Waist training certainly isn’t anything new and if pursued to the extreme can be dangerous. Corsets are in fact a centuries old tradition dating back to the 1600s. A under garment whose practical purpose is to nip and tuck you in all the right places. According to literature most women did not tighten their corsets to the extreme and wore them to simply streamline their silhouette.
In 1837 Victoria ascended to the throne. Dress of the late 1830s and 1840s was characterised by its drooping shoulders, long pointed angles and low pinched-in waist. These low-waisted dresses required long, heavily-boned corsets to give them shape.
In the 20th Century corsets became outwear, with high street shops touting corset styled tops. The tops had a fashionable purpose and many people wore them with jeans and stilettos. Embellishments and big bows made it clear this was not designed as a streamlined undergarment.
Shapewear of our time came in the form of spandex and lyra, a less bulky way of sucking in your lumps and bumps. The results are definitely not permanent. If you wear a very small size you may suffer some discomfort but the garments are predominantly displacing your external soft tissue. The difference to this and a corset is just that. A corset, if made from a robust material can literally squeeze and shape your insides, should you decide to wear it tight enough.
At the beginning of the 20th century this was only something done by those with a penchant for the strange or unusual, into fetishism or the extravagance and beauty of a bygone era. But of recent this seems have changed to the extent that Women’s health published an article warning of the dangers of waist training. (http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/waist-training)
The article begins “This newly trendy practice involves wearing a corset-like device for hours at a time to compress your core, which will supposedly decrease the size of your waist permanently over time. Kim’s not the only star who’s jumped on the waist training bandwagon, either. Earlier this year, sister Khloe Instagrammed a photo of herself wearing a similar garment. And Jessica Alba also revealed in an interview that she wore corsets for months after giving birth to her two daughters.”
The usage of both lycra and boned corsets has become popular. One Youtuber said this is a method she often uses and it has been popular tradition in the Latino community.
Waist cinching or training appears to work in two ways. There is the inevitable reduction of size down to the constant restriction. Your body will redistribute your existing mass to other areas above and below the waist that is being artificially reduced in size by the corset of trainer. The effects although not permanent can be visible whilst not wearing the garments. So if some choose to sleep in waist trainers they can enjoy showing off the visible changes during the day.
The other apparent method that this can help with is building the core. The pressure of the waist trainers supposedly forces you to improve your posture by engaging your core. The feeling should be like holding in your stomach all day using your abdominal muscles. Eventually these muscles will get stronger, your posture will improve when you are not wearing it thus your waist has in effect been trained.
At this point I should make clear that if you enquired about waist or corset training with any Doctor they would advise against it. I am sure many physicians are hoping that this fad would slowly slink away and those wishing to achieve a trimmed waist would opt for a healthy diet and some exercise.
The most extreme results are seen from the traditional style corsets. Penny Brown a corsets wearer found that it’s impossible to eat a full meal when wearing a corset as you feel bloated and horrible. This may be a contributing factor to the results people are having, as their appetite is reduced and they suffer discomfort when they do eat.
So with celebrities like the Kardashians and Jessica Alba touting the benefits of wearing a corset it seems the trend is simply coming back around. And even if it fades from mainstream popularity it will simply simmir with those into extremes until its next resurgence.