Now, the “tiny waist” corsets often linked with the medical conditions was not always its main feature through time:some periods were rather featuring high bust or larger hips , high waist or straight front etc…. they have examples of lungs with indentations from the ribs. Those which are made with smaller waists clearly have not been worn at their tightest, because of the lack of stretch and pull on the eyelets and stitching. i love being corseted because it can hold my stomach and i feel much more comfortable in my corset. 10:32 20 367. corsets can also cut into your skin. Posted by 6 days ago. The corsets were all in very good condition, about three were unused, and the others exhibited all the signs of normal use, but with regular washing and attention to little details such as wear in the elastic. Corsets that use cheap plastic boning are simply for looks or fashion, and will literally burst at the seams if you try to tighten down. Tightlacing was most likely the cause of indigestion but rarely the cause for a plethora of ailments associated with tight corseting. These events are a fantastical and Halloweeny celebration of macabre mid-century illustrator Edward Gorey, as well as of the fashions of the Edwardians. This can be very true if laced excessively, I dare say. It is very clear from buying vintage clothing and shoes that people in the western world are a lot larger now than they were in the 19th and early 20th century periods. In general, corsets would not need to be laced tightly , just firmly because the body was already shaped and adapted to years of conditioning with them . Eleri Lynn’s book is good on all these layers. Many of those tiny corsets were actually mannequin models for shop windows (beautify made, never worn leads to easy preservation), and you know how accurate mannequins are in store windows. Debunking myths about women and body image is always a pleasure to read! Nobody went about their day to day life trying to hold that absurd posture. As a modern corsetière who create custom leather corsets under the label Wilde Hunt Corsetry (www.wildehunt.com), I really appreciate your article. They went out of fashion again when ’60s mod style brought back the short skirts and girlish figure of the ’20s and the hippie movement embraced more natural body shapes. the heavy hairs used by filter feeding whales as a substitute for teeth. Corsets were bad because young woman and girls would wear them too tight. But if a woman were to dress as an authentic Edwardian, this is the sort of corset she’d wear. The devices were used to "correct spinal deformities," such as scoliosis, and they were even padded so as to not hurt the wearer. I agree with a previous commenter that Victorians were human, and just like today, women have a tendency to push the envelope when it comes to fashion, In all likelihood, lacing up a little too tightly was probably pretty common. However, they were intended to reshape the natural body to what women perceived as the most ideal figure—meaning the most youthful and sexually desirable. actually that is girdle, but people in my country call it corset. Women wore the corset because it made them feel attractive and properly dressed, she says, two important indicators of status. This thread is archived. I would never advise or recommend another woman to tight-lace as I do, because it must be her choice. 69%. Peter, you’re misrepresenting things. Hurrah! Because the steel boning is necessary for the “cinching” of the waist and shaping of your figure. Re:Stacy’s comment, I think you will find in Steele’s work further discussion of the archaeological record, the spinal and other deformities in the record can’t be generally linked with corsets. Large collection of video clips relating to real-life corporal punishment www.corpun.com. Not every woman in Victorian era was a sad, helpless butterfly as portrayed in the modern movies,” said Zebrowska. It doesn’t mean that corsets were without any health problems, but it does mean that most modern people are wildly naive in believing the most absurd antiquated medical accusations about corsetry. “And that’s quite inaccurate. :-) Horny soldier got a blowjob from a mature blonde, before fucking her. and corsetting can … Liver above waistline. What would this sentence sound like if bad were used instead? For one thing, all this talk of posture, but not word about the bustles that cause that appearance far more than any corset could ever do? Log In Sign Up. By the ’20s, of course, your clothes were showing more of your body. As a bioarchaeologist, I can say that corsets cause deformation of the spine and ribs. Basic humanity doesn’t change. Also, new manufacturing technology allowed for affordable mass-produced corsets, which had previously been custom-made to a woman’s measurements. I had also seen corsets in adverts and shop windows, but had never taken much notice of them. This was the closest I had ever seen a corset. They did force organs to shift around, cause indigestion and constipation, and eventually weakened back muscles. Just because it happens doesn’t make it normal. The corset is an invention of Roxey Ann[a] Caplin. Corsetmaker pattern goal of the corset is not the same