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The trope is {{older than radio}}, as a lot of literature--some medically sound, some not--was produced in the nineteenth century regarding the dangers in corset-wearing. In the 21st century, people who have worn one are split: some think it feels nice, some think it is indeed uncomfortable, and some [[CasualKink think it hurts but enjoy that]]. This can be ''very'' TruthInTelevision - when very small waists were the height of fashion and beauty, some women would pass out from corsets too tightly laced, there were reports of death (though none have yet been substantiated by modern science), and the constant use of corsets could result in misshapen rib-cages. (Luckily for corset-wearers, that level of extreme tightlacing was [[BrieferThanTheyThink not in fashion for very long]].)

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The trope is {{older than radio}}, as a lot of literature--some literature -- some medically sound, some not--was not -- was produced in the nineteenth century regarding the dangers in corset-wearing. In the 21st century, people who have worn one are split: some think it feels nice, some think it is indeed uncomfortable, and some [[CasualKink think it hurts but enjoy that]]. This can be ''very'' TruthInTelevision - when very small waists were the height of fashion and beauty, some women would pass out from corsets too tightly laced, there were reports of death (though none have yet been substantiated by modern science), and the constant use of corsets could result in misshapen rib-cages. (Luckily for corset-wearers, that level of extreme tightlacing was [[BrieferThanTheyThink not in fashion for very long]].)



* Invoked in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' once with a ''steel'' corset Ranma is forced to wear as a girl. It's tight ''enough'' when worn as a girl--when Madame St. Paul first forced Ranma into it, the latter is ''screaming in pain''--and as such, constrains his bones to a point of almost crushing when he turns back into a man, forcing him to keep his female form. Thus, the symbolism of Ranma being trapped in the guise of an obedient girl both physically and metaphorically is complete.
* Despite providing the page image, female characters in ''Manga/VictorianRomanceEmma'' only wore extremely tight corsets for special occasions, in this case taking a couple inches off before a date.
** However, they are described as painful, or at least really uncomfortable. In one scene of the manga Emma's employer, Dorothea Meredith, is being dressed for the day, when her husband, Wilhelm, enters the room, and proceeds to lace his wife's corset. Despite the whole scene is described as a jocular, almost sexual moment of intimacy, Wilhelm has to place his foot on Dorothea's back and pull the laces with all of his might to squeeze his wife into the desired shape. The author's commentary for this scene claims that, according to her researches, such a painful scenario was common and not surprising at all.

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* Invoked in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' once with a ''steel'' corset Ranma is forced to wear as a girl. It's tight ''enough'' when worn as a girl--when girl -- when Madame St. Paul first forced Ranma into it, the latter is ''screaming in pain''--and pain'' -- and as such, constrains his bones to a point of almost crushing when he turns back into a man, forcing him to keep his female form. Thus, the symbolism of Ranma being trapped in the guise of an obedient girl both physically and metaphorically is complete.
* Despite providing the page image, female characters in ''Manga/VictorianRomanceEmma'' only wore extremely tight corsets for special occasions, in this case taking a couple of inches off before a date.
** However, they are described as painful, or at least really uncomfortable. In one scene of the manga manga, Emma's employer, employer Dorothea Meredith, Meredith is being dressed for the day, when her husband, Wilhelm, husband Wilhelm enters the room, room and proceeds to lace his wife's corset. Despite the whole scene is described as a jocular, almost sexual moment of intimacy, Wilhelm has to place his foot on Dorothea's back and pull the laces with all of his might to squeeze his wife into the desired shape. The author's commentary for this scene claims that, according to her researches, such a painful scenario was common and not surprising at all.



