Lingerie: for modesty or pleasure

Join me on a trip down the memory lane to determine what lingerie is to us. By RICHA GUPTA

Lingerie, the term, was initially introduced into the English language as a euphemism for

scandalous underclothing. While the actual term “lingerie” was not in widespread use until the late 1850s, lingerie as it implies general underclothing has a rich and elaborate history that consistently switches between the feminine and boyish as well as the painful and practical. From the laced corset “wasp waists” and “false buttocks” to the uplifted busts of the early 1990 supermodels, lingerie has helped define what it means to look beautiful while at the same time revealing a great deal about a society’s cultural and political values. The history of lingerie, then, is a history of gendered fashion, power, and sexuality. Starting with Ancient Egypt where clothing was a status symbol. The higher-ranking women would wear a narrow tunic serving as their undergarment whereas the slaves wore no undergarments, making lingerie a ‘symbol of power.’ In classical Greece, several female statues wear a crossed band over their shoulders and across the breast, as in the famous statue of the charioteer at Delphi. The Odyssey and Iliad mention women’s undergarments, as does Herodotus, Aristophanes, and the later Hellenistic writer Lacian. Roman women followed Greek fashion closely; several mosaics show them wearing something akin to bikini or briefs. So, for the Greeks and Romans, underclothing was designed for ‘function’ than exclusively aesthetic reasons.

allowing it to be worn in a less restrictive and tight manner. From “granny panties” to Gstrings to fetish wear. The figure wears a tightfitting bodice extending from the shoulder to below the waist and closely laced up in the front. corsets. Also offered are the sexy thong. Technology and the Wonderbra bring us to Today. The lacing of the corset is also often symbolic of sexual intercourse. Where clevage is celebrated and push-up bras sell like hot cakes. This era brought on the shedding of the corset to adaption of the brassier. women have more choices now than at any time in history. The French Revolution in the late 1700s also revolutionized women’s lingerie. Which gives us an balanced combination of ‘modesty on the outer appearance but constructed for pleasure’. and camisoles as symbols of French aristocracy in favor of the “un-corset. But from the womens point of view. high-waisted muslins that echoed Grecian rounded breasts and well-rounded figures. lace al these point towards pleasure. to back to accentuating them in the 40s & 50s with the Golden age of Hollywood.Medieval Lingerie: The Chemise and the Corset Prototypes. g-strings. this era spawned the first striptease shows. After ancient civilizations we come to the medieval period where the corset appears. one for fashion and one for athletic pursuits. Here we see the first signs of lingerie for ‘pleasure. padded bras. women had a dual wardrobe and dual underwear. Not surprisingly. While the Victorians are often seen as modest and prudish. garters that hooked to a woman’s stockings were invented and French dancers created great excitement when they showed glimpses of their garters stretched across their thigh. The 90’s are a curved ride for linegrie. Next come the Lingerie Innovators. in the 20s the flattening of bust. With the entry of the Twentieth century comes along the entry of the one item none of us can do without. The garters were actually functional because they anchored the corset so that it could not ride up.The Bra. where earlier they had granny undergarments on display now we see bold colors. Which is why during sale the outlets of the sexy La Senza is teeming with people. Another factor to tip us off is the roadside vendors. teddy. then modest Marks n Spencers where everybody goes for the staple. lace patterns and they even keep up with the neon trend which ironically was not available in Marks and Spencers! . Thus giving lingerie a lethal combination of ‘pleasure and pain’. and backless.” represented as a woman. For the first time.” or a type of corset without stiffening. granny panties do exist. In a deliberate return to classic Greece. servicable undergarments. French women begin discarding petticoats. corsets.’ Elizabethan Lingerie: Farthingales and Corsets. But even the more modest of us do have atleast one pair of racey underwear. And then back to square one with the 60s Hippie movement denouncing the bra. chemise. caged and opressed. Scholars often discuss both the status symbol of the corset as well as its erotic appeal in the way it exaggerates the curves of a woman by making the breasts and hips protrude in an hourglass shape. women sometimes would wear a band wrapped around the body similar to the Greek zoné under slim. A lot of us inconnious looking women wear something racey inside our plain jane outfits and it automatically makes us feel sexier and more powerful. Currently there is lingerie for all situations and intentions.the Victorians. the birthplace of the freedom that revolutionary France was proclaiming. a twelfth century manuscript includes a depiction of the devil or “fiend of fashion. the corset repressed and victimized women. Contemporary lingerie can be whatever women want it to be. air-filled. thongs. strapless. including lingerie that is padded. Albiet in a smaller number. the Elizabethan times bring us The Corsetargubaly the most controversial garment in the history of fashion. women boldly buying bold underwear and some furtively sneaking some into the trial rooms. If we had to pinpoint then with push-ups. But one cannot deny that despite g-strings. and peignoir as well as a plethora of everyday bras and panties. The French Revolution came with: Its Revolt against Underwear. In 1876. It roller coasters from comfort to pleasure to power and back to comfort. bringing us back to ‘modesty’ and ‘comfort’. gel-filled. The manuscript is notable in showing the increasing focus on displaying the body. they were the great innovators of underwear. They equate the corset to them beng trapped.

Not only that. For women with smaller bust. a push-up bra would help boost the size and for bustier women. Take heart by looking at lingerie through a million womens eyes. women being the more emotional creature view lingerie as a gift of herself for her partner. The womens perspectivewhen a woman wears lingerie. she would feel sexier and have more confidence to do her chores throughout the day without feeling self-conscious or being more confident around her partner. but made sexy after being worn by a woman. her self-esteem increases and indirectly boosts her confidence. lingerie by itself is not sexy. No matter what garment is worn over her undergarments. A woman also expects her effort to be appreciated as well after putting some thought into wearing something nice for the person she loves. . a bra with an underwire would prevent shagginess and keep her twins in place.For the furtive buyers. take that un-modest piece of lingerie out and wear it without shame. Honestly. When a woman wears lingerie for her partner's viewing indicates how much she thinks of him and in return expects her partner to unwrap her gift slowly and gently.

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