Billie Eilish, British Vogue

Do the words “empowering” and “corset” constitute an oxymoron?

When I look at these beautifully shot photos of Billie Eilish in this month’s British Vogue, that’s the word that comes to mind. Oxymoron.

Corset, bodice, girdle, truss, bandage, brace, straitjacket.

The meaning of it as a “stiff constricting undergarment for the waist, worn chiefly by women to shape the figure,” dates from 1795.

Long derided as a patriarchal instrument of torture that deformed the female body, corsets began as a close-fitting sleeveless bodice evolved into an undergarment with stays made of whalebone, and then steel, that encircled the ribs and compressed the natural waist. Not only were they painful, they were physically dangerous.

I wish millennials would do their homework before vaunting a historical garment. And who wants uplifted breasts and a curvy, hourglass figure these days? The words corsetry, feminism and 21st century all seem to be odds with each other. Ah, well, I guess she’s just having fun. As long as it’s Instagrammable ….


VOGUE 1939, Horst

4 thoughts on “Billie Eilish, British Vogue

  1. This reminds me of the scene in GWTW, where Scarlett is laced, or more accurately trussed into her corset before a big gala lawn party at Tara. Art imitates Life imitates Art

      • It is a classic that the world ke culture would like banned, which would be its own cultural tragedy. To forget the past is to be ignorant of our flaws

      • Yes, I agree with you about not forgetting the past. Why do some people want the movie to be banned?

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