-->Gov. Swan: "What do you think?"(of the dress, corset included)\\
Elizabeth: "It's *GASP* [[{{Pun}} difficult to say]]."
** Despite Elizabeth's corsets being based in an era where they were designed to be more comfortable and supportive than nearly any other era, there actually is some logic to this particular example. Elizabeth has lived her entire life in Port Royal, where fashion trends of the time probably take several months to arrive from places like London and Paris, if not years, and has probaby been wearing softer stays where the emphasis was less on shrinking her waist and more on lifting her bust (like a modern camisole with a built in bra). The corset her father buys her was likely intended to be worn by a woman whose body had been somewhat corset-trained since age twelve or so, and who would not feel too squeezed by it at all. Elizabeth, on the other hand, hasn't experienced that, so the amount of constriction probably ''would'' feel shockingly painful to her and alter her breathing to the point of her later collapse.

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-->Gov. Swan: -->'''Gov. Swan:''' "What do you think?"(of the dress, corset included)\\
Elizabeth: '''Elizabeth:''' "It's *GASP* [[{{Pun}} difficult to say]]."
** Despite Elizabeth's corsets being based in an era where they were designed to be more comfortable and supportive than nearly any other era, there actually is some logic to this particular example. Elizabeth has lived her entire life in Port Royal, where fashion trends of the time probably take several months to arrive from places like London and Paris, if not years, and has probaby probably been wearing softer stays where the emphasis was less on shrinking her waist and more on lifting her bust (like a modern camisole with a built in built-in bra). The corset her father buys her was likely intended to be worn by a woman whose body had been somewhat corset-trained since age twelve or so, and who would not feel too squeezed by it at all. Elizabeth, on the other hand, hasn't experienced that, so the amount of constriction probably ''would'' feel shockingly painful to her and alter her breathing to the point of her later collapse.



* In ''Film/RememberTheNight'' poor Lee has to wear a corset to fit into Aunt Emma's wedding dress. Aunt Emma tells her that having a 25 inch waist in her time was big, and that all the girls tried to get to 19. Ouch!
* ''Film/ThePrinceAndMe'': When Paige is being laced tightly into an elegant dress she asks Eddie's mother if she's supposed to be able to breath in the dress who replies "No."

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* In ''Film/RememberTheNight'' poor Lee has to wear a corset to fit into Aunt Emma's wedding dress. Aunt Emma tells her that having a 25 inch 25-inch waist in her time was big, big and that all the girls tried to get to 19. Ouch!
* ''Film/ThePrinceAndMe'': When Paige is being laced tightly into an elegant dress she asks Eddie's mother if she's supposed to be able to breath breathe in the dress who replies "No."



[[folder: Literature ]]
* In the ''Literature/NightfallSeries'', Myra is forced into a corset by Lucy prior to wearing the dress Prince Vladimir "gifted" to her. She not only experiences physical discomfort from tightlacing, but also conveys reservations about wearing one beforehand when she sees Lucy pull it out of her bag.
* Discussed in the Caroline B. Cooney's time travel romance novel "Both Sides Of Time" where main character and other girls despise the tightness of corsets and woman asking for a fainting couch due to corsets is expected.
* In Ann Turnbull's novel No Shame No Fear Susanna's mistress asks her to help her unlace her stays of her corset to help her relax after she's been hurt.

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[[folder: Literature ]]
[[folder:Literature]]
* In the ''Literature/NightfallSeries'', Myra is forced into a corset by Lucy prior to wearing the dress Prince Vladimir "gifted" to her. She not only experiences physical discomfort from tightlacing, tightlacing but also conveys reservations about wearing one beforehand when she sees Lucy pull it out of her bag.
* Discussed in the Caroline B. Cooney's time travel romance novel "Both Sides Of Time" where the main character and other girls despise the tightness of corsets and woman asking for a fainting couch due to corsets is expected.
* In Ann Turnbull's novel No ''No Shame No Fear Fear'', Susanna's mistress asks her to help her unlace her stays of her corset to help her relax after she's been hurt.



* In ''Literature/TheGoddessTest'', Kate's maids force her to wear corsets. Kate is not pleased, and tries to force her gut out to give herself more breathing room and to spite them.

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* In ''Literature/TheGoddessTest'', Kate's maids force her to wear corsets. Kate is not pleased, pleased and tries to force her gut out to give herself more breathing room and to spite them.



