Written by Rachel Arieff
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Girdles have made a comeback. Though they've never gone away completely, until recently they were largely relegated to obscurity. At the final decades of the 20th century, girdles were largely condemned to a passé status as "granny wear" or even worse, for the prudish or unfulfilled. This was partially a result of the social upheavals of the sixties and seventies, during which women, while struggling for equality and respect, viewed the girdle as an instrument of oppression.

Since then, much has changed, including the girdle's image. These days, the girdle enjoys an updated, even glamorous status. Girdles, while serving an important function as a strong support garment, can be sexy and powerfully seductive. Rather than being seen as a punishing object that women reluctantly use to please men, the girdle can be an empowering instrument that offers women (or men) direct control over their own physical appearance, for their own satisfaction.

The New Girdles

This is especially true in the revolution of plus-sized intimate apparel. The past decade rediscovered the beauty of bigger sizes, updating clothing lines from dowdy, matronly clichés to bold and beautiful choices. This new focus emphasized, above all, femininity. With the explosion of plus-sized clothing options, intimate apparel naturally had to follow suit.

Girdles today reflect the new emphasis on beauty, sensuality, and self-assurance. Rather than hide or oppress the body, they glorify it, bringing out its assets by providing support in the crucial waist, hip, and abdomen areas. Moreover, in contrast with the girdles of yesteryear, many of today's girdles are beautiful to behold, with sexy colors, sensual satin fabrics, and exotic detailing.

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