooves, these deep indents from the boning in the corset,” Fox says. “I’d have it for the whole next day. The next 24 hours I’d be imprinted with the corset. It hurts your ribs!”

This is the dominance of the male gaze taken to dangerous extremes.

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RyanT
RyanT
Thu, Jun 17, 2010 3:56pm

I can’t even say anything witty or… anything. Wow.

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  RyanT
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:18am

1 I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060

Kassia
Kassia
Thu, Jun 17, 2010 4:02pm

Holy shit… that’s not normal.

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  Kassia
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:18am

2 I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060

Paul
Paul
Thu, Jun 17, 2010 4:25pm

Now you know why women kept having fainting spells in classical literature.

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  Paul
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:18am

3 I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060

Ian
Ian
Thu, Jun 17, 2010 4:38pm

That’s ridiculous.

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  Ian
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:18am

4 I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060

Tonio Kruger
Thu, Jun 17, 2010 5:07pm

Yes, that is terrible.

And ironic when you consider that the whole idea of “thin = beautiful” really didn’t start going to such extremes until after the end of World War I. But then I doubt the producers of that movie were all that interested in historical accuracy.

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:18am

5 I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060

drewryce
drewryce
Thu, Jun 17, 2010 5:58pm

(In the bedroom, Scarlett is having Mammie measure her waist.)

SCARLETT: Try again Mammie.

MAMMIE: Twenty inches.

SCARLETT: Twenty inches? I’ve grown as big as Aunt Pitty. You’ve

simply got to make it eighteen and a half again, Mammie.

MAMMIE: You done had a baby, Miss Scarlett. And you ain’t never

going to be no eighteen and a half inches again. Never. And there

ain’t nothing to do about it.

SCARLETT: There is something to do about it. I’m just not going to

get old and fat before my time. I just won’t have any more babies.

MAMMIE: I heard Mr. Rhett said that he’d be wanting to have a son

next year.

SCARLETT: Go tell Captain Butler I decided not to go out after all.

I’ll have supper in my room.

(Scarlett sits motionless in the chair, fixing her eyes on a picture. It is

a picture of Ashley. Then Rhett comes in. Scarlett hurriedly turns the

picture upside down.)

RHETT: I got your message. I’ll have them bring my supper up here

too. No objections to that, I hope.

SCARLETT: No…yes, I…I mean I don’t care where you have your

supper. Rhett?

RHETT: Yes?

SCARLETT: You see…well, I’ve decided-well, I hope I don’t have

any more children. (Rhett notices the picture of Ashley.)

RHETT: My pet, as I told you before Bonnie was born. It is

immaterial to me whether you have one child or twenty.

SCARLETT: I know, but do you know what I…do you know what I

mean?

RHETT: I do. And do you know I can divorce you for this?

ben cho
ben cho
Thu, Jun 17, 2010 6:57pm

omg. i want to see an xray of how the internal organs have shifted positions when the corset is on….

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  ben cho
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:19am

7 I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060

Kat
Kat
Thu, Jun 17, 2010 7:29pm

omg. i want to see an xray of how the internal organs have shifted positions when the corset is on….

Just do a Google search on tightlacing (word of caution: not entirely work-safe). Current world-record is 15 inches btw.

nina
nina
Thu, Jun 17, 2010 9:52pm

Jeezus, how was she able to deliver her lines with her body constricted like that?! Maybe she does deserve a little credit…

Wait…

No.

JoshB
JoshB
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 12:38am

This is the dominance of the male gaze taken to dangerous extremes.

What? Whose male gaze? Not mine. My male gaze looks at that picture and says “Get that horrifying shit off of her before her kidney pops out of her eye socket.”

Obviously someone, somewhere, thinks that looks sexy, which is utterly mystifying. All I get is sympathy pain.

Uncool.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 2:33am

This is the dominance of the male gaze taken to dangerous extremes.

That’s not right. It can certainly be called the application of the male gaze taken to dangerous extremes. But in 2010 the sight of a corset is such an extreme example that I don’t think it’s fair to relate it to the dominance of male gaze. It’s the same as how isolated instances of female gaze do not balance the culture. Dominance here is about patterns. The female gaze could be dominant in our culture and an 18-inch corset would still be a very bad example of male gaze. Your argument about the dominance of male gaze over female gaze in our culture is perfectly valid. It neither needs, nor benefits from, the demonization of the male gaze in and of itself.

