Kim Kardashian wore a corset to the 2019 metropolitan arts festival
The waist training. We’ve all heard of it, but what is it?
Some sources believe it’s the process of wearing a corset, tightening the waist over time to create the hourglass shape that dreams hour (Beyonce and Kardashian, for example).
Although waist training and corsets can be used interchangeably, Adamme stressed that although they are related, they are “not the same thing at all.” As she explains, “waist training will gradually reduce the natural size of the waist” and corsets “are more commonly used for clothing or entertainment.”
For the purposes of this article, we’ll use the terms interchanged, but understand that occasionally wearing a corset doesn’t necessarily mean you’re actively training your waist. Below, we break down the history of waist training, modern examples from the field of popular culture, and how it affects the body. (spoiler alert: it’s best not to follow Kim K’s example.)
Where does waist training come from? The history of corsets is complicated. Corsets were the most popular item of clothing during queen Elizabeth’s reign, a symbol of aristocracy, but once the French revolution took place, many abandoned the trend to switch to loose-fitting garments representing liberation, according to a history exhibit at West Virginia University. In other words, people want freedom!
Doctors have opposed corsets since the 1800s. I mean, can you blame them? Corsets can cause a variety of health risks, such as difficulty breathing and organ displacement. According to the royal college of surgeons, “corsets were an integral part of women’s (and some men’s) clothing from the 16th century until the early 19th century. In fact, corsets were mandatory for women born into the nobility and were adopted by women who aspired to be women. The silhouette of fashion.”
Corsets are never comfortable.
As the royal college of surgeons explains, corsets used to be made of “a strong fabric with bone or metal inserts”. In 1828, metal holes for girdles were introduced in France to tighten the waist, “sometimes up to 17 inches.” Is it just me now, or does it sound painful?
So how popular is the idea of corsets and waist training in the 21st century?
Well, to put it simply: they are back in fashion thanks to the common desire of many celebrities and influencers to embody and promote the hourglass shape.
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