Women’s beautification and fashion had its period of suffering in history. The corset is a great example. Different forms of corsets started from the 16th century until it ended in the 20th century. The tight lacing constricted women’s waists and many believed it reduced their normal waist size by 2-4 inches. In the earlier eras, children also wore corsets for a ‘healthy’ shape. This didn’t apply only to girls. Boys were also affected. During the 19th century, physicians perceived health hazards related to corsets that resulted from fainting to detrimental effects on the internal organs. The Women’s Rational Dress Movement promoted healthier forms of dress such as bloomers, split skirts, and the bodice. However, some women contradicted the Movement, stating corsets provided women with a means of demonstrating their social status, self-discipline, and sex appeal. A ‘loose’ woman never wore a corset.
Within decades, fashion designers replaced the hourglass figure with an androgynous female form. The new idea was a slender, long-limbed, flat-chested look for the iconic flapper silhouette.