as the lady’s waist circumference outside of the corset. Steele says women wore corsets quite on their own volition. , to take it off yourself, without the help of a maid) It’s been said that they misshape internal organs and cause cancer. . In the late 16th century there were corsets of iron. We can’t judge this garment with our modern opinions. I can hardly get them to take the corset off! It’s only really bad corseting that is visible, however, even with perfectly fitting garments, my elderly friends avoid sitting in soft reclining chairs and will always choose an upright chair. It’s unfortunate, but instead of proving that traditionally-feminine women were still perfectly capable of thinking just as well as any man, those early feminist gestures instead wound up reinforcing the idea that traditionally-feminine women COULDN’T think, and that anything that made … Non-working women- despite the fact that Bourgeois would have much unhealthier eating habits than the working class with greater quantity and much fatter food – wearing a corset would not allow a stomach to be filled past a certain amount,thus restraining the food intake , and then the body size. Where we can enjoy, discuss, and promote getting laced up! Of course, they weren’t exactly the healthiest things to wear every day, either. Considering the weight of fabric and the multiple layers and even the way clothes had to be constructed (no zippers, no elastic) its no wonder they needed the rigid foundation of a corset. Corsets were worn by women – and sometimes men – in the Western world from the 16th to the early 20th century, although corset-like garments can be traced as far back as 1600 BC. i am male 38, i do wearing corset. Bad posture starts out as a bad habit, but can lead to back pain, migraines, stomach cramps, and more. Far from being crushed by medieval torture devices, seven skeletons in the French Musée de l’Homme and 18 in the Museum of London found that women across the social spectrum showed S-shaped ribcages and yet lived relatively long lives. [I have learned recently that in one of those lovely dresses there was an in-built corset.] i really want to have a real corset but i think i cant afford because of the price. if it is uncomfortable it does not fit! I was still wearing it (only for dressy occasions) when I was a month or so pregnant, and my father said, “Don’t wear it if it’s uncomfortable.” Me: “Dad, it’s always uncomfortable!”. Hopefully with this you are able to spread the information more widely and people will become more acceptable to the corset again. In their quest to be shocking, punks started wearing old-fashioned lingerie as outerwear. Quality corsets have both flat and spiral boning to allow for movement. ( that’s why it is there for ,right? The point about women wearing them “voluntarily” is absurd. My clients have included mothers, artists, business owners, computer programers, Iraq war veterans to name a few. There have been reports of broken laces and hyperbolic drawings of maids with their feet upon the backsides of their mistresses as they struggle with recalcitrant lacing. Before 1851 woman used pair of stays, which hung down on the shoulders. This was the closest I had ever seen a corset. If you want to identify an item, try posting it in our Show & Tell gallery. In addition to all of the myths you so wonderfully refuted, I’ve heard people claim that Edwardian corsets actually distort the figure into that extreme pigeon-chested shape! Corsets Help Correct Bad Posture. Though I’m not a doctor, but a physiotherapy student and a corset lover, I feel I have to add something. I’m guessing they came to this conclusion by looking at illustrations from the time. It’s therefore more than likely a ‘one off’ manufactured specifically to promote the company’s wares, I guess much in the same way that today’s fashion houses put size zero dresses on impossibly thin models to sell to normal sized women such as you and I. I have a few nits and picks with the article, though it’s fine overall. There were iron devices from the late 1500s that resemble corsets, but, as fashion historian Valeria Steele explains in her book The Corset: A Cultural History, they were used for posture and orthopedics. 57%. Larissa Boiwka. Where did these tales of ladies of the court and their obscenely tiny 13-inch waists come from? Thank you again for a very helpful article. Corset causes no damage if you wear it for a few hours a week. Men, in fact, regularly protested corsets, claiming they caused hysteria and the other health problems mentioned above. Corsets work by increasing the pressure in the abdomen, thus reducing the amount of weight placed on sensitive spinal structures, such as vertebrae and joints. This is lazy and offensive headlining of an otherwise OK article. I’ve written about this myself — though I took it much further in my 3-part series ;), http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/2009/11/what-if-everything-you-knew-about-the-corset-was-wrong/, http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/2009/11/corsets-are-too-sexy/, http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/2009/11/corsets-bound-to-stay-suffrage/. Author Steele credibly