I will be reviewing and documenting my garment of choice on display at FIT’s “Fashion: The Body and Physique” Exhibition. Let’s Begin.
This garments brings to mind the topic of generalized body shaming. An example of this is included in a course reading from Julia Twigg’s “Fashion, the Body, and Age,” from The Handbook of Fashion Studies, page 81; “There is a widespread sense-persisting today- that old age is a time for pulling back from overt display. The pressure to tone down, to retreat from being visible, was reported even in Samantha Holland’s (2004) study of women who had adopted radical, transgressive styles of dress.” According to the museum’s website, “During the eighteenth century, stays were largely reserved for women and girls of the elite. Technological innovations during the nineteenth century made corsets available to a much wider demographic of women. By the end of the century, women of all classes were expected to wear them, including pregnant women;” these two examples from a course reading and the exhibition’s website are proof that over time women have always been expected to be sexy and silent; an irony, that proves over time through ageing effects (such as stretchmarks from childbirth); to be futile. Political advancements referenced in Week 8’s lecture slides show proof of small changes that have helped to empower women through freedom in society and dress. Many times I will find myself draping on the mannequin to slim, or conceal blemishes that would otherwise be apparent. This may interact in a similar way with the designer’s own presumed guilt with surrounding hegemonic norms.