* Creator/SimonaAhrnstedt goes back and forth between this and ''OfCorsetsSexy'' in her debut novel ''Literature/{{Overenskommelser}}''. We get several allusions to how uncomfortable it can be to wear a corset, but a lady is expected to do it anyway. And if she shapes her body as much as possible, men will of course find her more attractive.

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* Creator/SimonaAhrnstedt goes back and forth between this and ''OfCorsetsSexy'' in her debut novel ''Literature/{{Overenskommelser}}''. We get several allusions to how uncomfortable it can be to wear a corset, but a lady is expected to do it anyway. And if she shapes her body as much as possible, men will will, of course course, find her more attractive.



* In Creator/ElizabethEnright's Literature/GoneAwayLake, two mid-20th C. girls--the story is a little vague, could be set any time between the late '40s and early '60s--are playing dress up in Victorian or Edwardian ball gowns that had belonged to an old lady's elder sisters. When they find they can't make the plackets meet, the old lady offers to lace them into corsets, however when she pulls the laces it hurts so much that the girls content themselves by covering the gap with silk sashes.

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* In Creator/ElizabethEnright's Literature/GoneAwayLake, two mid-20th C. girls--the girls -- the story is a little vague, could be set any time between the late '40s and early '60s--are '60s -- are playing dress up in Victorian or Edwardian ball gowns that had belonged to an old lady's elder sisters. When they find they can't make the plackets meet, the old lady offers to lace them into corsets, however however, when she pulls the laces it hurts so much that the girls content themselves by covering the gap with silk sashes.



* The inconvenience and discomfort of corsets was one of the major complaints of the mother and eldest daughter in ''The 1900 House''. See Real Life, below.

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* The inconvenience and discomfort of corsets was were one of the major complaints of the mother and eldest daughter in ''The 1900 House''. See Real Life, below.



* Done implicitly in the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Star Trek TNG]]'' episode "Time's Arrow," when Picard et al are in 19th century San Francisco; neither Troi nor Dr. Crusher look comfortable in period fashion.

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* Done implicitly in the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Star Trek TNG]]'' episode "Time's Arrow," when Picard et al are in 19th century San Francisco; neither Troi nor Dr. Crusher look looks comfortable in period fashion.



* On ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'', Dick is having body-image issues, and puts on a corset with Harry's help (referencing '''Film/GoneWithTheWind'')--he explains to a puzzled Tommy "It's called the 'Shatner'."
** The preparer isn't safe either--Harry gets his fingers tangled up in the laces and ends up getting dragged around by an oblivious Dick.

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* On ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'', Dick is having body-image issues, and puts on a corset with Harry's help (referencing '''Film/GoneWithTheWind'')--he '''Film/GoneWithTheWind'') -- he explains to a puzzled Tommy "It's called the 'Shatner'."
** The preparer isn't safe either--Harry either -- Harry gets his fingers tangled up in the laces and ends up getting dragged around by an oblivious Dick.



* In one episode of ''Series/CallTheMidwife'', an unmarried woman hides her pregnancy via a girdle, fearing that she'll be fired from her job for it. Nurse Jenny is horrified to find this out, since it poses many medical issues for the woman and her child. The woman is convinced to stop wearing it, and the baby is thankfully born fine.

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* In one episode of ''Series/CallTheMidwife'', an unmarried woman hides her pregnancy via a girdle, fearing that she'll be fired from her job for it. Nurse Jenny is horrified to find this out, out since it poses many medical issues for the woman and her child. The woman is convinced to stop wearing it, and the baby is thankfully born fine.



* ''Series/AreYouBeingServed'' regularly had gags of uncomfortably cramming a larger woman into a corset, what with it being set in a women's underwear department. Mrs Slocombe was usually the ButtMonkey.

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* ''Series/AreYouBeingServed'' regularly had gags of uncomfortably cramming a larger woman into a corset, what with it being set in a women's underwear department. Mrs Mrs. Slocombe was usually the ButtMonkey.



