Women in the 1800th or the 19th century were continuously struggling to maintain their consciousness during any emotional or physical shock. Over time, there have been multiple theories for why women ever fainted in the first place.
- The first-ever theory of women fainting was that they wore corsets throughout the 19th century.
- Two primary purposes of wearing a Corset –
- To give a smooth look.
- To provide extra curves by tightening it.
- Victorian era made it quite popular to wear corsets to look fashionable and beautiful.
- However, they are multiple disadvantages to wearing a corset.
- A super tight-laced corset resulted in the change of the body of the corset wearers.
- It squashed the lungs, changed the position of the ribs, some organs get compressed against the spine, and some shoved down to the lower abdomen.
- It resulted in problems in breathing, difficulty in pumping blood, struggling to digest food.
- Thus, it is one of the many reasons for the fainting of women.
- Excess clothing
- Another fashion-based theory was that women wore a large amount of clothing, even in the summers.
- It included a corset, underwear, a full skirt crinoline, petticoats, bonnet, and a hat.
- Thus, women may have fainted because of overheating or may have collapsed due to heavyweight of the garments.
- Another theory for fainting could be the intake of chronic poisons.
- During the 19th century, people knew that arsenic was poisonous, but they never seem to be bothered about it.
- The exposure to its fumes had harmful effects on the lives of the people, but still, was widely used in the manufacturing of things from fabrics, paints, wallpapers, and food packing paper.
- Inhale, or intake of arsenic acid has numerous symptoms like cold sweats, headaches, and fainting.
- Arsenic, along with other toxic substances, was found in the makeup during the Victorian Era.
Thus, all the above methods are quite noticeable that might have made the women faint in the 18th century.
What was reflected by swooning in the 1800s?
Fainting of the women reflected their delicate nature in the most emotional way. In the 19th century, swooning was a social cue for women that they must always have in their toolbox, most likely to make a show out of emotions.
In the 1800s, another potential incentive of swooning for women was that they were sent into a place called “fainting room” to sit back and relax in a comfortable chair.
How was it cured?
Midwives attended the women in hysteria by given proper pelvic massages manually or with a water massager (present mostly in their offices). The massage practices took place until the midwives cured women out of her hysteria.
It was a time consuming and physically exerting task for the midwife, mainly if they had to attend multiple women in a day. Thus, the ladies cured their hysteria with the help of their husbands.
Slavery to fashion was imaginably senseless, cruel, and full of harmful consequences to the civilized womanhood during the Victorian era. To look gorgeous and flattering, women went to a great extent to destroy their bodies during the 1800s. Although there were more reasons for their swooning – corsets have to be one of the most avoidable causes.