My writing group
Struggling for sanity during the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined an on-line writing group which has been keeping from destructive habits about three hours a week. Maybe I can be the Grandma Moses of blog.
It just happened that one of the writers has a newly published book: The Invisible Corset: Break Free from Beauty Culture and Embrace Your Radiant Self. Lauren Geertsen is young, smart, gracious, and humble. She confesses in her book that she may not be taken seriously on this topic, because she is also slim and very attractive. I won’t spoil the book; read for yourself why the subject is personal for her.
My last girdle
I bought the book to support her and enjoyed the quality of prose and her passion for the subject. I don’t remember corsets, but I do remember slips, feminine belts, nylon hose, and girdles with garters. Ugh!!
I wore a girdle for the last time when I was in college. Needing a black dress for a choral concert, I borrowed one from my suite-mate who was a size smaller. The girdle made the dress wearable but resulted in horrible gas pains. It may have assisted me in hitting the high notes, which probably resembled more closely screeches of agony.
I couldn’t wait to remove the constriction. Thankfully, the ‘70’s were pushing for the natural look, so I never donned a girdle again.
(I confess to wearing spanks under my mother-of-the-groom dress for my son’s wedding a few years ago but only to prevent jiggling while I danced. It did nothing for my figure.)
What are we doing to women?!
Back to the subject at hand: the book confirms the danger of society’s emphasis on body image. Lauren offers some exercises for insight, which I continue to use. I won’t give them away: read the book.
Hopefully Lauren continues in her mission to educate men and women of the talent wasted to our obsession with the female body. The issue has been around since Eve got the blame for the original sin. It isn’t going away soon.
Here is my personal issue: my friends continue to obsess over numbers, especially weight. Today we congratulated my daughter on her weight loss of 35 pounds. Michelle has worked hard to optimize her health and deserves kudos.
However, I would rather she feel prouder of the fact that she has progressed from hiking two miles with effort to now hiking eight miles with ease. She, like her mother, will never be a skinny ninny, but she can be healthy and feel well and happy.