I Don’t Wear Step-Ins Anymore.
A step-in or girdle was worn in the 50s and 60s to control the flab of a female body. Dianne escaped the control of a conservative and Christian middle class family in Sydney and sailed to England in 1968. On arrival, she disposed of her constrictive clothing and began living a swinging London life. A year later, and after a visit from her parents, she moved to a Swiss Village for 6 months. Finally, she travelled home overland by Sundowners bus from London to India in 1970.
This memoir is from letters documenting her overseas journey of discovery. In January 2012 aged 64, she re-read and transcribed at least 300 letters and aerogrammes, after being told by an older cousin, she had been adopted at birth. She re-discovered the controlling mother she couldn’t stand growing up, and even while bringing up a family of her own.
Her adoptive mother Ruby was the one who gave her back all the letters written to her, suggesting she may wish to write a book one day about her travels. This memoir is a homage to her, and also to her adoptive father George, who constantly encouraged her to take off the step-ins and try everything in life.