Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 10.29.08 AMThe Coke bottle shape. The hourglass figure. Women all over hold these silhouettes up as the model of perfection, and some of them take extreme measures to achieve what they consider to be the “perfect” dimensions. After all, who needs diet and exercise when you can slap on a steel-enforced corset or wrap yourself in a saran-wrap-like material to “trim down” a thicker waistline?

We saw how extreme folks can get with these insane trends recently when a woman in New York gained some serious attention for her 16-inch waist. Kelly Lee Dekay waist-trained for seven years after being inspired by the likes of Jessica Rabbit and X-Men alum.

…You know, like, cartoon characters.

So Deklay, who is a fetish model (Sigh.), literally puts her life in danger on a regular basis for the sake of what she’d like to think is a “better” body: a full bosom, tiny waist and wide hips. And she’s not the only one: Celebrities (using that word loosely here for some) such as Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Blac Chyna, Mimi Faust, Yandy Smith, Rasheeda and more can be seen on Instagram sporting corset and waist trainers, even working out in, which cannot possibly be good for your breathing while you’re already doing activities that have you out of breath. And they swear by them, causing the sheep — er, I mean, people — to sell out store after store on their quest to shaping the perfect midsection (again, without diet and exercise).

But what these folks in the spotlight are swearing by could really do damage. A doctor was quoted by the Huffington Post, saying, “Putting this corset tight on the body could bruise your skin. People might put it so tight that the liver, spleen and kidneys could get bruised. [The corset] could also restrict oxygenation, which is an important part of life.” Um, yeah, I’d say breathing is definitely a part of life. A huge part, really. Long-term corset usage can also cause constipation, high blood pressure, uterine issues, numbness and tingling, acid reflux and even headaches. Victorian women were known for the dramatic act of fainting or swooning. Maybe it wasn’t about the drama. Maybe it was about the act that they couldn’t breathe because they were wearing corsets for several hours a day. This is taking the “beauty is pain” mantra just a little too far.

And then you have the practice of wrapping, which you’ll see being sold by vendors and spas around the country. We’ve all seen the promotions, even on social media, by salespeople who swear that this practice, which has someone smearing a gel-type product on plastic or cloth material and binding you tightly to “suck out” or “sweat out” toxins and slim you down.

So does it work?

According to doctors… Um, nah. “They won’t give you long-term weight loss,” one doctor out of Maryland said. “They can temporarily make you feel a little thinner, and when you look at the scale the pounds can go down a pound or two. But that’s water weight loss. It’s a temporary phenomenon.” Another doctor agreed, saying, “Any loss of inches is going to be temporary.” She goes on to say, ”Wraps cannot take the place of a healthy diet and exercise.”

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  • Mary Burrell

    Well now you know why those southern belles were always having fainting spells.

  • Michelle

    Based off of my understanding, I believe that women are committing to the “waist-training” phenomenom mainly because they want to be “thick” (a small waist, thick thighs, wide hips and large bust) without spendng thousands of dollars (and in some cases, going into credit card debt) by having cosmetic surgery. It’s all just smoke and mirrors, due to the modification of one body part.
    It’s been known that the “hourglass” or even the “pear-shaped” bodies are consider to be the most desirable… and it doesn’t matter if the shape is a size 2 or a size 18 (for example, look at photos of the most famous plus-size models, majority of them fit a mold). For a lot of women (including the women who can easily fit into a size 00), corsets help them obtain a curvy-looking figure.
    The act of losing the weight is consider to be a positive side effect.

  • disqus_6sinns1216

    I’ve been corset training since I was about 14 I believe. Maybe 15. It’s tradition in my family and the women in my family are fabulously shaped and live long. Why do people cherry pick what body modification is good and which is evil? Their all dangerous and bad without proper execution. Yes, even exercise is a body modification if done incorrectly can damage your bones and muscles.