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The Corset Has Always Been Controversial—Here’s How It Went From Oppressive To Empowering, Real Quick

Often associated with physical oppression and sexual commodification, the corset has acquired different meanings through time. There’s no denying that we all have a sort of love-hate relationship with it. On one hand, it’s sexy and flattering, on the other… you kinda need to breathe. The shapewear piece has been seen on everyone lately, from Lizzo to the Hadid sisters, and with it becoming such a trend, we wanted to unpack the history behind the iconic garment. 

Whether they lace-up or button-down, corsets are the sexy shapewear that we all associate with a sultry, fetishistic look. 

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The corset has gone from an object of discomfort, oppression and commodification, to one of erotic enforcement and empowerment.  “While the corset has historically signified both beauty and oppression, corsetry, as we know it today, has been reclaimed by women who feel empowered and proud of their sexuality,” explains Patricia Maeda, editor of Fashion Snoops.

Originally, the corset was used to enhance the female body. 

The corset was a bodice used in European civilization to enhance the female form by tightening the waist and perking up the chest as well as improving posture. 

Since females were thought to be the ‘weaker’ sex, women were expected to wear corsets to keep their bodies from becoming deformed.

“The primary function of corsets was to hold the breasts in place and to create a smooth foundation for the fashionable silhouette,” says Audrey McKnight, a Paris-based fashion historian. What few know, is that boys wore it until they were about 10 years old to train their bodies, while women wore it throughout their entire lives.

They were a symbol of “civilzed” dress.

“Corsets were used as a site of colonial control, a symbol of ‘civilized’ dress, and acting as a means of subtle physical control over subjugated peoples,” says McKnight. “For the majority of middle-class women, however, corsets were necessary for the fashions of the day, and not worn to an extreme size.”

Corsets also helped differentiate the noble from the worker. 

The corset was an instrument of social domination that helped the noble or the rich, from the worker. “A subsequent dress reform movement spoke out against the evils and health issues spurred by wearing a corset.”

The corset has been used in pop culture to make a point about how certain clothing can become a symbol of the patriarchy. 

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Corsets were thought to safeguard internal health and to promote good posture. But with the beginning of the women’s dress reform which began in the 1850s, a growing number of people including feminists, health advocates, physicians, artists, and educators began to believe that women’s clothing, particularly fashionable dress, was harmful to women’s health.

In the 60s, the anti-bra movement obliterated corsets.

In the 60s, the youthquake and second-wave feminism movements brought the “barely there” underwear and anti-bra movement, which established a youthful, “natural” figure of which Twiggy was the highest representative. 

It wasn’t until the 80s an 90s when designers started incorporating the cinched figure in their designs again.

Designers including Vivienne Westwood, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Thierry Mugler brought back the corset in a new era in which it became a symbol of sexual empowerment as opposed to one of oppression. By showing the corset as outerwear rather than underwear, it was like they were reclaiming and repurposing its significance. The corset became liberating and subversive. And they were being worn by pop stars like Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Christina Aguilera.

Fast forward to 2019 and we’re seeing a resurgence of corsets in fashion. 

With views on sexuality being more open and expanding nowadays, corsets and their connection to the fetish community, are something that fashion has recently been drawn to. 

Corsets are being reimagined to fit the contemporary woman.

Today’s designers have been modifying the bodice silhouette and using it in new ways, including the adding of utility pockets, zippers, harnesses and the use of different fabrics.

Most importantly though, the Kardashians have been credited with the resurgence of corsets. 

“if you make Kim Kardashian disappear, you will make the corset disappear,” explains millet. The number of youtube videos, Instagram posts and articles of people’s experiences with waist trainers like the one famously popularized by the Kardashian family is pretty high.  Kim’s Thierry Mugler dress, which she wore to the Met gala this May was deeply cinched at the waist, and she received a lot of backlash for being ‘irresponsible’ and ‘unrealistic’. Kim has even gone on to launch a whole shapewear line, Skims. 

Today’s shapes however, are less constricting. 

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The pieces that incorporate elements of the corset tend to be much less constraining nowadays. Characteristics like boning, paneling, lacing and hook-and-eye closures are what’s often being used as reminiscent of the much more classic and rigid garment. Elements of the corset offer an empowering feeling to women who wear it, and it. Yes, there is still pressure for women to conform to beauty ideals, but isn’t it encouraging to see women reclaim patriarchal elements, subvert them and make them their own?

