Is the new Hollywood fad waist-training slowly hurting our bodies?
Lately you've probably noticed many female celebs who look like they've dropped major weight -- but only in their waists. Somehow they've been able to keep their hips, thighs, and booty on point, but all of a sudden they have these tiny waists to give them more of an hourglass figure. And they are giving the credit to waist and corset trainers, which are similar to the corsets that women wore during the Victorian era.
The four most popular celebs that you may have noticed promoting waist training on Instagram are Kim Kardashian, her sister Khloe, Amber Rose and Blac Chyna.
Over the past year, Kim and her sister Khloe have heavily promoted the increasingly lucrative Waist Gang Society waist trainers. Both girls have posted photos wearing the garment while commenting that it makes their body so cinched that "no Photoshop is necessary." Although their fans are running to buy this product in flocks, what the girls aren't telling you is that what they're doing to themselves is potentially much more dangerous.
According to a medical experts, women are wearing the tight corset over a lengthy period of time which can start from just a few hours to up to 12 hours a day. The pressure of the corset (which is normally a size or two smaller than what the woman normally wears) is supposed to make the body feel longer and make you eat less which results in weight loss. Because you're wearing the corset for so long, eventually your body starts to take that shape as well, but that can be the scary part.
The corsets compress and put pressure on bones, which can lead to bruised internal organs and damaged skin. It can also restrict breathing and cause the person wearing it to pass out or develop a metabolic syndrome (which actually causes people to gain weight).
According to the Huffington Post:
"Bariatric physician Jyotindra Shah, M.D., in Westchester, N.Y., says[...]"Putting this corset tight on the body could bruise your skin. People might put it so tight that the liver, spleen and kidneys could get bruised.
[The corset] could also restrict oxygenation, which is an important part of life," Shah continued. "Oxygen helps the metabolism. It helps the functions of each and every organ of the body. Restricting oxygenation of the body could do long-term damage to your metabolism and health, and you don't want that."
"There is no magic bullet to losing weight," concluded Shah. "I would not do this to my patients."
Dr. Sara Gottfried, a gynecologist, told ABC News that corset training can cause constipation and shallow breathing, but if you still want to go through with it, only wear it for a short amount of time.
"If you’re wearing a corset 24/7, it can do a couple of things to your body,” said Dr. Sara Gottfried, a gynecologist who’s been treating women for 20 years. “Namely, it will be squeezing your ribs so much that you can’t take a deep breath. Corsets can squish your lungs by 30 to 60 percent, making you breathe like a scared rabbit. They can also put a kink in your organs and cause constipation.”
“If you do want to waist train, be sure you wear the corset only for a short amount of time,” she said. “You may want to consult your physician to make sure that your lungs and liver are healthy, and ideally, don’t wear a corset until after the age of 21, once the female body is more fully developed.”
It's important to note that there are women who say they haven't developed any health issues from corset training, especially those who get custom made corsets for their bodies and wear them for shorter periods of time. Also starting off with a waist-trainer that is only 2 inches smaller than your normal waist size, and slowly working your way to a smaller size may help. Before jumping on this bandwagon, though, do your research and find out what some of the long-term risks may be.
And don't forget to consult your doctor during the process. One blogger reported that she requested X-rays from her doctor while wearing the waist-trainer to make sure her organs were okay. The last thing we want to do is kill ourselves for beauty!
Post Update: After raking in large sums of money from having their waist trainers promoted by the likes of Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian, Waist Gang Society was slapped with a $5 million dollar lawsuit back in March. In the suit, a disgruntled customer accused the company of false advertising by promoting that the waist trainers "burn fat and control users' weight". The company site quotes founder PreMadonna as referring to waist trainers as, "a unique and efficient way to help women shed unwanted inches and feel good about themselves — no diet and exercise required." The customer insisted that this is a lie, preying on the self esteem of individuals like her who see the celebrity endorsements and are tricked into believing they can achieve the same results.
The Daily Mail Online reports exclusively that the lawsuit against Waist Gang Society has been settled and the claims dismissed as of June 22nd.
Have you tried a waist-trainer before? If so, share your experience!
Original article published on September 12, 2015 (republished on July 6, 2016 with class action suit update).