Kim Kardashian. Jessica Alba. Beyonce. Khloe Kardashian. Even Gwenyth Paltrow! What do all of these celebrities have in common? A supposed affinity for waist training–the trendiest way to get in shape (or, um, LOOK like you’re in shape).
Here’s the deal: The great corset craze of 2014 involves wearing an ultra-tight “shaper” (as seen above) specially designed to squeeze and smooth you in, providing an immediate and long-term impact on the size of your waistline. Waist trainers typically wear their corsets for 8-12 hours a day, which means that they’re getting compressed through meals, workouts, work–essentially all aspects of waking life…and they love it.
Jessica Alba, for instance, credits waist training for helping her “get her body back” after the birth of her second baby. Kim and Khloe K post myriad corseted selfies on Instagram. Normies who waist train report loving the feeling of being “held in”, and looking and feeling instantly slimmer. Waist training ALSO tend to make wearers eat less, since the constant compression can make them feel full. Since waist training can also make you MOVE less, however, it alone doesn’t generally tend to make wearers lose weight. Your organs get pushed around into different areas, though! Fun!! Aside from general discomfort, these hardcore shaping garments can cause blood pressure to increase, create organ deformities, lead to fainting spells, and lead to bruising and rib pain. Plus, if you’re not eating right and working out while putting yourself through all of this, you’re not actually losing any fat–you’re just shifting it around. Oh, and in order to see any visible benefit, you really have to be dedicated and consistent in wearing your ‘trainer. Like, for months.
If done “correctly”, waist training also isn’t exactly cheap. It’s recommended that those in-training purchase at least two corsets–which cost between $50 – $100 each–to alternate wearing, plus corset liners to protect your corset from sweat and odor, and to protect your body from the corset’s actual fabric. When it comes time to clean the corset? Dry clean only. Sound worth it?
Pros: A slimmer waist.
Cons: Literally everything else.
Bottom line: If the idea of squeezing yourself into something sounds even vaguely appealing, pull on some Lycra/Spandex and head to the gym. Unlike with waist training, those results are pretty much guaranteed.