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We Found The Looks Rocked By Ariana Grande, Megan Thee Stallion, And Doja Cat In The Sexy ’34+35′ Remix Video

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We Found The Looks Rocked By Ariana Grande, Megan Thee Stallion, And Doja Cat In The Sexy ’34+35′ Remix Video

In a gift to lovers, Ariana Grande dropped her “34+35” remix music video last Friday. The trending video featured Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion and some slamming tunes, extraordinarily glam sleepover gear. To booth, the video already racked up 21 million views, served up, alongside some slamming tunes, extraordinarily glam sleepover gear.

From ultra sexy to supersensuous, Ari, Meg, and Doja wore beautiful and luxurious lingerie ensembles. Fortunately, they’re here for you to rock yourself!

We looked around for the ensembles online and found them! Check out the looks below!

Ari’s Charlotte High Waist Bottoms and bodysuit.

Fleur de Mal / Charlotte High Waist Bottom– $45

Victoria’s Secret/ Lace Plunge Teddy- $79.50

Meg’s pink lace bra worn with mini shorts and a matching robe.

Milena Plunge Underwired Bra– $145

Milena Full Brief– $70

Doja’s peach-colored lace corset, with suspender bottoms.

Doja also wore outfits from Agent Provocateur.

Essie/ Waspie– $195

Essie/ Bodysuit– $465

Check out the video remix below!

So there they are, the extremely sultry and iconic lingerie looks to recreate the 34+35 remix music video on your own time!

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If You Had A Friend Speak To You The Way You Speak To Yourself

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If You Had A Friend Speak To You The Way You Speak To Yourself

It’s a hard reality to face: the fact that we often treat our friends and spouses better than we do ourselves. After all, this might be because it’s a little bit easier. When we see our friends, we don’t necessarily always see the flaws. In fact, it’s easier to see how beautiful their flaws are and we shower them with compliments and praise about their appearances.

But what if our friends spoke to us the way we speak to ourselves.

See someone of the sweet replies to the question, below.

“Not long at all. In fact, I routinely remind myself to talk to myself like I would to a friend. We are our own worst critics.” –Irritabl

“That bit of advice really changed how I talk to myself when I’m alone. Like, if my best friend were telling me “well you probably aren’t good enough anyway. You should put more effort in to being prettier/being funnier/acting like [insert other person]” I’d be so, so hurt.

That kind of talk is nasty and not constructive! So don’t put up with it from anyone—including yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is constantly tearing you down, right?

And yes, it’s easier said than done. But the tricks that helped me curb the negative self-talk are:

  1. Recognize when it’s happening. Learn the difference between self-criticism and self-hatred. There’s a difference between saying “Ugh, I really should have done better on that work assignment. Those careless mistakes add up.” and “Everyone thinks you’re stupid now, why didn’t you do a better job on something so simple?”
  2. Get to the bottom of those thoughts by asking questions. I still fall victim to the “people think you’re…” thoughts, and every single time I have to ask myself “Who actually said that? Do you know that for sure? What’s making you feel defeated/nervous/inferior without any evidence? And even if someone DID say it—do you care what they think?!”

Those answers usually help me reframe whatever I’m feeling. Bc 9 times out of 10 it boils down to me fearing the worst and creating a situation where my insecurity gets the best of me.

Sorry for the Ted Talk, just feel rly passionately about this.” –NOTORIOUS_BLT

“Exactly. I always try to put myself in “best friend shoes” when I catch myself criticizing inwards.” –bradynelise

“I would be like ‘damn sister you do NOT shut up and you contradict yourself a LOT.’” – throwra_sillyinquiry

“Love this! Me too, but a few years ago, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I have been changing the way I speak to myself and I feel so much better… and now I am so glad I stuck with it/me!” –formidableegg

“They would be out the door, kinda sucks being a self aware mentally ill person cause you know it’s not true yet convincing yourself otherwise feels impossible.” – annonforareasonduh

“Haha, this is exactly what I do with my kids. If they say something mean about themselves, I say, ‘I’m sorry, NOBODY is allowed to talk to ____ like that!’ If they say, ‘But I’m saying it to MYSELF,’ I say, ‘I would never let anyone say something like that to you. Why should I let YOU say it to you?’

