According to the Corset Centre, waist training is defined as the process of lowering the natural waist size, as well as emphasizing your curves with the help of a tight corset or waist trainer. The function of the garments is to give women an hourglass figure, in other words, a slim waist and significant curves over the hips.
We have seen movie stars like Jessica Alba do it, reality stars like the Kardashian clan do it and even music stars like Nicki Minaj do it – so why exactly shouldn’t we do it? These stars have gone to some extreme measures to ensure that they have the latest depiction of what a beautiful body is and through their social media pages, they have given us the key to having it too.
All you have to do is pay a little over a $100 for a good quality latex waist trainer, spend a few extra minutes in the morning jumping up and down, falling on the bed, suck in your stomach and try and squeeze it into this torturous garment they first started wearing back in the 16th century.
It does not end here, however. Now, you have got to keep this breath stealing an item on for a few hours and struggle to do the simplest of tasks – but hey, at least you have got a great posture and you look skinny. That is all that matters right?
Oh, how society has evolved! I wonder what the women who fought so hard for our rights would think about the fact that we would go through hell to re-structure our God-given bodies just to be accepted as a standardized beauty.
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My personal experience
Nevertheless, in order to make an informed decision on the matter we have to know both sides of this trend – the good and the bad. So here is all I could come up with that could be seen as the benefits you reap from waist training – strange how even the good things involve going through a lot of bad things.
First of all, the pressure of the corset on your ribcage can supposedly cut inches off your waist. Secondly, the corset pushes on your abdomen which prevents you from overindulging. Thirdly, the corset makes you sweat, which in turns leads to you losing water weight.
Being a person who would just love things to magically fall into place, including having a new, toned physique; I fell victim to this movement and went ahead in an impulse moment and purchased a waist trainer for myself. I willfully ignored that nagging feeling that I was wasting my time and money, nor my intuition that showed me how vague the information provided was.
The spark of suspicion on how indirect the warnings were presented was there – but my new body was blinding my vision like a mirage in a desert. I had to endure all the above and eventually, completely exasperated after my monkey-business of trying to get the darn thing on, as well as having to keep it on for what seemed like an incomprehensible amount of time, I decided to do some thorough research on this insufferable garment.
What I found not only angered me at my lack of control, but also scared me to the point where I was willing to burn the thing without a thought as to how I much I spent on it.
The following will show the darker and more ominous side of waist training and why you would be better off avoiding it:
Waist training is not a quick fix for a permanent result
When wearing this tightly clipped corset, you will most likely look like all those super stars mentioned above. However, once you take that baby off, all of the ‘problems’ you were trying to hide away will just fall right into its original place – trust me, I know.
Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine claims that cinching the waist tightly will never make it smaller permanently.
The reports of people losing inches are there, but it is based on the fact that they wear it every day for at least 12 hours and also exercise in it – which given the fact that it is only available in smaller sizes, makes it nearly impossible. Imagine trying to do abdominal crunches in a corset that is so tight it takes you breath away when you try and come up during a crunch – and we all know how important breathing in exercises are.
On the other hand, if you do not exercise whilst taking part in waist training, you could end up losing the functionality of your abs. This is not an exaggeration, it happened to Danielle Prescod a writer for Elle Magazine.
We have to remember that we use our abdominal muscles for balance, stability and for spinal support and that by wearing a corset that squeezes everything together, your abdominal muscles do not get used.
The side effects are not as pretty as you think
When looking at all those celebrities and Instagram models, you might be thinking that an A-la-slimmer-waist will be served on a silver platter, but think again. When you wear a waist trainer your ribs and lungs are being squeezed tightly inside you and it results in your inability to breathe.
This, in turn, can lead to you passing out – which might not seem like a big deal to you, but what if it happens in situations where you have to be paying attention? For example, when you are driving, crossing the road or cooking on that new gas stove in your kitchen? That corset will not be the first thing the hot paramedic or fireman notices, I can guarantee you that.
This is not the only life-threatening effect of a waist trainer. It can also fracture your ribcage, compress your lungs (did you know it could also lead to fluid in the lungs), and then, of course, there is that little thing where it crushes your organs.
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You might be waiting for people to look at you and exclaim, ‘What a waist!’ Yet, when it all comes crashing down you will be the one exclaiming, ‘What a waste!’ A waste of your time, money and even your health and well-being.
Ladies, in the end, nothing beats a healthy diet and exercise – if it feels like a schlep, jazz it up a little and make it fun! At least you will know that the results are long term and that you are not putting yourself at risk. Thus, my advice would be to steer clear of this one – it just does not seem worth the pain, torture, and long-term consequences.