Ice Cream Cone
Girdle, a Womanís Best Friend
Own True Voice
The Girdle, a Womanís Best Friend
mother always wanted me to be thin and beautiful. She taught me
a great deal about how to accomplish this. There were many rules
and regulations to be followed to achieve this goal. I was taught
at a very young age that managing money correctly was also essential.
I was trained to be thrifty, to save money, and to buy only things
that were on sale. But there was one area of our lives as women
where money was no object.
never try to save money on a girdle," my mother taught me.
"Your girdle is your best friend. Always buy the best."
I will always remember our shopping trips to Sears. We went to
that particular department store because they not only sold the
best Playtex rubber girdle in town, but they had a professional
woman to fit you and make sure that you bought the correct size.
It was of little value to have an excellent girdle if the fit
was not right. My mother and I would usually hold hands as we
walked into that special womenís department in the back of the
store. She would rush in to find the saleswoman who really knew
all about the fitting of girdles and say, a little too loudly
for my adolescent ears, "I want my daughter to have the best
Playtex rubber girdle. I donít care how much it costs. And I want
you to find a really firm longline bra for her to wear with it."
mom and I waited in the dressing room for the saleslady to come
in. I felt really embarrassed about taking off my clothes in front
of this strange woman. But she was a professional, like a doctor.
There were a lot of years that I mildly protested, but always
gave in at the end, because my mother had my own good in mind.
It was always a struggle to pull the girdles up. Apparently the
correct fit meant a moderate amount of difficulty pulling the
girdle up over my hips, but when it was in place, I could look
in the mirror and see a significant difference in my form.
The correct fit seemed to be as tight as I could tolerate it,
and still be able to breathe. There was always fat that got pushed
up and hung over the girdle, but there was a ready solution to
that as well. The longline bra with the stiff bones compressed
the fat hanging over the stomach. Of course, there was a limit
to this miracle makeover, and there always appeared to be some
excess fat hanging over the top of the longline bra in the back,
but that part had limited visibility to others, so it didnít matter.
off the rubber girdle was always difficult. I would sweat profusely
in the hot little dressing room, and the girdle would stick to
me. My mom carried a little bottle of Johnsonís baby powder in
her purse at all times. She taught me that if I powdered myself
first, the girdle would go up easier. She was right. The powder
was also good to cover up the red marks that the bones of the
corset left on my young, sensitive skin.
mother and I always left Sears with a few bags filled with perfectly
fitting bras and girdles. I wore them all the time, except when
sleeping at night. My mother taught me that a lady never leaves
the house without a good fitting girdle. She trained me to put
the girdle on as soon as I got up in the morning. One never knew
if a friend or traveling salesman might knock on the door and
come into the house. "No one should see a woman without her
girdle on," my mother told me countless times. If we were
out somewhere and my mother saw the behind of a woman looking
girdle-less, she would never hesitate to point out to me the "looseness"
of that woman. She would call her names and make deprecating remarks
about the way this woman cared for her body. A woman without a
girdle was like a woman walking around naked in public.
didnít have many dates as a teenager, but occasionally a boy would
ask me out to the movies. I always took advantage of every opportunity
I had to go on a date, although there was a special problem that
I had when I did so. Luckily, my mother had a solution to this
all figured out and taught me how to deal with this problem. When
I sat for an extended period of time in a movie theater, the tightness
of the girdle, in conjunction with the tightness of the longline
bra, seemed to compress my abdomen to such an extent that I would
get excruciating stomach pains. There would be a huge build-up
of gas that could not escape. The optimal solution to this problem
was a cup of hot tea followed by lying down on my stomach, which
allowed the gas to escape, due to the straightening out of my
body. The length of time in the seated position necessary to watch
a whole movie was far too long for normal expulsion of the gas
pockets. Of course, there was no hot tea to drink in the movie
theater, but I was able to go to the bathroom and lie down on
the floor three or four times during the movie.
mother told me that wherever I went, there would always be a womenís
bathroom to go to where I could lie down on the floor face down.
This has always proven to be true. My mother taught me many lessons
on how to be thin and beautiful. I have much to thank her for
Maxine, 50 ē