30 Fascinating Victorian Traditions We Can't Believe Existed

By Sophia Maddox | March 8, 2024

Wasp Waists

The Victorian era was a time of contrarian ideals: They covered themselves completely but fetishized the female figure, they were obsessed with cleanliness but practically lived in a sewer, and they prized marriage and family above all things but sold their wives at auction. It's possible that the Victorians couldn't see the forest for the trees, but maybe they were just a generation full of weirdos.

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We all know that corsets were a thing in the Victorian era, but they were much more extreme than most people think. Many women cinched themselves down until they had tiny "wasp waists" with super snug corsets that didn't just rearrange your insides, they made it impossible to breathe.

We Wish You A Morbid Christmas

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(Collectors Weekly)

Christmas cards in the Victorian era weren't your standard "awkwardly posed family smiling in front of a fake tree." They featured anthropomorphic food, dead animals, and scenes of pure violence, all alongside festive greetings to one's friends and neighbors. At a time when winter could earnestly mean death for any of your loved ones, some gallows humor was necessary.