Tight lacing was all the rage in the 18th and 19th centuries. Though it started long before then and still persists to this day
Polaire (1879-1939) was a French actress with a waist of approximately 14 inches.
A song was written for her, starting ”When I started in music-hall, my waist fitted into a man’s collar”, a notion which inspired gallantries such as George Herriot’s offer to buy her a diamond belt if she succeeded in demonstrating the claim with his collar.
“Publicity photographs compared her profile with that of her pet pig Mimi, which wore a jewelled collar. Like a pig, she wore a nose-ring, announced as a ”protest against what the world calls refinement.” She posed as an enemy of ”civilisation,” and cultivated, on stage, a sensually barbaric style.
Unfortunately, Mimi was lost overboard from the ocean liner Provence
“The actress’s nose ring and playful pet pig were the features of the voyage until Wednesday afternoon when he was taking an airing accompanied by his maid Celestine on the promenade deck. As the day was warm Celestine took off Mimi’s sealskin jacket to let him run around and show his diamond collar off in the sun.
Suddenly there was a scream on the promenade deck and Mlle. Polaire, who was reading Caesar’s Commentaries in the library, rushed out exclaiming “Mon petit cochon!”
Her two pet dogs, Fifine and Hortense were also desolés at the loss of their playmate.
Another extreme tight lacer with a pierced nose was Ethel Granger. Her husband was William Granger, the astronomer who was well known for appearing everywhere with his cat, Treacle Pudding, on his shoulder.
image found here
You can read more about Ethel at this site which also details the history of Barcley Corsets
“If You Have Considerable Flesh Which Needs to be Controlled … Here is the Ideal Garment for YOU !”