I noticed a new fad in my Instagram feed last month: women wearing corsets. At first, I thought maybe this was some kind of Victorian cosplay and the corsets were part of a costume. It turns out that it’s a new health fad called waist training.

Waist Training – What is it and Should you do it?

I get it. It didn’t take Sir Mixalot singing about girls with an itty bitty waist for me to understand the desire to have a small waist to accent our curves. It may be vanity but I understand.  Women have been wearing corsets for hundreds of years for precisely that reason.

Today, many people wear corsets as part of a costume or for added back support. The goal isn’t necessarily to reduce the size of the waist. In waist training, the goal is the physical reduction in waist size. In order to achieve that, almost daily wearing of a corset is required. Another benefit is improving your posture.

Kim Kardashian Waist TrainingSo why is waist training suddenly popular again? My guess is the sudden re-interest in the feminine ideal of the hourglass shape. Christina Hendricks, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, and Nicki Minaj are among the celebrities taking interest in this trend. Where celebrities go, we often follow.

Despite what the celebrities are doing, is this something we should do? Are there health risks? There certainly are.

  • Acid reflux. Compressing your stomach while eating will prevent you from properly digesting your food. This can lead to acid reflux.
  • Bruising your bones. As an adult, your bones are in the form that they’ll stay in. You cannot move them permanently to create a thinner waist. All you will do is bruise the bone.
  • Difficulty breathing. To draw in a breath, our lungs need to expand. Corsets can prevent us from drawing in a full breath which can result in oxygen shortage or even a loss of consciousness.
  • Damage to your organs. There have been documented instances of organs being punctured by ribs or otherwise damaged by too tight corsets.

Waist training won’t help you lose weight or burn fat. It’s a temporary solution that won’t last after you stop wearing the corset. While there are no health risks when you properly wear a corset for short periods of time, wearing one every day for a long period of time can have risks. If this is something you decide to do, please see someone who is reputable in making a corset to be certain you get the right type and size.

Image Source: https://instagram.com/p/2ZpMT3uS67/