Waist Training: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

In trying to live up to the ideal body image, women try many different ways to get their “dream” body including dieting, exercising, surgery, and the like. Currently, waist training to get the perfect hourglass figure has become the new craze among celebrity icons with the likes of Jessica Alba, Amber Rose, and the Kardashians posting to social media praising the waist training corset and the miracle it has created in giving them a teeny tiny waist. With hashtags such as #HourGlass, #WaistTraining, #WaistGang, waist trainers are taking over the fitness world. So should you run out and buy a waist trainer to try and mold yourself into an hourglass shape? I think not…

But first, what is waist training and how do you do it?

According to a popular brand of waist cinchers, waist training is a process women use to reduce the size of their waist by wearing a tight corset for approximately 8 hours a day and/or while working out. Wearing the corset creates a smaller and smoother appearance while enhancing the bust and butt.

Okay, this sounds a little crazy. With some of their popular corsets called “Bye Bye Belly” and “Very Aggressive Miracle Waist Shaper,” it doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience. Most fads in the fitness world run their course because there is no quick fix for changing your body and the healthiest and longest lasting changes are ultimately made through lifestyle changes that you can stick with for more than a short period of time. This theory raises the questions of “Does waist training actually work” and “Is it safe?”

Weight loss and nutrition experts agree that long-term use of waist trainers can have negative health consequences because as it puts pressure on your midsection, it compresses your lungs making it harder to breathe deeply and can ultimately lead to organ damage as it pushes your lungs and liver up and your intestines down. Check out this picture to see changes in internal anatomy from long-term corset wearing.
waistThe United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority even went as far as to ban an ad by Velform Miniwaist for “being ‘irresponsible’ and promoting ‘unhealthy body perceptions’ by encouraging women to aspire to … an impossibly proportioned Jessica Rabbit lookalike.”

So is it worth risking bodily damage to shrink your waist to fit the “ideal” hourglass figure? I hope your answer is no. Although waist training may define your waist while wearing the body shaper, it won’t create lasting effects and should be used more as a fun piece for a night out than as an everyday tool to change your body.

By Sarah London

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