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How the cupcake became a 'female food'

from New Republic

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the small and dainty cupcake became popular in Britain at the same time as mass production of the corset. The presentation of little cakes in their own paper cases give us another idea as to why they were becoming popular: they were fashionable and well turned out. Teatime was well bedded in as a social occasion by this time, and small treats, neatly encased in their own wrapper, were easy and tidy to eat. But cupcakes also catered for a new sort of femininity, one which put ever-increasing emphasis on appearance, dress, and physical beauty–including, from the 1840s, the desire to stay trimly corseted into an hourglass shape. more

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