As I sit here typing this, I am strapped into my third waist trainer. For three years I have been wearing one of these puppies to work and the gym. You may be waist training yourself, or you’re thinking about it, or you think it’s hella weird and have some questions. Whatever your position is, there’s a lot of information out there on the subject. I have tried to condense some of the history of this craze, along with my own personal experience.
A few years ago this fad swept the nation. It was endorsed and made popular by fitness models and celebrities. So naturally, everyone else was soon talking about it, either saying they were way cool or way dangerous. Many people likened them to their predecessors; the corset. People thought waist trainers were too constricting and would harm internal organs, along with the bone structure that protects those organs.
While ancient corsets might have had negative long term effects on a person’s body, waist trainers have been re-designed to possibly circumvent those harmful affects.
The corsets most of us are familiar with are the ones we’ve seen in film. Who else remembers that iconic scene in the Titanic in which Rose’s mother keeps cinching the corset tighter and tighter until you fear for Rose’s breathing capabilities. It looked mad painful right?
Corsets have been around for centuries. Many cultures around the world utilized them as a beauty enhancer. With the ever-changing world of fashion and fad, corsets were not immune. Some focused on enhancing the fullness of the breasts, while others focused on accentuating the hips. Corsets of those days were obviously problematic. The materials used to create this cavelike structure ranged from wood and metal, to whalebone and ivory. Not exactly materials that are known for their flexibility. While the fabric was beautiful, it too was extremely tight. Corsets were made to give women a strict posture and a tiny waist. Beauty standards that we don’t have to subscribe to anymore. Even when they began marketing themselves as more flexible, for the modern woman (in the late 19th century) they were still pretty unforgiving.
So what makes a waist trainer different? Well I can promise you that none of today’s trainers are made with whalebone or wood. In fact the waist trainer’s purpose is altogether very different from corsets. Waist trainers are marketed and designed to improve posture and help enhance natural curves. Despite the hype, they aren’t actually meant to help you lose weight or change the natural shape of your body in any permanent way. They are now made from plastics and elastics. Materials that can be worn to the gym and are fine at work.
Since I began a few years ago, I have noticed how much better my posture has become and how much stronger and higher my core feels. I am happier now with the way my curves look both in and out of my trainer. I know other vinas who love it as much as I do; and I have friends who have zero interest in the product. It’s truly not everyones cup of tea. Plus, you have to use your waist trainer correctly in order to steer clear from any harmless side effects, so be careful!
Maybe your beauty standards are the polar opposite of mine, maybe you like your curves free and unrepressed. To each her own right? I don’t see myself tossing my waist trainer out anytime soon, but I totally get it isn’t for everyone. The real lesson is, don’t believe everything you read. Are waist trainers as bad as old-fashioned corsets? No. Should everyone use them? Of course not! Do your own research and find out what’s best for you.
Comment below if you have tried one or at least thought about it. Download the Hey! VINA app to meet other fitness oriented vinas in your area.
(Feature image via @kyliejenner)