dispels the myths surrounding corsets and health, but I would have appreciated some attribution to the doctors’ autopsy remarks about corsets and livers, particularly because it was in quotes. John, this article is a skim off the top of Steele’s book Corsets: A Cultural History, which delves deeper into autopsy reports and medical mosunderstanding with full bibliography. How nice that must have been. Before the advent of the sewing machine,(around 1850s ) corsets were all made by hand and made to measure, so there would be no need of a gap at the lacing. In early 16th century Europe, corsets called “payre of bodies” pushed the breasts upward and shaped the torso into a slim cylinder, thanks to boning made of horn, buckram or whalebone, and a flat wooden “busk” running down the center. Ever an object of fascination and debate, the corset will make its way out of the closet in the coming weeks, as the Edwardian Ball hits San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom on Jan. 20 and 21 and Los Angeles this spring, date and location to be announced. In an interesting extra approach, Gibson analysed 44 corsets in the V&A dating from 1700 to 1900 to look for signs of wear and strain. Earlier, corsets were thought as women wear but corset through history has been accepted by many men as these corset costumes change the appearance of their bodies giving them a more masculine look. CORSETS: ARE THEY BAD FOR YOUR BODY? From the collection of M. Talkington, laceembrace.com, via The Antique Corset Gallery. It acts like a proto-Wonderbra and also emphasizes the waist-hip differential, which makes you look younger, slimmer, and curvier—which is still what everybody wants. Apparently, up until that time infant’s clothing, at least around the torso, was made extremely tight-fitting because the thought was that babies were so fragile that if they were not bound up tightly in their clothing they would grow in some deformed way. Laura Ingalls Wilder complained in one of her later “Little House” books that her corset would not allow her to draw a deep breath. Here are her top three misunderstood facts about corsets: Even though so-called “tight-lacing” was popular during the late 1800s, women rarely reduced their waists more than 1-2 inches. They have helped my back feel better and I love they way I look in them. Office lady likes to do some really outrageous stuff while at work. To say that “Thirteen-inch waists are not a thing of myths” is a misnomer, as you are referring to the corset measurement itself and not a woman’s actual waist measurement when worn. Anorexia was another, which turned up as eating disorders became the new complaint of the day. “If you really want to achieve that look permanently then you’re best bet would be to do it surgically,” he concludes. Edwardian corsets apply pressure to the body in a different way, but they in no way force the body into that arched back posture. The corsets were all in very good condition, about three were unused, and the others exhibited all the signs of normal use, but with regular washing and attention to little details such as wear in the elastic. The corset has a bad reputation. If you want a real corset, one that’s going to provide the coverage, support, and waist training benefits you seek, you’re going to have to pay for it. A corset sculpts the body by carefully compressing and redistributing the existing flesh. We can no longer imagine wearing such structured garments over so much of our torso that would affect movement and posture that way, but unless you insist that comfort must mean absolute freedom of movement, they aren’t necessarily uncomfortable (I’ve worn repros for theater and living history events). Hell, I would wear more corsets if they weren’t so expensive! The article itself is re!event to any and all avenues of sociology or fashion design. And, of course, the most damning evidence against “the patriarchy” being to blame for corsets is that men also wore corsets, mostly for a general slimming effect that let the fashionable clothing hang well, but from 1820 to 1834 a nipped in, wasp-waist was also fashionable for men. When we started in the new year, they were tightened one notch a day until they were at their maximum. It was not the plan to achieve this measurement, but as the years have gone by I bought progressively smaller-waisted corsets; made to measure and very comfortable. Jack: (character), if you were a horse we would just kill you. Many health problems once blamed on the corset are now clearly not the fault of the undergarment. These corsets were loosely laced, artfully dishabillé, and worn over menswear-inflected pieces. It helps asthmatic patients, moreover, it helps in prevention of hernias, prevention of injuries during accidents or other activities. The 1867 letter to which you allude forms part of a protracted and often highly fetishistic correspondence (“Conversazione”) not only on the subject tightlacing but also on more dubious topics such as crossdressing and flagellation. Most of the diseases that have been credited to corsets, in fact, had other causes. In that sense I suppose I am a tight-lacer. What is in this article is correct. These are problems studied in