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Rose36 (Offline)
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Default 03-06-2008, 03:44 PM

What makes you all think that men came up with these fashions for women? These fashions mainly developed because they showed how women did not need to labor or work hard in the fields, thus making it class-based as well as attractiveness-based. One could not easily work in the fields with bound feet, restricted waists, or wide skirts. Pale skin was fashionable for centuries before the 20th one because it meant that you did not work outside in the sun all day and thus got tan. In fact, during the Romantic period (about 1820-1850), it was fashionable to appear sickly and faint all the time in fact because it supposedly meant you suffered from inner turmoil and allowed your emotions to rule you. Rice powder and white lead were applied to the skin to create a pale almost ghostly appearance.

Though I digress. Though many styles across the world were designed to increase the attractiveness of a woman (corsets to constrict the waist and enhance the bust, bustles to enhance the rear, etc.), footbinding sounds more of a class-based fashion statement rather than an attractiveness-based one.

In fact, there are many instances of men wearing various undergarments to enhance their own figure as women do. For example, the codpiece covered the genitals and was often padded to give the appearance of a bulge. Stomachs in the late medieval period were stuffed fuller for both men and women to give the appearance of being well fed. Padding could be added to the thighs, calves, and shoulders to make them appear more shapely (especially when tight hose/stockings/breeches were worn), and men during the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century wore corsets to constrict their waists to the fashionable silouhette. It was not until further into the nineteenth century, in fact, that men (at least in the "West") relaxed their standards because there was a greater emphasis on the "equality" of all men. Fashionable men would adopt the clothing of the working classes to create a sense of egalitarianism in the new republics and constitutional monarchies. Since women were not citizens, they had no need to change their styles and continued to constrict themselves to fashions based on class as well as attractiveness.

Hehe, my history of fashion and costume class is fun

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