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Italian Women Vs. Tight Lacing

Italian Women Vs. Tight Lacing image
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It is astonishing that our ladies should persist in that ridiculous nation, that a small waist is, per necessitatem, must be beautiful. Why, many an Italian woman would cry for vexation if she possessed such a waist as some or our ladies acquire by the longest, painfullest process. I have sought the reason of this difference, and can see no other than that the Italians have their glorious statuary continually before them as models, and hence endeavor to assimilate themselves to them; whereas our fashionables have no models, except those French stuffed figures in the windows of milliners' shop. Why, if an artist should presume to make a statue with the shape that seems to be regarded with us as that perfection of harmonious proportion, he would be laughed out of the city. It is a standing objection against the taste of our women, the world over, that they will practically assert that a French milliner understands how they should be better made than nature herself. - Letters from Italy.