Isobel
Isobel
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 4:00am

I’m sure they thought they were going for historical accuracy with the 18 inch waist, after all Victorian women did that. Victorian women were also much much smaller in general (have you seen Victorian clothes in a museum? Everything about them is smaller, accross the shoulders, height etc). So an 18 inch waist on a Victorian woman was not the same as an 18 inch waist on a modern woman (and even then, it made them faint).

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  Isobel
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:19am

8 I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060

Brian
Brian
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 8:35am

It seems to me that, if they really wanted to achieve that look, they could have put her in an appropriately sized green corset and just “cinched her up” to 18 inches with CG in post. No uncomfortable actress, and some lucky Photoshop jockey gets paid. If they can give Ryan Reynolds an all-CG costume for the new Green Lantern movie, surely they can do that.

Then again, a devil’s advocate position: The annals of film acting are full of horror stories about hellish costumes. I wonder how much different this really is from other actresses and actors who undergo hours of makeup or prosthetics, or wear painful, constricting superhero suits, all for the sake of looking just right for the camera.

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  Brian
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:19am

9 I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060

Accounting Ninja
Accounting Ninja
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 9:40am

Dr. Rocketscience, I would agree with you, I’d say that the prevalence of porny breast implants is more indicative of the modern male gaze at work. But I would not agree with you about the “demonization” of male gaze. Pointing out the dangerous, painful ways which women conform to the male gaze (foot-binding, corsets, breast implants and other elective cosmetic surgeries, for examples) is not “demonizing” anything, even if the observation was a bit anachronistic. It is still on the same continuum.

Isobel, yes! This vintage-phile is way too Amazonian in stature to ever fit into those tiny, neat duds (NOT corsets, though, I’m not interested in bruising my internal organs). Poop.

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  Accounting Ninja
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:20am

I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060
10

CrazyEye
CrazyEye
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 12:53pm

omg. i want to see an xray of how the internal organs have shifted positions when the corset is on….

Rather an MRI of the brain of whoever thought this was a good idea so we can see what’s wrong with their head. Director used to be an animator at Pixar.. trying to make everything look cartoony and forgot people aren’t CG?

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 1:40pm

What? Whose male gaze? Not mine. My male gaze looks at that picture and says “Get that horrifying shit off of her before her kidney pops out of her eye socket.”

That’s not right. It can certainly be called the application of the male gaze taken to dangerous extremes. But in 2010 the sight of a corset is such an extreme example that I don’t think it’s fair to relate it to the dominance of male gaze.

But it is. Whether or not it actually works to turn you on, a male director dressed his female star like this because he thought it would make her look sexier. Whether he succeeded or failed at that is beside the point: the point is why he did it.

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  MaryAnn
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:22am

I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060

15

Tonio Kruger
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 2:35pm

I’m sure they thought they were going for historical accuracy with the 18 inch waist, after all Victorian women did that. Victorian women were also much much smaller in general (have you seen Victorian clothes in a museum? Everything about them is smaller, across the shoulders, height etc). So an 18 inch waist on a Victorian woman was not the same as an 18 inch waist on a modern woman (and even then, it made them faint).

Point taken, Isobel.

But didn’t the latter end of that era also give us the Gibson Girl, an idealized female who most definitely was not thin by today’s standards? And were the most famous stars of that era (for example, Lily Langtry) really that thin compared to modern women? There was probably never a time in American society where being fat and female was entirely popular but there were times when society’s definitions of “fat” and “thin” were a lot more kinder to women than they are today. Thus, in the age when Mae West, Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe and other full-figured women were still famous, it was not unknown to see novels and short stories in which the female characters would look at themselves in the mirror and wonder if they were too skinny. I doubt that happens much today.

Ide Cyan
Ide Cyan
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 2:39pm

Quoth Elizabeth Swann: “You like pain? Try wearing a corset!” *hits pirate with a pole*

Mathias
Mathias
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 2:43pm

18 inches?!? That is beyond ridiculous. To put that into perspective, professional models struggle to get down to the industry-standard of 24 inches.

figbash
figbash
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 3:46pm

May I suggest, before making judgements about the male or female gaze, that you take a look at ‘Fashion & Fetishism: Corsets, Tight-Lacing and Other Forms of Body-Sculpture’ by David Kunzle. He examines the history of tight-lacing and comes to the conclusion that:

(a) Even at the height of the Victorian tight-lacing craze, it was very rare for women to go below 18 inches.
(b) In fact, tight-lacing was very strongly opposed by the male establishment. It seems to have been something women did of their own accord. This can be seen from the often rather over-heated correspondence pages of some of the Victorian women’s journals.

