Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sarah Chrisman and "Victorian Secrets"

During the summer I finally found a book that I had heard about once upon a time ago but didn't get even though it was a great interest to me, this book was called Waisted Curves by Sarah A. Chrisman. When I first heard about it but didn't get it because it was costly and I didn't have the money to get it... It was more expensive because Sarah Chrisman bound the book her self! The book was completely hand made so it cost a bit more.

To my surprise a little more than a year later I ran across this book again! However the name has changed to Victorian Secrets: What the Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present, and Myself, and I ran across it when I watched one of my YouTube videos. (You can watch that video here if you want!)

Now Sarah's book has been picked up and published by a bigger book company, which means cheaper books but no more hand made books.

The book was good, it hit a lot on the myths surrounding corsets, and the authors life. But this is not a review of the book (which if you can read it you should) it is the author we will be talking about.

Sarah A. Chrisman's life changed when her husband gifted her a corset for her birthday. After getting the corset she started wearing it every once and awhile, then more and more, till she was wearing it all the time! Wearing this corset changed Sarah and her husbands life in so many ways. Firstly her and her husband were already interested in the Victorian era and already had a pretty good collection of clothes now that she was corseting she could start wearing them. By wearing the corset she went from a 32 inch waist to a 22 inch waist!

But this is not about her wight loss either. I am writing this today because Sarah has been bitten by a sister species of the bug that bites Lolitas. After Sarah started wearing the corset she started wearing Victorian dresses and Victorian inspired dresses. She became a lifestyle Victorian. She and lolitas I believe have a lot in common, we have this life of wearing cute clothes that we want to wear despite what anyone tells us. 

Though I do believe we both wear our clothes for different reasons. From what I can gather from the book Sarah is interested in living the actual Victorian life.They are interested in living in the past and are nostalgic for the "better times" in the past. But I don't think this is actually bad, I believe many Lolita's feel a small faction of the same way. We both are captured in the beauty of the past and what it holds for us. But unlike Sarah I feel Lolita's are not so stuck in the past that we are here in the present. We have a fashion that is only based in the past but is very much in the these years trends, based in the here and now. We Lolita's also wear this style, much like I feel Sarah wears Victorian clothes, for the modesty. Though for me personally Lolita's are trying to reclaim themselves back from modern fashion, we in short are trying to reclaim our sexuality by wearing something that is very hard to sexualize, something that is modest and more importantly cute because WE want it to be cute and for no other reason.

I feel that Sarah and Lolita's have so much in common and that many of us, not just Lolita's could learn something from her.

Sarah goes out by herself dressed in what isn't considered normal anymore. But Sarah continues to do it because it is who she is and it what makes her happy. She feels pretty in it and its what she wants to do, even though she is constantly harassed for it, and asked inappropriate questions about her and her husbands sex life!

Sarah A. Chrisman and Lolita's have a lot in common, and I hope we get strength from each other to continue doing what we both love to do!

To continue more on Sarah in the book, she is a message therapist and her husband is a librarian and used to manage a bike shop. She doesn't drive and chooses instead to bike everywhere! This is even in the case of biking miles and miles to visit with friends. Before she started wearing the corset she had her eyes on the Victorian houses in Port Townsend, Washington. After wearing her corset her dreams were set in motion and now they own their very own Victorian house.

Sarah and her husband are living the life they want, just like the way many Lolita's do! Sarah and her husband has gone so far as to use a real ice box for their food storage and oil to light up their house. Their convection is something as a Lolita I look up to because of the way they live their life, it makes them happy and that is all that matters. I also feel they have become part of the alternative fashion scene, they have joined our lifestylers ranks whether it be Lolita, goths, or fairy-kei. Though many would criticize them for their life and their belief that the Victorian era was the best era and put them next to reenactors, they still live their life according to their rules. I wish Sarah and Gabriel the best of luck moving forward and hope I can meet them one day in my Lolita finest! (Even if to them it makes no sense).

If you want to make sense of my ramblings or just want to see more awesome pictures and learn more about Sarah and Gabriel Chrisman please check out their website!

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you guys are doing great!

Till Next Time