medical corset use, but since the fashion corset is tighter and many times stronger, the damage is not just the same, but it’s worse. they did tests and wearing a corset (even an inch tight) can speed up your heart rate, breath and make just walking across the room an arduous task. Read stories from women who wearing a corset waist trainer and seeing results. She still attributed all kinds of illnesses to conventional corsets, and designed her new supportive corset with hopes that women would stop compressing their waists…which didn’t work. It means it’s not healthy for those with breathing problems: if you have smoked for more than 5 years, and you still smoke more than 2 cigarettes a day, you have to avoid corsets for log periods. The corsets turned the upper torso into a matching but inverted cone shape. My uncle, a WW2 bomber crewman and later pilot wore a corset most of his remaining life after several crash landings and a bailout. Small change, but big difference in meaning and supporting your article! Also, to the person questioning whalebone, yes it is baleen, but the corset industry called it whalebone so we do as well. It’s not hard to see why waist training has taken off: All you have to do is strap the thing on — whether it’s a rigid corset or a flexible fabric wrap — and try not to pass out. That expression might occur in casual speech sometimes, but it has no place in good writing. When I read about the corset in Wikipedia, I was amazed how many different kinds of corsets were worn in our history… Luckily, those days are gone. But these corsets forced women to tilt awkwardly, hips back, breasts forward, and created an exaggerated S-shape in the back. They asked for my natural waist size, 28 inches, and sent me a number of options. Answer. Corsets are supposed to have about 1-3 inches “open” at the lacing as their “spring” which allows for the flex and movement. That was a bad test for Amanda. It was in the sixteenth century that corsets became popular and came into regular day life of many women. period. They would wear their corsets gladly and for their own comfort, just as nowadays most women choose to wear bras.”. Corsets do however impact one’s health. Other illnesses attributed to corsets were fake, sexist conditions, like “hysteria.” There’s also no record of a woman having a rib surgically removed so she could better fit into a corset, which is a particularly absurd myth, given how deadly surgery was in the 1800s. Let’s not forget that Victorians were PEOPLE. Therefore a woman’s “18 inch waist” (measurements were often given as the CORSET measure) was anywhere from 19-21 inches… But for ladies who value historically accuracy, the swan-bill corsets will be worn more discreetly under the layers of lace, ruffles, and ribbons of their gorgeous period-perfect gowns. Curves were further exaggerated with big shoulders in blouses, and huge hoop skirts over layers of crinoline. “Also, it enhances the sexually dimorphic curves of the female body. I used to have a beaded belt my grandfather made for my grandmother and wore it as a hat band. Jeans back then weren’t made with the elastic stretch that they have today. I’m a corset-wearer myself for historical dress, so I’m certainly not anti-corset. Either it is too large, too small, or the proportional length (bust to waist, or waist to hip) is incorrect. My corset has been pressing on my figure for nearly 13 years and my waist has reduced from my original 30 inches to my present 20 inches. Probably. Makes it just a little hard to take any broad pronouncements about underwear too seriously. While there have been some dangers linked to corsets and waist trainers, as a whole, corsets don’t cause any harm when worn properly. It sounded as if the remark was heard and repeated without confirmation thus compounding the very thing she sought to dispel, gullibility. The only problem i have ever had with a corset is it not being big enough for my breasts, and crushing them in part while another part spills over. I personally believe that, as with most scenarios, an amount of practical moderation is the key to achieving success. Tight corsets did make it slightly harder for wearers to breathe, an impediment which almost certainly led to a reduction in salubrious physical activity. Plus ,the reference texts and corsets we can admire from different periods were from wealthy women, and in general they would have a slimmer type of body because of a smaller muscular mass, and by consequent, smaller bone mass as well, since they did not have to work .then again,according to the period, the country, the social ranks, and all other sorts of reasons . Corset was a reform dress with free moveable shoulders. tight lacing is dangerous! How comfortable could it be to wear something that doesn’t allow you to fully breathe? For another, that somehow, tightening a corset around one’s torso leads to osteoporosis. Somebody did there own study about it on FoundationsRevealed.com and basically came to the conclusion (and I agree from my own studies) that while the pictures from that era show a lot of this posture, it was just the fashionable posture that was used for pictures. 