Where Have All the Girdles Gone?

Daphne Merkin hunts for anti-gym fix
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User
Posted Dec 6, 2008 6:03 PM CST
Corset, 1891   (©bobster1985)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – In these belt-tightening times, Daphne Merkin wonders why she can't find a decent girdle.  Spanx abound and corsets have been re-conceived as fetish objects or ironic fashion statements, but the real body armor has become taboo, she writes in the New York Times T Magazine. "Try Brighton Beach," one shopkeeper told her, "They still cater to zaftig women."

Corsets signified womanhood for 300 years. The flappers ruled briefly, but waist-cinching returned with Dior's New Look in 1947 before kicking the bucket 2 decades later. Merkin, who finally got suited at Livis Lingerie on Third Avenue, admits, "I would be less than honest if I said it restored me to my 20-year-old body." As for the girdle she gave to her 19-year-old daughter? She's "been eyeing it for erotic purposes."