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.