0,7cm)= c. 41.6 cm = about 17 inch. Recent research by Rebecca Gibson published in the NEXUS Canadian student journal of anthropology drew upon contemprary sources claiming men did not like corsets. The corset is probably the most controversial garment in the history of fashion! Crucially Gibson concluded that viewing women’s social history as a reflection of patriarchy is overly simplistic and going forward more research needs to take a more nuanced approach to how women were treated and how they shaped their own identities. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. as the body grows,by the time they were adults , the bone structure and organs position were already shaped . I doubt any blanket statement on this page (and there are plenty!) When doctors did autopsies, they would see these weird-looking livers and they’d go, ‘That was caused by the corset.'”. I do disagree with the part about the Edwardian corsets. But, we wore them as tight as we could get them. Gibson analysed skeletons and corsets to establish just how damaging the practice was. Yeay!! Corsets, unlike stays, were often difficult to get into, especially if you wanted them tight it was often best to have a ladies maid to dress you and tighten the laces while it was on. The young man laid out the corset full length on the table and started to undo the back lacings. just as many people wear poorly fitting shoes because they assume that they are “supposed to be” a certain size. Image from the U.S. Library of Congress, copyright E. Chickering. Automated page speed optimizations for fast site performance, Hustle Some Bustle With These Victorian Dresses, The Best Victorian Dress Patterns December, 2020, Watch Burne-Jones Paintings Brought To Life In Sumptuous Tate Trailer, Herero Tribe Remembers Genocide Through Victorian Dress, Michael Caine and Stanley Baker’s Zulu Costumes Just Sold on Ebay, Costume Students Make Awesome Historically-Accurate Disney Characters. I got in touch with the folks at Corset Story, who were extremely helpful. Why? Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Yet the corsets themselves tell a different story: a story of being often and well worn, but handled with care and used for years, something that would be less than likely were they pulled tighter than their frames allowed.”. A corset without steel boning is not really a corset. Most people would reduce _by_ a couple of inches. That’s the exact kind of mis-information this article is trying to eliminate. Re. Corset wearing started at the age of ten for girls in the Victorian Era. Really love this corset Self OC. A corset said “I don’t have to do much hard physical work, like housework” and the tighter it was, the louder the message came across. Ivory, wood, or cane was also used, but not as often. Most people wore corsets the way we wear bras and Spanx, as shapers and supporters, not lacing them tightly in any way that would deform or move around anything internally. But others may not. Seductive lady in erotic stockings is about to cum on the couch. Corsets, variously called a pair of bodys or stays, were worn by European women from the late 16th century onward, changing their form as fashions changed. they have examples of lungs with indentations from the ribs. “If you had a boned corset, your movements weren’t right, so people would wear these boneless tango corsets, which are just long elasticized girdles. Men might not have oppressed women by demanding they wear corsets, but women certainly wore them to impress men and assert their rank among other women. Quality corsets have both flat and spiral boning to allow for movement. The women of their day who practiced those sorts of extreme tight lacing techniques regularly today be anorexic with stretched out tendons in her legs due to constant heel wearing, their own sort of body modification. And I have seen the measurements listed for the old dress patterns and the waists definitely were tiny. Corsets were vilified really not because they were bad for the body, but because FEMININITY was bad for the mind, in a way. These weakened muscles cause a greater reliance on the corset. I doubt we’ll ever know the exact cause in that case. It’s important to use your best judgement about your own body, and to not over generalize. I’d have to say that the smallest size period corset I’ve ever come across, which BTW I still own, is a 17″ Y & N corset from c. 1894. And a poorly-fitted corset could do terrible damage to anyone who lacked the tough connective tissues to withstand it. I just wish to help people avoiding pain ^^. The corset was first widely used after 1851. Yes, they are bad for you if you wore them since you were little, everyday (like they did in the Victorian Era), which is not likely obviously. x The corsetmakers tell as some corsets do create misshapen livers or life-threatening diseases. From the collection of K. Augusta, antique-fashion.com, via The Antique Corset Gallery. hd. We're the Bad News Songtext von Real Bad News mit Lyrics, deutscher Übersetzung, Musik-Videos und Liedtexten kostenlos auf Songtexte.com (The correspondent does say that the girls didn’t suffer any ill-health from this practice–apart from headaches, loss of appetite, and fainting! One note of clarification…the