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Women’s Underwear, 1930 and 1946

December 15, 2015

This post has been sitting in drafts for over 4 years, I’ve published it as is.

Scan of “Women’s Underwear” (女子内衣) article

“Women’s Underwear” (女子内衣)
From Wanyou Zhoukan (万有周刊) vol. 1 no. 31 (1930)
By Shui (帨)

“Pair of Flesh Peaks Inserted into Clouds: Women’s New Brassiere” (肉峯双插云:女子新奶罩 rou feng shuang cha yun: nüzi xin naizhao)
From Domestic and Abroad Annals (VERY ROUGH TRANSLATION 中外春秋 zhongwai chunqiu) no. 6 (September 28, 1946)
By Tang Xiang

Here are two short articles about undergarments, one from 1930 and one from 1946.

If you remember from way back in my research, the bra was first introduced to China in the late 1920s but it was not particularly popular. This appears to still be the case even in 1946 because this article begins with an acknowledgement that the number of Chinese women who wear a bra is still quite low, even though most foreign (外国) women wear them. The brassiere has all kinds of benefits though, the first being that it can protect the “height” of breasts. Women wish that their breasts (奶奶 nainai, a term connected to breast milk) stay high and the bra helps prevent breasts from sagging. One way of describing the beauty of women’s breasts (胸部 xiongbu) is “双峯插云” meaning “Two peaks inserted into clouds” – a saying that appears often in my research.

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