University of Virginia Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

Corset Damage to the Body

Health Risks of Corsets Real and Imagined

Corset Damage

Corset Damage. This illustration is from Robert L. Dickinson, MD, “The Corset,” The New York Medical Journal, Nov. 5, 1887. (public domain)



Many physicians believed that tight-lacing corsets led to severe organ displacement as well as other internal damage. Some even speculated that tight corsets caused ailments such as consumption and various forms of cancers. The corset controversy endured until changing fashion de-emphasized the waist.









Further Information
Searchlights on Health (1920) by B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols, The History, Mystery, Benefits and Injuries of the Corset (made available by Project Gutenberg).