Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Vichy Feminist of the Day

Cathie Jung

So, this woman has deformed her body in order to "accentuate the natural and beautiful curves of the female figure." Natural? She wears a corset 23 hours a day. Her waist is FIFTEEN INCHES around in a corset, and x-rays on her website show her ribs are deformed. Her husband, a doctor, clearly has no problem with this. Her "feminine curves" outrank her "natural" health for him, clearly. He, of course, being the Expert Male Doctor, claims there are no bad side-effects to twenty years of tight lacing.

This is no different from foot-binding, neck-stretching, genital mutilation: it is deformation of the female body in order to conform to an extreme notion of what men find attractive. Like all Vichy feminists, she claims to be doing it for herself, this "waist training," because she likes wearing Victorian clothes. But she also likes to pose in her undergarments, with her husband (fully dressed of course), looking altogether like an unnatural Bellocq turn-of-the century prostitute. It's not about costuming: it's about being a sexbot for the male gaze. You can wear a corset with period costume without "tight-lacing" and deforming your body; this isn't about corsets or about period costume. Her actual bones are deformed for no good reason.

Ye gods, and don't even get me started on her smarmy-looking, smug husband in his leather suit. The whole thing gives me the creeps.

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