From dreamdarkly's ask and your response I got the impression that conical torso corsets are not widely considered appropriate for daily waist training? Is this true?
Hello! You can theoretically waist train in either silhouette (hourglass vs wasp) as long as it’s comfortable. If you intend to train your ribcage so that it tapers (like Michelle Köbke’s ribcage), then it’s necessary to train in a conical/ wasp corset!
I personally don’t intend to train my ribcage, but I do have compressible floating ribs so I can wear many types of corsets with varying silhouettes. Aesthetically I like the wasp/ conical silhouette best, but I personally find the hourglass (with a rounded ribcage) more comfortable for long-term wear, so I switch them up.
What is considered ‘appropriate’ silhouette for waist training depends on your starting body type, your personal aesthetics, your comfort level and your intentions. :)
There’s a link doing the rounds that deserves a much wider audience and certainly a greater role in the national consciousness. This particular precis, which can be found here, is a study conducted by Dr Lawrence Britt in 2003 detailing the defining traits of fascism. The reason it’s so…
I usually refrain from making political posts, but this one makes some excellent points.
Do newspapers not employ researchers ? She paid £120 for THAT ? Waist training in an overbust ? This article made my blood pressure explode
i took one look and alt-f4’d so fast
sweet pissing jesus, the first one isn’t a tight-lacing corset, it’s lingerie for God’s sake, it doesn’t even have bones, does it?!
I want to vomit at this mystification of general public.
This line made me pee myself: “Instantly her 27in waist shrinks to 25in” WELL WHOOP DE FUCKING DOO. I can get a 2 inch reduction from a pissing belt. Try 38” to 28” then get back to me. There’s a reason it’s nick named the Daily FAIL. -Issy
So doctors are now saying that spanks unhealthy, and crush your insides "like corsets." What do you think of all of this?
Well, this might be opening a can of worms. The article seemed a bit sensationalist and I could talk for a long, long, long time on this, but I’ll try to keep it on point and try not to get too ranty about it. Going point-by-point with the article:
When you wear shapewear, you’re compressing your organs.
This is also true for corsets - but to what extent is important to note.
Pregnancy also compresses your organs.
Leaning or bending in any direction compresses your organs.
Your own organs compress your other organs. Taking a deep breath expands your lungs, lowers your diaphragm, and pushes down on your intestines. Peristalsis is the motion of your intestines moving chyme along - they’re constantly contracting and writhing.
Organs are not supposed to be rigid. Life as we know it would never have existed if our organs were not made to move and compress. (The one exception to this is the brain, which has conveniently evolved to be encased within a hard skull.)
That includes compressing your bowels.
Indeed, and this exactly why the body is so resilient and able to tolerate compression. From what I understand, corsets typically compress the organs in the peritoneal cavity, and the vast majority of what fills this cavity are hollow, membranous organs (like the stomach and intestines) that contain food/water/air/waste. When your stomach and intestines are mostly empty, they can easily be flattened down, and they take the majority of the pressure from shapewear (or a baby, or nauli), leaving other solid organs like the liver and pancreas bearing relatively little stress.
As for shapewear possibly causing constipation and other bathroom issues, I talk about that in detail in this video. Fran has also talked about why it’s important to learn how to have bowel movements while corseted, in this article.
But some people who’ve had chronic constipation throughout their adult life have actually found that corsets have helped stimulate their bowels and help them have more regular movements. It works similarly to applying abdominal pressure and massage for relieving constipation.
Speaking personally, I find that cycling the pressure of my corset (looser, then tighter, then looser, etc.) actually pushes things along in my bowels. Within the first 30-60 minutes of putting on my corset, I’m pretty much guaranteed to poop (I imagine it’s a toothpaste effect) and then I find I’m able to lace down further in greater comfort, as my abdomen just effectively lost volume. If no corset were on, this space would be replaced with air.
You can develop tingling, numbness and pain in your legs.
This is not just true for corsets and shapewear. It’s also true for tight underwear and jeans, and some people get numbness and tingling when they sit even in loose clothing - it depends on the person, how long they’ve been sitting, how they’re sitting, whether they have ergonomic furniture, etc. So I find it a bit unfair that they would point the finger at shapewear for something SO common. That said, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s safe or good for you.
A well-fitting corset, when worn properly, should never cause numbness or tingling. This is why I’m constantly stressing the importance of finding a corset that fits you properly and doesn’t put any pressure on your iliac crest. A reducing corset should only compress the waist, not the hips or the underbust.
In my last giveaway (where contestants wrote in explaining how corsets had improved their quality of life), several people have written in and explained how corsets had a hand in actually relieving nerve issues like sciatica and other complications related to scoliosis and/or slipped discs - this is because a proper corset made by a trained professional can function like a therapeutic brace.
While we’re on the topic of nerves in general, corsets can help prevent/ relieve thoracic outlet syndrome in women with heavy breasts, and can help with sensory adaptation in those with sensory integration dysfunction and other sensory disorders. So while corsets have their risks with nerve issues (which is an indication of wearing it wrong, actually), corsets have their potential benefits as well. It’s a balance, you see.
Your muscles will suffer if you rely on shapewear for good posture.
If you don’t use it, you lose it. I don’t deny that some people can develop a reliance on corsets or other shapewear for good posture - but this is precisely the reason that Ann Grogan recommends a training schedule working yourself up to ~8 hours a day, 6 days a week. The 7th day is a full uncorseted day and gives you the opportunity to rely on your own core muscles so you can gauge your strength.
Also - I’m not sure why this idea is propagated so widely, but corsets were never intended to be a substitute for exercise and toning. In fact, when people take on a waist training regimen, it often motivates them to work out more often in order to avoid atrophy. I recommend a daily core-strengthening workout if you start corseting - this can actually help you obtain faster results than corseting alone or exercising alone, and it also ensures that you don’t experience core muscle atrophy.
Also, when used properly, corsets may actually train you to improve your posture over time, not necessarily worsen your posture. More on that here.
Plus, shapewear can create an environment prone to infections.
But I would argue that the risks for skin issues with something like Spanx is even greater than the risk associated with corsets. The greatest cause of skin issues is the lack of breathable fibers. Many types of spandex/rubber shapewear are designed to make you overheat and sweat, claiming that this is how you lose bloat. Corsets are not designed to work that way, and they can be just as effective at shaping your figure even when made out of cool, breathable mesh.
Hopefully that wraps up what I think about all this. I think that the article brings up some valid points, particularly the last one about moderation and proper fit. But by researching corsets properly, acquiring a high quality piece that fits you well, and using it responsibly, you can enjoy corsets (and maybe even other shapewear) and still minimize your risks. Of course, if you have pre-existing health issues, you should see a trusted doctor before corseting, and same goes if you experience any discomfort while corseting.
If there’s one thing we can take from all this, it’s that sitting down for extended periods is likely worse for your health than shapewear. </tongue only slightly in cheek>