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  • Corsetry & Fatness

    Chloe Sobel - 01 / Jan / 2024

    Corsetry & Fatness

    Is corsetry for fat people? TL;DR: Yes.

    Goddess Briq House shot by Nicole Simone   Alotta Boutté shot by Max Johnson   Nicole Simone shot by Joel Aron


    Is corsetry for fat people? Short answer: absolutely. At Dark Garden, we know that corsetry is for (almost) every body, no matter how that body is shaped or how it changes over time.

    It can be tricky to separate corsetry's nature as a body modification tool from the ways that American culture encourages thinness and devalues fat people. When you spend your life being told that your body isn't good enough the way it is, it's understandable that body modification might feel sensitive. There’s space for that in this conversation, just as there is space for fat people who are interested in corsetry for a variety of reasons, none inherently better or more “right” than any other.

    As a fat person who has a big bust — something many of us have — and a habit of slouching, this writer can say that corsets are a godsend for my back, overbust styles in particular. It doesn’t need to be laced tightly at all to bring relief. Even an underbust corset will improve things when I’ve been sitting at my desk for too long, but for my money, nothing beats an overbust. Corsets support the bust very differently than bras do: because bras rely on shoulder straps to support your breasts, wearing one creates tension and stress on your shoulders. For me, at least, that leads to a lot of shoulder and upper back pain. Corsets, however, support from below, freeing my shoulders from the weight of my bust and allowing the support to have more even distribution.

    And then, of course, there’s body modification. It’s certainly more fraught for fat people to engage in body modification that, in theory, brings your body closer to the perfect hourglass shape and small waist that are both associated with thin, or acceptably curvy, bodies. But at the same time, the body modification effects are fascinating. Body modification in all its facets, from permanent modifications like tattoos to more temporary ones like corsetry, is a way of taking ownership of your body. Body modification allows you to redefine your relationship to your body and feel as though you’re truly taking ownership of it. It draws the eye and takes up space, on your terms.

    My tattoos are part of how I communicate who I am to the world, and so are my corsets. Corsets affect posture, and posture has a documented impact on self-confidence; this creates a mind-body feedback loop that could instill a sense of confidence in you, something everyone deserves. Beyond that, If you’re going for a night out and you want to feel extra glamorous, a tightly-laced corset can achieve that: bigger waists can take more compression than small ones can, and so can create a really dramatic silhouette.

    Dark Garden has proudly worked to create a wide range of standard size corsets, and what we don’t have yet, we’ll always be happy to make to order for your body. Your comfort is paramount!

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