I’m very proud of the shape I’ve been able to achieve over the years. But, unless I’m going to a special event where I feel it will be appreciated, I tend to somewhat hide it — I just don’t want to get stared at with those confused looks. While my company is incredibly accepting of all types of people, I fear my shape will be perceived in a negative way. There tends to be an assumption that corseting is a ridiculous way to look thinner. But that’s really not what it’s about at all. It’s about a lot of things, but that is definitely not one of them.
Really, corseting is about curves. And if you lace quite tightly, it’s about unnatural curves. On purpose.
For me and many other responsible tightlacers, this is a form of body modification not unlike ear stretching, involving gorgeous and unique creations by highly skilled artists. It takes time, and while some people will choose to go to a certain point and no further, others choose to see how far their bodies will allow them to go.
It’s in this way that corsets really get you acquainted and connected with your body that virtually nothing else can. You’ll become hyper-aware of your body inside the corset, and discover things about yourself such as asymmetries, how malleable you are, what sensations you enjoy and don’t enjoy, how your organs function, and many other things. Most of all, wearing a corset on a regular basis teaches you how very unique we all are, and that this is beautiful in itself. There’s something very earthy and zen about all this.
But “zen” only begins to cover it. Corsets are capable of performing a version of deep pressure therapy, and can be extremely comforting, especially to those with anxiety issues. You’re wrapped in a hug for as long as you want to be, and you feel protected. It’s comforting and calming.
I also especially love the fact that this takes dedication. It’s something to be proud of — not just the shape itself, but the time that it took to achieve it. Not to mention all the learning that goes into responsible corseting. It’s the fact that I’ve been disciplined enough to make it this far, that I’ve really earned this sense of pride.
It’s about the journey. Even when I don’t find a tightlacer’s shape aesthetically pleasing to me, I still deeply respect the dedication it took to get there, as much as I admire their strength in doing something they love, even while it goes so far against the norm. Because even as far as body modification goes, this is a minority interest. You need to really be comfortable with yourself and your decisions go against the grain like that, because there’s nothing quite like hearing a stranger tell you that you’re killing yourself and you look disgusting.
I love this enough, and I’m secure enough with my choice to do it, that I feel a lot more sorry for the person being negative than I feel for myself. They’re missing out on what could be a very positive experience for them.
While it’s obvious that wearing corsets is not for everyone, I can’t help but feel that many people should at least look into it, because so many people have found this to be such a positive influence in their lives.
And, hey, if more people did try it, maybe I wouldn’t be so uncomfortable getting stared at!