Being a female in the modern society, I have been around multiple “health and beauty” trends since I was little. A very popular one at the moment is wearing waist trainers while exercising, doing everyday business, etc. in an effort to lose weight and get body shape that society currently wants. I personally have been curious in trying these items, but I wanted to ask myself – are these things actually safe?
So what exactly are waist trainers? They’re essentially modernized corsets. The biggest difference between waist trainers and corsets is that waist trainers are being used to lose weight and improve physique (specifically to reduce inches on someones waist), whereas traditional corsets were used to give the appearance of the hourglass shape in order to look more feminine and improve posture.
How do you use them? You wear them the same way you wear a corset – it surrounds your midsection, and depending on what type you get, you can get more traditional ones that are tied in the back or more modern ones that are either zipped or clipped together in the front.
How often do you use them? As often as you want. Some people only wear them while working out or doing physical exercise, and others will wear them all day, every day no matter what they are doing. It truly depends on your personal preference.
Physical repercussions? Almost exactly the same of that experienced with traditional corsets. According to Women’s Health, overuse of waist trainers can result in bruised ribs, bruised organs, and breathing problems. It’s been known (through every generation of corset-wearing) that wearing corsets too tight for too long can make it very hard to breathe and even cause some people to pass out. Think of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie: a woman is wearing a corset pulled too tight and she passes out from not being able to breathe – into the ocean – and that that is a very real health concern for people that continuously wear these items.
If they are so bad to use, why do people keep buying/wearing them? In part, it is because some people feel the need to reach that “societal standard” of beauty by any means necessary, even if it hurts them in the long run. Another large part is celebrity endorsement of these items. As shown in Women’s Health, the Kardashians are known for relentlessly endorsing and supporting these items. Due to their wealth and status in the world, they are very influential to the impressionable youth – if they see very famous celebrities wearing them, they will want to wear them too.
In the end, it appears that waist trainer is not a terrible idea if you are careful about it. While it MIGHT not hurt to try it safely, the most effective (and usually the safest) methods are healthy dieting (not avoiding eating) and living an active lifestyle. It may not be easy at first or even at all, but it’s better than to seriously risk hurting yourself using dangerous shortcuts.
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