By Ira Pablo and Angela Sy
When Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian started raving about these constricting, corset-looking contraptions around their midsections, suddenly “waist training” was all the rage.
The trend caught on for women as far as the Philippines. Case in point: our very own Miss International Philippines 2017, Mariel de Leon, proudly showed hers off in this Insta pic prior to her competiton last November 15.
Although we can’t deny how Mariel and the Kardashian sisters all personify "sexy," the real question is if waist training is actually effective? The process may look too tight and uncomfortable to others, and honestly, our organs are crying for help just by looking at these girls. Hashtag #firstworldproblems!
We did a little research on the matter, and here’s what we found.
The desire for small waists is very prominent in media. If you watch Downton Abbey, the historical TV drama series set in the 1900s, you will recall multiple scenes wherein ladies wore steel boned corsets as undergarments.
And to those who cried over Titanic 92,364,293 times, surely you’ll remember this particular scene where Rose must listen to her mother (Frances Fisher) criticize her relationship with Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) while getting her corset tightened.
Corsets have been around since the 1500’s. But the ones the Kardashians and Mariel sport aren’t the same as those that Medieval or Victorian-era women wore. It’s important for anyone interested in waist training to know the difference.
As explained by Orchard Corset, steel boned corsets are made of strong but flexible fabric and bendable rods that, over time, can cinch your torso into a sexy, hourglass shape. Depending on the amount of fat your midsection has, corsets of this type can take anywhere between three to six inches off it. Moreover, corsets are adjustable. Think of them as braces (but for the waist instead of teeth).
Waist trainers, on the other hand, are usually made of nylon, spandex, or latex. They target the abdomen and can trim the appearance of your waistline by one or two inches. They’re also said to be more comfortable and less bulky than their steel boned counterparts.
Here’s the bad news: Said Jennifer Wider, M.D., there is no scientific evidence that proves waist training is a permanent solution to achieving that desired curvy figure. Health experts like her argue that once you remove the garment, your body goes back to normal and all that compressed fat will fall back to where they originated. In other words, waist trainers are a safe albeit temporary alternative to corsets.
BUT (don’t you just love it if there is a but) they have their benefits! Just like how some girls will never be seen in heels and others choose to run marathons in them, you can make waist trainers work for you. When worn correctly, anyone can sleep and even exercise in! Plus, they relieve pain and provide support for back injuries.
The holidays are coming up. Things like waist trainers can definitely help you slip into that dress you saved your next party. But the effect may not last long enough to ring in the new year.
Tell us, ladies. What’s your take on them?
ALSO READ: In Focus: Why The Talented And Politically Vocal Mariel De Leon Doesn't Deserve All The Hate
Photographs from Hourglassgal.com, Pinterest.com, Instagram.com/kyliejenner, and Instagram.com/mariaangelicadl