The Another

    The weary corset on the screen – Liberation




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    Very present in period fiction to evoke female oppression or easy eroticism, the use of underwear on set is increasingly decried. The latest example is the “Chronicle of the Bridgertons” series in London in 1813.

    The opening scene of the Chronicle of the Bridgertons, romantic drama broadcast by Netflix, is a classic of the genre: a few wide shots of London in 1813, followed by close-ups of the face of young Prudence Featherington who winces in pain as a maid forcefully tightens the lacing of her corset. “Stronger”, her mother insists. “Will she be able to breathe?” his sister worries. Apparently not: a few minutes later, Prudence lacks air and faints at the feet of Queen Charlotte to whom she was to be presented.

    The problem ? The series is supposed to take place during the Regency period. However, at that time, the dresses were empire waist, loose and tightened under the chest, erasing the waist, and the underwear was not very restrictive. No need to wear a tight corset underneath. The Bridgerton Chronicle assumes its fictional side and does not claim historical accuracy, in particular by depicting a racially mixed society or by integrating Madonna songs into the playlist. This anachronistic corset is therefore there to fulfill a very specific purpose: to explain in a few seconds the status of women at the time.

    “Chest and Hips”

    “There are no costume movies without a corset-tightening scene,” explains Julie Taddeo, historian specializing in the United Kingdom at the University of Maryland and author of Rape in Period Drama Television (“Rape in the historical series”). “This


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