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This assertion ignores the larger, though still corseted, waistline fashionable in the latter decades.
"Niggardly waists and niggardly brains go together," one famous reformer declared late in the 18th century, and produced a tortuous argument explaining why corseted women scream at the sight of a mouse.
Nineteenth-century efforts to keep women corseted drew upon, legitimated and constructed particular notions about femininity, propriety, and the female body.