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14 April 2011

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Saundra Mitchell

You know, when I was writing The Vespertine, I had to think long and hard about what I would put in the book and what I would leave out when it came to body image. Because corsets were a matter of course for the time period, they had to be in the book. But at the same time, I didn't have to perpetuate the more destructive apocrypha that went with them. For example, your waistline and your age should be the same- it was repeated commonly and often in Godey's Lady Book and Harper's Bazar, but it didn't go in my book because I didn't want 16 year old girls NOW thinking that a 16 inch waist was reasonable OR desirable. A writer can make the point that the character is tiny without resorting to ridiculous measures like "the big strong span of his sexy man hands."

Leila

I just read that whole comment aloud to Josh and we giggled for a bit until he started musing about how that rule would apply to much older women... and then we continued giggling, because we are dumb.

Saundra Mitchell

I know, right? Being on the older end of that scale, it would definitely work in my favor. :)

Leila

Exactly!

CC

I just had a Little House flashback, because Pa could "span Caroline's waist" when they got married--(Woods?) Anyway, it's made clear in the context that it's an ideal but a nearly unattainable one...

(also I'm listening to Townes tell that joke about the guy who lost his keys as I write this: a perfect counter something or other)

Ms Avery

When I was a teenager I had a very small waist, and (inspired by that line in Little House) I found I could actually get fairly close to wrapping my hands around it. If I was wearing tight corsets it might have been possible. (Ten years and one baby later, not so much.)

Lindsey Carmichael

I read Gone With the Wind when I was 12 or 13 - I blame Scarlett O'Hara's 17 inch waist for inspiring my body image issues.

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