I’d also comment in passing that in her memoirs, Katharine Hepburn claims to have had an 18 inch waist in the late ’30s.

JoshB
JoshB
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 4:11pm

@figbash:

I don’t get it. What does any of that have to do with Megan Fox getting squeezed like toothpaste here in 2010?

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 4:15pm

But didn’t the latter end of that era also give us the Gibson Girl, an idealized female who most definitely was not thin by today’s standards?

But again, it’s still women’s bodies being subject to the dictates of fashion: women’s bodies being determined to be acceptable or not according to what men thought of them.

it was not unknown to see novels and short stories in which the female characters would look at themselves in the mirror and wonder if they were too skinny. I doubt that happens much today.

Yes, that absolutely happened. And it’s no better than the opposite thing happening today.

Knightgee
Knightgee
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 6:06pm

(b) In fact, tight-lacing was very strongly opposed by the male establishment. It seems to have been something women did of their own accord.

I think this ignores the way women often accept and internalize patriarchial standards of beauty. And men being against it doesn’t particularly mean much if the images they were distributing of women at the time still showed them with ridiculously thin waists and then considered these images attractive, beautiful or arousing.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 6:53pm

Yeah, “demonize” isn’t the right word. I realized that a 1/2 hour later when went to try again to sleep. Let me rephrase.

Corsets are bad. The dominance of male gaze is bad. But the dominance of the male gaze is not bad because corsets are bad, nor vice versa. Again, a corset is not the dominance of the male gaze gone to extremes, it’s just the male gaze, in and of itself, gone to extremes. women everywhere wearing corsets would be the dominance of the male gaze gone to extremes.

Also, why do people put things “on the same spectrum” in an attempt to equivocate, when to put things on a spectrum is specifically not to make them equivalent. For instance, i could say that fishing is “on the same spectrum” as cannibalism. Or that “not with us” is on the same spectrum as “with the terrorists”.

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:20am

I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and
most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted,
Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would
be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the
costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly
around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the
top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly,
meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down
then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect
that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s
never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes,
the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces
down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get
indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough
almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do,
they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a
medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day
to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can
breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when
the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060

11

JoshB
JoshB
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 7:11pm

Again, a corset is not the dominance of the male gaze gone to extremes, it’s just the male gaze, in and of itself, gone to extremes. women everywhere wearing corsets would be the dominance of the male gaze gone to extremes.

After considering MaryAnn’s response, I concede that it is the dominance of the male gaze. The fact that a man told her to do this, and she didn’t say “hell no” and no one else said “stop this madness” is dominance. Everyone involved thought this would appeal to the average man, and that was enough to make it happen.

Which, again, uncool.

Accounting Ninja
Accounting Ninja
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 9:03pm

Maybe continuum was the wrong word. What I meant was, even though the expression of the male gaze might change over time (some eras skinny is in, some eras chubby is in, we’ve gone from corsets to breast implants, etc), the male gaze itself remains ubiquitous and, whatever form it takes, oppressive.

Isobel
Isobel
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 9:48pm

@ Tonio – I didn’t mean that Victorian women were thinner (they probably weren’t) but that they were just smaller in general (as were men), so 18 inches was bigger then than it is now, and even then it was damaging. I think I remember reading that 5 foot 4 was considered really quite tall for a Victorian woman and that’s short now, whereas now I’m five foot nothing and am by far the shortest person I know.

Parrish
Parrish
Sat, Jun 19, 2010 4:48am

For a long time, I’ve been trying to convince people that Megan Fox isn’t an actual human being, that she’s a pure CGI construct just like Optimus Prime. The whole “in love with a Russian stripper” thing, real people don’t do that.

This is not a picture of an actress, it’s a cartoon character.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
Sat, Jun 19, 2010 11:10pm

the male gaze itself remains ubiquitous and,whatever form it takes, oppressive.

(Emphasis mine)

Here you lose me again. The male gaze, in and of itself, is not inherently bad. What’s bad is that the male gaze as an aesthetic is dominant to an extreme in culture, neglecting the desires and interests of half the human population. That some expressions of the male gaze are harmful is a separate issue.

To put it another way, if the male gaze is bad, how does that make the female gaze good? Or are we trying to get two wrongs to make a right?

