The corset that can make your waist smaller

Here is a piece that I have written for the fashion section of Keele’s Concourse Magazine. This is the first time that my article has been in print and online and so I am very happy and very thankful for that. 

What many would consider an old-fashioned and uncommon form of body sculpting is actually witnessing a renewed wave of interest, with an increasing number of women undergoing the modification.

The act of waist-training was a common procedure in Victorian Europe, consisting of wearing a corset so tightly underneath your clothes that it would physically synch your waist in. Worn all-day, the corsets can be progressively tightened, gradually altering the natural shape of the waist. The re-emergence of these corsets has caused quite a stir within the media – and not only amongst the fashion conscious. Some are pinning this as a step too far in terms of the already popular body modification. Others may argue that it’s just individual preference; many people spend hours in the gym slaving over the perfect body.

So, what’s the big deal with wanting to make your waist smaller? We are currently seeing the start of a new trend whereby “real women” are the future, pushing the message that we should be striving to be more than just “Kate Moss-Skinny”.

On a weekly basis we are exposed to interviews and articles of Millie Mackintosh (formerly starred in Made in Chelsea) promote the notion of “Strong not Skinny”, as well as the curvier, vintage look being idolised once more. However, what the likes of Marilyn Monroe; Dita Von Teese; and Bettie Page all have in common is that iconic hour glass figure with the sought after slimmed-down waist.

Take Ethel Granger, for example. Ethel became famous in the 1950’s and 1960’s for being the woman with the smallest waist (awarding her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records). She began training her waist due to her husband’s preference for tiny waistlines. Her waist measured in at only 13-inches, an 11-inch reduction from her original 24-inch waistline. You have to ask – what is the catch

The likes of Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba have revived this trend once more, admitting to wearing them to get back into shape. Now before you go out splashing the cash on one of  these corsets, (of which can cost upwards of £50) let’s look at the facts. This process can  actually inflict a lot of harm upon the body.

The corset is not particularly a quick-fix solution and takes months (years, even) of wearing the corset in order for your waist to decrease in  size. Also, if you stop wearing the corset for extended periods of time, then your waist will just return to its original shape and size. So, after months of putting your body under strain, not only are the effects not permanent, but the waist-training can also cause severe health complications. Breathing can become more difficult due to the compression of the lungs and similarly, the ribs can be damaged or even cracked because of the pressure of the constriction.

Waist-training seems to be yet another phase in our bid to be beautiful. In a world where media controls the way we think and the way we perceive ourselves, it is no wonder that women will go to such lengths to gain the perfect figure. This is a just a manifestation of what was initially our striving for an unnaturally skinny body – now we strive for an unnaturally curvy body. We need to love ourselves, love our skin and our shape and not harm ourselves for the sake of reaching perfection. A notion, that I daresay, does not exist!

See the full article at:

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