* In ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'', after Booker [=DeWitt=] frees Elizabeth from the electronic leash she was strapped to inside Comstock House, she winces in pain when Booker ties her corset. In this case the corset is not entirely to blame; '''there's a cord that was just unplugged from her back'''.

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* In ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'', after Booker [=DeWitt=] frees Elizabeth from the electronic leash she was strapped to inside Comstock House, she winces in pain when Booker ties her corset. In this case case, the corset is not entirely to blame; '''there's a cord that was just unplugged from her back'''.



* While all of the genderbent characters in ''Webcomic/{{Exiern}}'' (and there's a bunch of them) hate being women in general they reserve their worst complaints for corsets--all except for one priest who appears to have been transgender in the first place.

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* While all of the genderbent characters in ''Webcomic/{{Exiern}}'' (and there's a bunch of them) hate being women in general general, they reserve their worst complaints for corsets--all corsets -- all except for one priest who appears to have been transgender in the first place.


*This [[https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/923545?q=yakumo_ran+corset bit of fanart]] involving [[VideoGame/{{Touhou}} Yukari]] (with Ran's help) putting on one. If the tearful jolly roger with a broken bone is an indication, we can assume that something was broken, adding to this is that Yukari looks like she's trying not to wince.



* Creator/{{Pixar}} followed Disney's example with ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}''. At one point, Queen Elinor dresses her RebelliousPrincess daughter Merida up in a corset, who complains that she can't breathe. What's really odd about all this is that the movie takes place in Medieval Scotland, and corsets shouldn't actually exist yet.

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* Creator/{{Pixar}} followed Disney's example with ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}''. At one point, Queen Elinor dresses her RebelliousPrincess daughter Merida up in a corset, who complains that she can't breathe. What's really odd about all this is that the movie takes place in Medieval Scotland, and corsets shouldn't actually exist yet. [[note]]Or, at least, not the kind that we see in the film.[[/note]]

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* Scarlet O'Hara powers through the pain as Mammy draws her corset ever tighter before the barbeque at Twelve Oaks in ''Film/GoneWithTheWind''.


* ''WesternAnimation/Minions'': Scarlet insists on her dress being as tight as possible. She comments how it wasn't quite tight enough when she started losing feeling in her legs.

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* ''WesternAnimation/Minions'': ''WesternAnimation/{{Minions}}'': Scarlet insists on her dress being as tight as possible. She comments on how it wasn't quite tight enough when she started losing the feeling in her legs.

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* ''Film/{{Colette}}'': For their first public outing in Paris as a couple, Willy tries to make Colette wear a tightly corseted new gown. Colette, a country girl, has never worn anything like this before and refuses, as she finds it too uncomfortable.


* When Victor laces Lily into a corset for the first time in ''Series/PennyDreadful'' and puts her in fashionable shoes, she thinks it's extremely painful and uncomfortable. There's a brief exchange where Victor says that the purpose of corsets is to prevent women from overexerting themselves in case they conquer the world, before he tells her to take the corset off if it hurts, since he doesn't want anything that causes her pain. [[AllWomenLoveShoes She keeps the fancy shoes, though.]]

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* When Victor laces Lily into a corset for the first time in ''Series/PennyDreadful'' and puts her in fashionable shoes, she thinks it's extremely painful and uncomfortable. There's a brief exchange where Victor says that the purpose of corsets is to prevent women from overexerting themselves in case they conquer the world, before he tells her to take the corset off if it hurts, since he doesn't want anything that causes her pain.pain (even if he does think she looks nice). [[AllWomenLoveShoes She keeps the fancy shoes, though.]]

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* When Victor laces Lily into a corset for the first time in ''Series/PennyDreadful'' and puts her in fashionable shoes, she thinks it's extremely painful and uncomfortable. There's a brief exchange where Victor says that the purpose of corsets is to prevent women from overexerting themselves in case they conquer the world, before he tells her to take the corset off if it hurts, since he doesn't want anything that causes her pain. [[AllWomenLoveShoes She keeps the fancy shoes, though.]]


* Esther and Rose Smith experience this in ''Theatre/MeetMeInStLouis''.

