Archive for June 10, 2009

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Every day, people go on Google. They put strange words into the search engine, and then click on the results that ensue. Sometimes, those strange words will lead them right to your blog! Isn’t that amazing? And sometimes, you just can’t help but wonder what they were thinking when they did that search. (Or what they were smoking. Pine trees?)

1235983335_fc56cc7d67I recently saw a blog post on thebookshelfmuse. She talked about some of the hilarious searches that led people to her site. I posted a reply to her blog post saying that those searches were absolutely hilarious, etc etc, and I wished that I could have some hilarious ones too, but apparently none of the Google searchers were crazy enough. Or wanted to smoke pine trees enough. Or wanted to know whether oxygen masks cause purple and dry cracked lips and tongue.

Then I went back to my blog to go check what hilarious searches brought people to my blog.

Lo and behold, this is what I saw.

what did victorian ladies bathe in to encourage their breasts to grow ?

Whoa.

I honestly don’t know. At. All.

Maybe milk?

I think the searcher was a normal lady in these times who wanted an unconventional way to make her breasts bigger.

Or a man in need of some intense therapy.

11619-victorian-fashionsActually, I might know. A little bit. Victorian ladies (dates 1937 to 1901) were corsets that squooshed up their waists into little things the circumference of a modern day telephone pole. These were called “wasp waists.” The rest of the fat, or weight, or whatever went to their hips and breasts, making their boobs look a lot bigger. They also wore bustle things, like the young ladies in the picture. I don’t know what the bustles were for, but they were a popular fashion item around the turn of the century.

As were annoying things like hoop skirts. But the hoops of that day looked like they were a much different shape than the hoop skirts of, say, the Civil War.

It rather makes you wonder why the women of those days were so crazy about a cage that fitted around their waists and made them impossible to fit through doors. Madness!

mrs_lincolnIn the Civil War era, plump was in. That’s why you’d see pictures of Abraham Lincoln with his quite plump wife (left). Plump meant rich and well-fed. And it meant that you didn’t have to exercise because you were rich enough to just sit around.

Despite the plumpness, women still wore corsets to make their waists appear smaller.

In the early 1900s, things started to change. Thin became in. Women started to view plumpness and weight as something undesirable. Instead of coming to mean that you were rich and well-fed, it meant that you were lazy and greedy. Thinness meant self-control and restraint. The perfect lady was thin, restrained, and talked in a soft voice. She never ran, shouted, screamed, or swore. She controlled herself at all times, including her food intake.

In fact, meat was carnal. Hence, the wasp waists.

It wasn’t long before exercise became the in thing. And with that came the Roaring Twenties with the rebellious “flappers” and their short skirts. The in thing was to have a flat chest.

I hope I answered your question!

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(sources: the book Runaway Eating, the book Looks by Gordon L. Patzer, Courtney E. Martin’s Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, and a wikipedia entry for the exact dates of the Victorian era.)

June 10, 2009 at 9:53 am 2 comments


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