Hoping to raise my kids to be a little nicer to themselves than I am to myself.” –JoNightshade

“Well… not very long. For the most part I’m pretty nice to myself but on hard days I often think things like “you’re not good enough. You’re such a failure.” And if someone said that to me even once I’d cut them off. I try to be nice to me though.” –owthrayaway3

“Ideally? Not long at all. In reality? Probably a very long time – years, or maybe even decades. Part of struggling with crippling depression is letting people treat you really horribly.” –clekas

“Yeah, me too tbh Or well, I’d end up not talking to them Because I’d isolate myself in my room for a couple of months and even they’d grow tired of me, but ya know I’ve had some really shitty friends in my short, short life and honestly seek out ppl who will criticise me more than they compliment me bc it makes me less uncomfortable.” –HelloThisIsFrode

“I agree with this. I just realised this and lament to myself that I wasted 20 years on such a ‘friend’. The pandemic isolation helped in bringing these thoughts to clarity and limited my availability. Thankfully I have a friend who’s really supportive and understanding so I’ve been redirecting my energy towards her.” –CheesecakeGobbler

“Along with the depression, throw in being raised by a parent with narcissistic personality disorder and you’ve got me too. I’d love so say I would kick my toxic ass to the curb, but I know I’d just take the abuse. I’ve got a recording of my mother’s greatest hits playing all the time in my head.” –LesNessmanNightcap

“Yeah, I was going to say “where do you think that voice in my head came from?” I’m no longer the person who would stay friends with someone who was mean to me, but it took awhile to get to that place. But I am still my mother’s daughter and I learned negative self-talk at her knee, listening to her guilt trip and shame herself. I think I’m much better, but I do wonder what my son will hear that I don’t even realize I’m doing.” –ElizaDooo

“The way I used to self-talk? Not for a second. It was pointed out to me by a therapist in one session–she told me one time to stop it. I stopped. I didn’t realize how much I was driving myself insane. I have an inner monologue that drones on anyway, but add in insults and barbs and it was quite brutal.

I’m glad I kicked that negativity out. Now, to address the earworms….make it stop.” –Roscoe_cracks_corn

“Not long at all. Now realizing this doesn’t magically make all my self-hate go away or build a desire to treat myself better.” –Neravariine

“I have such a friend. Over a decade so far, hopefully forever. I love her to the moon and back. She knows me truly, I can rely on her, I can trust in her honesty, I don’t have to filter sugarcoating to get down to her true opinion. She’s like a mirror, showing me all my flaws but also all my best sides. She made me a better person without ever trying to change me. She taught me better awareness towards myself, my actions and surrounding, and with this also better self-reflection and self-love. She kept me down on earth but also pulled me out of the darkest places. Everyone should have a friend like this.” –Fitzgeraldine

“Great timing for this question! I’ve been working on self compassion and trying to soften my inner critic. One thing that often I’ve been trying to remind myself is to treat me the way I treat my friends – so after a few months working on this with total awareness, I can proudly say I would be a longtime friend of mine.” –Lila007

“I kept her around for almost 2 years before I realise the way she talks to others is actually how she sees herself, which is saying a lot more than she would admit. Since she’s too stubborn to get therapy but very willing to act as a therapist (she sucks, all she ever did was doling out “tough love” cuz thats how she wants herself to be but she failed, so she expects everyone else to be tough), I cut ties w her. For good. Went to therapy myself to rid of internalized hatred I developed from being around her. She reached out once, I wasnt very keen to reconnect especially now she’s even worse after joining a church and trying to get every part of it into her life. 2 years of my life wasted on someone like that. Dont repeat my mistake.” –

micumpleanoseshoy

“I am and always will be my own biggest hype person. If I can’t believe in myself, how can anyone? How can I achieve my goals? Internal me is also very dubious of the intentions of others. Which preserves myself, even if it does keep me distanced from others until I can truly trust them. My parents were shit. I was, by far, the most resilient of my siblings and maybe my self hype is the reason why.” –cuddlymammoth

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