This is the first part of a two part series of small corset book works dealing with the history of women, exercise and corsets. This book uses text and images from corset advertisements, women’s magazines, etiquette books and exercise manuals directed towards girls and women from the mid-to-late 19th century.
Over a hundred years ago, women were being asked “Why should she not reduce herself to a weight which shall make her a Symmetrical Woman, and inasmuch as the only obstacle to her being a beautiful woman is her superfluous flesh.” The answer they were given “Women must persistently, faithfully, systematically, begin a physical reformation.”
Of course, with any new exertion in a woman’s life came with warnings, in this case that over-exercising may “...use up force to such an extent that your growing womanly functions become weakened and sometimes dried up!”
As woman explored this new reformation of physical culture, they discovered freedoms that allowed them to physically step outside their home, and become a participant in the world around them.
You can read more about this project at my website, where there is a downloadable PDF of all the text and specs of this project: tamarstone.com/HealthGrace_Exer1.html