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 12:20am

I agree that the male gaze itself is not oppressive, it’s its dominance that is oppressive. But we wouldn’t even talk about a “male gaze” if it wasn’t oppressive and dominant in the first place.

“The male gaze,” by the way, doesn’t mean “every instance of a man looking at a woman.” It’s the *institutional* male gaze that is oppressive. So while it’s sort of hard to say that every instance of a man looking at a woman is oppressive, it’s hard to remove those instances from the cultural context in which they occur, particularly if there’s nothing else to the gaze beyond the gaze.

If the female gaze were dominant and oppressive, it would be wrong, too. But it isn’t dominant — nowhere near. So playing with it becomes a matter of taunting the oppressors, of speaking truth to power. It’s not about two wrongs making a right (which I don’t think ever works).

Maura
Maura
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 10:30am

It’s a myth that all Victorian women squashed their waists down to ridiculous sizes. Fashion historian Valerie Steele did something interesting a few years ago- rather than looking at the “idealized” illustrations, handwringing articles bemoaning the state of womanhood, etc., she actually studied corset ADVERTISEMENTS from the period- which show much more clearly what was really available to women, and what they were really buying. She found most advertised waist sizes in the 20-30-inch range, with larger sizes readily available as well.

That is not at all to negate the male gaze or the fact that women DID modify their bodies with major foundation garments because of it. Those illustrations, catalog pictures, etc. DID represent a hugely distorted male ideal, and one to which women did make efforts to conform, even if the reality didn’t usually mirror the extreme.

drewryce
drewryce
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 11:47am

I am trying to think of what a similar apparatus for men would be like.
An under nut sack wire brace that holds the testicles in an up right and locked position?
Maybe something like in The Incredibles where the guy would stuff himself into a similar corset that then forces his beer gut up into his chest?

Orangutan
Orangutan
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 12:07pm

Men DID corset. Still do, though it’s rare. There was even a CSI episode about it! :) Briefly in the early 1800s, it was fashionable for men to have that wasp-waist look too.

Dokeo
Dokeo
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 3:41pm

And Shatner, of course. :-)

Tonio Kruger
Sun, Jun 20, 2010 5:56pm

Lee Marvin’s gunslinger with a heart of gold character in Cat Ballou donned a corset toward the end of that movie. Who knew that was historically accurate?

Moe.
Moe.
Fri, Jul 02, 2010 10:27am

That’s pretty sick.

It’s obvious that there is a mass-produced standard of beauty in this nation that is oppressive, painful.

It’s used to drive a billion-dollar-a-year industry devoted to tummy-tucks, diet crazes, and making otherwise wonderful women feel inadequate and viewed solely in the context of their bodies and their ability to provide pleasure for men.

A task made increasingly difficult by the selfishness and fetishism of male sexuality in our culture.

When will it end?

Fubulousity
Fubulousity
Sat, Oct 04, 2014 7:17am

I’ve got to say that this article is probably one of the stupidest and most misinformed articles I’ve ever seen, for multiple reasons.

Granted, Megan Fox doesn’t look entirely comfortable in that picture. This would be because her corset is an off the rack corset, (probably from the costume stock the studio has got) and probably doesn’t fit her properly around the hips or underbust (it does look like it gapes a bit at the top of the corset).

Also, it probably wasn’t worn in correctly, meaning that she got to the set on the first day and they laced her down then and there to the 18 inch target. Realistically, one would expect that the breaking in process would take around a month or two, as she’s never corseted before.

She would also need a proper liner. Yes, the indentations do happen. I’m a regular corseter, and usually laces down to about 22 inches from a 31 inch natural waist. I do get indentations, but a liner worn under the corset that is thick enough almost completely stops indentations from happening. (If they do, they’re only deep enough to hang around for about an hour, even at a medium reduction of 9 inches.)

As said above, I corset on a day to day basis, and I wear a corset all the time, except to sleep. I can breathe fine, as the body naturally starts breathing from the chest when the diaphragm is compressed.

I’ll leave some resources here for the misinformed lot of you.
http://lucycorsetry.com/2012/01/06/corsets-and-breathing/
http://lucycorsetry.com/2014/09/25/corsets-and-the-victorian-fainting-culture/
http://www.staylace.com/medicaladvice/med_cthb.htm
http://io9.com/no-corsets-did-not-destroy-the-health-of-victorian-wom-1545644060