Fashion History Is Pretty But Painful

Has anything changed for women since the 1880s? We’re still stuffing ourselves into too-small clothes like skinny jeans and wreaking havoc on our feet with dangerously steep platform shoes. But that’s nothing in comparison to what our foremothers went through to look good — or stay incredibly thin). “Suffer for Beauty,” an exhibition at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn, Washington, offers a historical look at how ladies have subjected themselves to fashionable torture. The retrospective covers the turn of the century to the ’50s, exposing the evolving progression of “ideal” body types through a display of corsets and bustles. One hilarious aspect includes the changes in breast fashions, whether they should sit up high, have a flat shape, or be separated. By the end, you’ll thank your lucky stars that the corset survived as a novelty lingerie item. [SeattleTimes.com, Wrvmuseum.org]