The fashion conspiracy

To die for the fashion? These days it seems difficult, apart from some case of anorexia that could be tied up to certain aesthetical models proposed in recent years, but up to a century ago it was less unlikely. Do you want some examples? The skirts with the crinoline (the rigid underskirt that helped to sustain the skirts and to make them voluminous) were highly inflammable.
Then if a “fashionable” woman escaped to the danger of fire, the continuous crawling of skirts on the floor ended with to favor the potential contact with germs of the fever, of the typhus, of the influence or of other viruses and diseases for which up to few decades ago effective treatments didn’t exist. Not that camisoles and suits were so much safer: up to the nineteenth century it was standard practice to color in green the suits with pigments derived by the arsenic, a poison also used in the workmanship of the artificial flowers that decorated suits and hats.
The consequential effect from the continuous exposure to such poisons could consist in sores that appeared on the hands of the workers and the seamstresses that had product and sewn such suits but also on the body of who wore them. If the women daily took risks of trying to follow the fashion, for the men it was not less dangerous: in the workmanship of the hats it was employed for over 200 years the mercury, then declared toxic. Also in this case to the risk of poisoning were exposed those people who produced the hats as much as those who wore them.
If then you escaped to the arsenic or mercury poisoning, you could end with to poison you with the lead contained in some powders as the “Swan Down”. These and other examples have been picked by Alison Matthews David in the book “Fashion Victims: the dangers of dress past and present” but there is also who has sustaine, as the blogger Matthew Sabato, that hypocondriacs and fashion victims would be object of a real conspiracy to their damages.
Matthew has begun to suspect particularly that the need to change glasses every 6-12 months could not always be justified, rather: so at a certain point he has decided not to buy other glasses anymore, and according to him [link] his vision has never been better. And so it would be for over six years now. In short: does the fashion kill, still today?


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