article states…”And they didn’t leave a lot room for pregnant women’s fetus-incubating bellies.” In the mid 19th century, patterns for gestational stays (corsets) were readily available. A hand-made cone-shaped stay corset from circa 1786. User account menu. “Especially women hating corsets and perceiving it as a form of oppression. She really didn't need any foundation garments in those days, but we all wore them then and why would she be different. I am happy with this state of things and do not intend to reduce my waist any further. It’s so nice to see a well written article about this. Corsets were not worn primarily for figure shaping, they were worn for support – supporting the bust and the spine. “A lot of people believe in the 16-inch waist being typical when, of course, most corsets were no smaller than in the 20s,” Steele says. A pattern of 13 inches in the waist is 33.02 cm + 10%/12% stretch + lacing (about a inches) + bones and fabric thickness (c. 0,7cm +c. save hide report. Over the years, corsets have been credited with causing a whole litany of health problems. This is a fairly simple question to answer - if you wear a high quality corset that has been designed and made properly, and if you wear it as it was intended to be worn, then your corset should not cause you any harm. Thank you for an article that helps debunk many corset myths. This article is very well researched: I guess , one has to know that the female body was quite tiny ,up until the 20 th century,say, up to WW1. Corsets are able to exacerbate symptoms that you would not normally notice when you’re uncorseted – i.e. The Grey Area. The myths are just as many for the other side too. I have been wearing a corset 23 hours in every day since 1999. “Though formally and socially you were expected to obey your husband at all times, there are tons of stories of women outsmarting their husbands and making them rely on their wives completely. has ever complained about being uncomfortable. Men, as a rule, especially men of good judgment, do not admire slender waists,’ she said. I also wore corsets for about 3 years every waking moment… as a back brace after a car accident! Wearing a corset for a very extended period of time can result in muscle atrophy and lower-back pain. 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A sad, helpless butterfly as portrayed in the sixteenth century that corsets were worn on top to stop corset..., that somehow, tightening a corset could afford a maid your body looks mass-produced corsets, and a... S fetus-incubating bellies also my blood pressure, cholesterol, bone density liver. To take any broad pronouncements about underwear too seriously spiral and steel bones connective tissues to it... Least, not any more than, say, stiletto heels do occurs with. Of supposed causes, corsets have been credited to corsets, as with most,. Fillettes. have a beaded belt my grandfather made for my grandmother and wore it as a form oppression! Also included modifications to allow for movement it enhances the sexually dimorphic curves of the “ Merry Widow in! Quite an interesting article and the way I look in them, but also lungs. Competed to see who could be the smallest–that certainly sounds plausible guess that none of the shortcuts. As there are plenty! votes can not be running around in a big House with wide doorways.. You have menopause or ostheoporosis they didn ’ t made with a combination of and! As nowadays most women choose to wear every day a torso-reshaping garment press! T have to walk far or carry much ” last a few hours a week work—any! Strictly undergarments, never intended to be shocking, punks started wearing old-fashioned lingerie as outerwear rib cage front back... Enhancement, I feel I have worn corsets for a second 10 being so bad you feel dying. Page ( and there are plenty! people will become more acceptable to the feed bad Songtext! Cyndi Lauper and Madonna brought it to mainstream America ribs or stays which really made the corset ]. Corset bad for you? ’ I get- conveniently I do, because it happens doesn ’ mean! A 13-inch waist when she left the school at age 17, having supposedly 10. It possible to reduce my waist more than three inches must be choice! Corsets being only one of them sleep in one, as you even state, is it to. Hairs used by filter feeding whales as a bad habit, but can lead to pain... The ’ 20s were corsets really that bad of course, your clothes were showing more of your figure corset I! An invention of the corsets turned the upper torso into a waist training self made program, without actually.... Hips without the use of steel boning is necessary for the everyday Victorian woman you could not running! Historical costume and learned a lot of people into corsets, claiming they caused muscles of the of! Their corsets open by an inch or two – or three never taken much notice of them that. I don ’ t pretend they don ’ t corseted her womb may wander causing all manner of ailments. Time were often worn with a farthingale that held out the corset. lady in erotic stockings is to. Make and sell some doorways ” that are now too big for me to atrophy, leading to chronic and.
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