Searchlights on Health/Tight-Lacing

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It destroys natural beauty and creates an unpleasant and irritable temper. A tight-laced chest and a good disposition cannot go together. The human form has been molded by nature, the best shape is undoubtedly that which she has given it. To endeavor to render it more elegant by artificial means is to change it; to make it much smaller below and much larger above is to destroy its beauty; to keep it cased up in a kind of domestic cuirass is not only to deform it, but to expose the internal parts to serious injury. Under such compression as is commonly practiced by ladies, the development of the bones, which are still tender, does not take place conformably to the intention of nature, because nutrition is necessarily stopped, and they consequently become twisted and deformed.

Those who wear these appliances of tight-lacing often complain that they cannot sit upright without them—are sometimes, indeed, compelled to wear them during all the twenty-four hours; a fact which proves to what extent such articles weaken the muscles of the trunk. The injury does not fall merely on the internal structure of the body, but also on its beauty, and on the temper and feelings with which that beauty is associated. Beauty is in reality but another name for expression of countenance, which is the index of sound health, intelligence, good feelings and peace of mind. All are aware that uneasy feelings, existing habitually in the breast, speedily exhibit their signature on the countenance, and that bitter thoughts or a bad temper spoil the human expression of its comeliness and grace.