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* Esther and Rose Smith experience this in ''Theatre/MeetMeInStLouis''.''Film/MeetMeInStLouis''.


* Corset aficionados (of both genders) get their corsets custom made to fit their bodies in order to avert this trope. A corset that doesn't fit properly, which is often the case for ones that can be bought off the shelf (and would very much apply to male wearers), can get very painful to wear when tightened to more than a simply snug fit. Also, they tend to not fit the dimensions of the wearer right. Lacing too tightly before the body is used to it is also painful, and tight lacing is a process that is supposed to take ''weeks'' so that the body can gradually adapt to it. A corset that is properly fitted to the body, even when pulled tight, isn't supposed to hurt and if it does, then the one wearing it should loosen the lacing. The body needs time to adapt to it.

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* Corset aficionados (of both genders) get their corsets custom made to fit their bodies in order to avert this trope. A corset that doesn't fit properly, which is often the case for ones that can be bought off the shelf (and would very much apply to male wearers), can get very painful to wear when tightened to more than a simply snug fit. Also, they tend to not fit the dimensions of the wearer right. Lacing too tightly before the body is used to it is also painful, and tight lacing is a process that is supposed to take ''weeks'' so that the body can gradually adapt to it. A corset that is properly fitted to the body, even when pulled tight, isn't supposed to hurt and if it does, then the one wearing it should loosen the lacing. The body needs time to adapt to it. In most cases, wearers should also have something under the corset, like a camisole or chemise.

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-->While worn, a historically accurate tight corset moves the wearer one or two steps down the fitness scale ... Tight corsets may be mandated by some combination of fashion and a Compulsive Behavior or other disadvantages.


* The inconvenience and discomfort of corsets was one of the major complaints of the mother and eldest daughter in ''The 1900 House''.

to:

* The inconvenience and discomfort of corsets was one of the major complaints of the mother and eldest daughter in ''The 1900 House''. See Real Life, below.



* The women on ''Series/MadMen'' often wore girdles (especially in the earlier seasons). Joan was seen taking off the strap of one of her full body girdles (looks like a full slip) and a nasty red mark in her shoulder is revealed. She looks very much in pain, especially after having been stiffed at work.

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* The women on ''Series/MadMen'' often wore girdles (especially in the earlier seasons). seasons).
**
Joan was seen taking off the strap of one of her full body girdles (looks like a full slip) and a nasty red mark in her shoulder is revealed. She looks very much in pain, especially after having been stiffed at work.


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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire'', a supplement about equipment and gear in the steampunk period, has a section on problems with period clothing, including game rules for the effects of restrictive corsetting.
[[/folder]]





[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Peach is put into an uncomfortable corset for her coronation in ''Fanfic/MarriedToTheKoopaKing''. She finds it difficult to breathe in. Bowser ends up loosening it for her.
[[/folder]]



** ''Disney/PocahontasIIJourneyToANewWorld''. It's clear that she doesn't like it, and it shows she is being forced into accepted norms for women in the society.

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** ''Disney/PocahontasIIJourneyToANewWorld''. It's In ''Disney/PocahontasIIJourneyToANewWorld'', it's clear that she Pocahontas doesn't like it, and it shows she is being forced into accepted norms for women in the society.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Miitopia}}'': A random conversation between a character of the [[PrettyPrincessPowerhouse princess]] job and another Mii will have the princess talk about all the good things in their life...before wheezing and admitting that the corset is a bit of a downer.


* Despite providing the page image, female characters in ''Anime/VictorianRomanceEmma'' only wore extremely tight corsets for special occasions, in this case taking a couple inches off before a date.

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* Despite providing the page image, female characters in ''Anime/VictorianRomanceEmma'' ''Manga/VictorianRomanceEmma'' only wore extremely tight corsets for special occasions, in this case taking a couple inches off before a date.

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* Male example from ''Anime/TurnAGundam'': in Episode 7, Loran gets a corset strapped on him for his feminine disguise -- he is visibly straining from the attempt.

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