The Bloomer Costume
The Bloomer Costume
We See by Amelia Bloomer's neat little paper, the Lily. that her new custome has not yet lost its advocate, though the thing itself has not been seen lately in this region, save in a bewitching dance of the Countess of Lansfeldt's sorps de ballet. In the Lily, a writer, whom we suppose to hr Elizabeth G. Stanton, wife of Hon. Henry B. Stanton, supports the new costume as follows:—
THE NEW DRESS. Why do not the women put it on? All the reasons given can be summed up' under two heads.
1st. It is not the fashion!! To hear people talk of the fashions, one would think they were as fixed as the laws of the Medes and Persians — that they were all got up by some sovereign power, with peculiar reference to the comfort and beauty of the race; when the fact is, they are ever varying — the device, generally, of an individual, to conceal some special deformity, or set off some peculiar charm. There is great tyranny in this idea of an universal dress. Only look at the difference in the face, form and manners or those around you, and is it not fair to infer that a different style of dress would become each? Whv should I, a short woman, with a short, plump arm, destroy the proportions of my figure by wearing a great flowing sleeve, and a bag of an undersleeve, because some tall thin woman, with an endless arm, must resort to some such expedient, to break up the monotony of its length? Why should I cover my ears with hair, because the Duchess of R. slit hers down by wearing heavy ear-rings, and must cover them to hide the deformity? Why must I wear a tournoeur, a thing so vulgar in fact, and in idea, because my Lady V. wears one to conceal a great wen growing in the centre of her back? Why should I trail my dress upon the ground because royal fools, having no true dignity or nobility in themselves, impose upon the ignorant populace by the show of it, with their lofty plumes, jewelled crowns, and trails or rich brocade? Suppose we should hear of some Chinese mother, who, being convinced or the cruelty and folly of suppressing her daughter's feet, had suffered them to grow, and left them to use their powers of locomotion naturally and freely in the Celestial Empire, in spite of ridicule and odium. In reply to the objection, 'Why do you make yourself ridiculous by such a course? Why not do as others do ? If all the women would let their feet grow, why then, of course, it would be a great blessing to them, but it is absurd for one to stand up alone to change a long established fashion. It seems to me you wear the crown of martyrdom for a very small matter. I do not see but the women get on very well with the small feet. A large foot is a masculine appendage, pray do not ape the men' - suppose the Chinese mother should say,—'This fashion, so cruel, wicked and unnatural, that so cramps the energies of woman, and trammels all her movements, has already existed long enough. Shall my country-women always suffer this outrage, because no one has the heroism to stand up alone, and say this shall not be? Evils can never be remedied by a supine endurance of them. Shall I, who see the truth, neither proclaim it nor live it, because the mass are not ready to go with me? No; I nun willing to encounter a life-time of riducule and rebuke, if the blessing of free powers of locomotion can be gained, thereby, for those who come after me — for my children, who are dearer to me than my own ease and comfort — yea than life itself.' Who would not admire the noble independence, the lofty self-sacrifice, the straight-forward common sense of the Chinese mother? And why should we not ourselves
be what we so much admire in story and in song?
Are there no evils from which American mothers
would fain shield their daughters? Shall we, through fear of ridicule, sail on with the multitude, doing no work for those who come after us, whilst we are in the full enjoyment of blessings won for us by the heroes of the past?
2d. The long dress and bodice is most graceful.
Let us see. Do you mean that woman moves with more grace, with her vital organs all pinched into the smallest possible compass, with her feet and legs bound together with triple mail of cotton, wool and silk? Does she walk, run, climb, get in and out of a carriage, go up and down stairs with more grace? Certainly not.
Two elements essential to trace are wanting in all her movements, namely, ease and freedom. It is not the woman, but the drapery, that strikes you as most graceful. A long, full, flowing skirt, certainly hangs more gracefully than a short one; but does woman crave no higher destiny than to be a mere frame-work on which to hang rich fabrics to show them off to the best advantage? Are not the free, easy motions of the woman herself more beautiful than the flowing of her drapery? Just veil the ex-quisitely harmonious motions of yonder danseuse in drapery of the softest folds and richest shades, and tell me, in the mazes of that mystic dance, is she as beautiful as when her limbs were free?
The most you can say of the long skirt is, it conceals ugly feet, crooked legs, and awkward attitudes
E. C. S.