This dress checks your movements

with that wasp waist,
your lungs, stomach, liver, and other organs
squeezed down out of place,
into one half their natural size,
with that long trail dragging on the ground,
how can any man of sense,
who knows that life is made up of use, of service, of work;

how can he take such partner?

He must be desperate to unite himself for life with such a deformed,
fettered, half-breathing ornament.

If I were in the matrimonial market, I might marry
a woman that had but one arm, or one eye,
or no eyes at all,
if she suited me otherwise; but
so long as God permitted me to retain my senses,
I could never join my fortunes with those of a woman
with a small waist.

A small waist!

I am a physiologist, and know what
a small waist

Taken from the 1871 book Our girls by Dio Lewis. Submitted by John Rodzvilla.