When I first heard of waist training, I’ll admit I was totally opposed to it.
I’d been a dancer when I was younger and my teacher told me about the horror stories of wearing girdles all the time.
She said your abs and spine become weaker because the girdle or corset is supporting you instead of your muscles. You’ll always need a corset if you wear them too often. That’s what I was told.
Yeah, not ideal.
Plus, one of the first stories I heard about it was this one:
Cathie Jung holds the record for the world’s smallest waist. According to her website, she has a waist the size of a jar of mayonnaise and wears a corset 24 hours a day.
So, like, even when she sleeps. I ain’t ever gonna sleep in no corset.
In recent years (and months), I’ve become super obsessed with 50s fashion and old methods of fitness.
Particularly, society’s continued obsession with Marilyn Monroe:
She gets a lot of credit for being a “plus-sized” icon. Ok, let’s get something straight. Yes, when she first came up during the years of Niagara and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she had a 22-inch waist.
She went through pregnancy, depression, and gained, like, 40 lbs somewhere around the filming of Let’s Make Love and Some Like It Hot (arguably her best film).
Her weight fluctuated A LOT. And she somehow still managed to be 20th Century Fox’s most bankable actress and an enduring sex symbol despite these things.
That’s why she’s well-liked by so many big women.
Anyway, I look at all of these things and really, she was about average for the women of her time period.
Most women these days don’t have a waist under 30 inches. Hmmmm….
Corsets and Girdles
Seriously, look at pics of women from the time…
So corsets and girdles were like an essential part of women’s undergarments back in the 40s/50s.
But what is the difference?
- A woman’s close-fitting boned supporting undergarment that is often hooked and laced and that extends from above or beneath the bust or from the waist to below the hips and has garters attached
- Something that encircles or confines, such as
- An article of dress encircling the body at usually the waist
- A woman’s close-fitting undergarment often boned and usually elasticized that extends from the waist to below the hips
So based on these definitions, they’re similar articles of clothing with minor differences.
Women used to wear these things all the time…and their waists seemed to show it. Not only when they were wearing the garments, but their natural waists.
Corsets, Girdles, and Waist Cinchers are making a comeback
Because women’s waists remained tiny after wearing corsets, a waist-shrinking practice called “waist training” is growing.
Essentially, women wear corsets for a couple hours every day, gradually tightening and increasing the hours as time passes (weeks, months, etc.).
Like I said before, I initially noped my happy a** in the other direction when I saw this, but I read in an article that waist training and waist-taming are totally different.
Waist Training vs. Waist Taming
It’s actually pretty simple.
Waist training is when you use corsets to change the shape of your waist over time. Waist taming is when you use a waist cincher under clothing to hide your rolls and accentuate your natural shape.
They’ve only become mixed up because it’s become a trend to wear waist taming cinchers while you work out. Because people are “training” when they do this, the terms have become interchangeable.
But basically, from what I’m gathering, waist taming is a little bit less extreme. Although both methods take time if you’re trying to get long-term/permanent results.
Let’s Talk about Waist-Taming
Ok, so there are mixed opinions about waist training. Some people think there are no dangers if you do it right, other people fear some of the issues I talked about earlier in the post.
For this reason, I’m gonna stay away from shifting my ribs and my innards around in order to look like a damn coke bottle.
We’re gonna concentrate on waist taming for this post.
Benefits of Waist Taming
*Take note that some of the articles I sourced for this refer to “waist training”. In fact, they are talking about waist taming. Some of them even make the differentiation between the two (probably to clarify).
The benefits of waist-taming kind of depend on what you’re trying to achieve. Are you just trying to lose some belly fat? Inches around your waist?
Or are you trying to enhance your curves?
Either way, here are some of the benefits most people report from waist taming.
1.Improve Posture & Back Pains
I might actually like it for this since I spend a lot of time sitting at this computer or at a desk.
Apparently (contrary to what I mentioned earlier in the post), doing a little bit of waist taming can help correct back issues.
I think this is thanks to the slow progression paired with encouraging a straight back in otherwise slumped positions.
Especially when it comes to workouts. Wearing a cincher during a workout helps you keep proper form.
I think I’d actually like to wear one next time I’m weightlifting.
2.Can Help Heal Abdominal Injuries
I’ve personally never had a hernia or anything similar, but arguably, waist taming can assist in healing these injuries.
This one is pretty interesting and here’s my theory…you know how a cast is supposed to help keep your arm still when you break it?
Same thing. If you have an ab injury, wearing a waist cincher or corset can help you keep yourself aligned and still enough to let your abs heal.
Of course, I wouldn’t try it unless your doctor OKs it.
3.Help Singers With Support
Ok, I REALLY like this one because I’m an operatic soprano and it’s totally relevant to me.
When singers sing, they have to support their air with their abdominal muscles and ribs. Not just the abs in the front, but all the way around…like a corset.
It’s actually more of an expanding outward motion than a squeezing in. The corset gives you something to push against while you’re actually wearing it.
4.Encourage Healthy Eating & Exercise Habits
This is more what people claim they gain from it. I mean, really all of these benefits come from that. But this is one that I can really relate to.
I’ve noticed that when I choose to practice healthy habits, they encourage each other. After a workout, I’m usually craving something healthy.
As I nourish my body with healthy things, they start to taste better to me. And the better I feel in my body, the more I want to work out.
So I’m thinking the waist cincher adds another component. You can view some testimonies here in this before and after article.
5.Help You Get that Hourglass Figure
Mmkay, to a degree, you’re born with the body you’ve got. Your results will never be exactly the same as anyone else’s.
But you can achieve typically similar results.
Of course, it all depends on what type of cincher or corset you decide to get and again, what your fitness goals are.
It doesn’t look like you have to be into extreme corseting to bring your waist in at the sides a little, though.
If you looked at those testimonies I linked above, some women wanna go all the way down to 20 inches or less. But other women seem to be ok with losing 2-5 inches.
It’s all up to you and where you see yourself.
Verdict? I think I want to try it.
To be honest, I’m super intrigued. I went from completely abhorring the idea to being open to it. And now, after reading some of these articles and seeing the Before and After pics, I’d really like to try it.
For one thing, I’d like to get a little bit more curve going in my waist. I don’t have any problems with the size of my bootay…I’ve always been, um…well-endowed in that respect.
No denyin’ it…I got junk in the trunk and it runs in the family.
But I feel like I’d like my hips to stand out a little more and my chest to look just a tad bit bigger. Particularly for my KaribFIT instructing.
So I think I’m gonna get into this. When I make a final decision- and if/when I decide to get a cincher- I’ll post an update about where I got it and when I start.
But what do you think?
Are you down for the waist taming trend? Or is the jury still out for you?
Drop a comment and let me know!
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Sources I used: