Waist Training: A New Fad That Shouldn’t Be

Let me preface this post by saying I am not a fashion blogger. I do not intend to speak on fashion with any type of knowledge. My own style pretty much follows these four requirements; clean, comfortable, fits, and doesn’t have holes. It may not be quite that bad, but it’s close. Just ask my kids. However, waist training doesn’t require any real fashion sense to discuss.

I don’t have to be a fashion blogger to understand trends. I also don’t have to be a fashion blogger to understand when a trend is simply unhealthy. Just because something is on the market does not mean it is good for you. Let’s take Lawn Darts for example. Anyone remember those? A few spikes to the head and some permanent brain damage took that one off the market rather quickly.  I still want to know who thought throwing weighted metal spikes up in the air was a good idea. We might as well just have given kids broken glass to play with.

They say fashion always comes back around. A friend of mine is thrilled she saved all those kulottes from days gone by as they seem to be making a comeback. However, an ancient fashion trend that literally sucks the life out of you is not one worth returning to modern society, and yet it has.

waist training

Corset much?

What is it you ask?  Waist training? It is wearing a corset-like contraption (yes, like the ones from the 1500s) to cinch your waist, hips, and back. Basically your entire core region.  The idea is to wear it for a certain amount of time every day, and eventually, your body “molds” itself into an hour-glass figure with a small waist. Hence the term “waist” training. You essentially train your waist to be smaller.

Many celebrities of the reality type use this and I’m sure you can guess who they are. I won’t give them the time of day by telling you which ones as what they are doing and promoting is anything but healthy. Doing this and posting about it on Instagram only secures their place in my mind as the oxygen thieves that they are.

Is it safe?

 There is a reason that this 500-year-old device stopped being used. However, we are a country with short memories.

When you wear this piece of torture, you squeeze your lungs and ribs, which makes it hard to breathe. (No duh.) A weight loss and nutrition expert, Christopher Ochner, Ph.D. from Mount Sinai Hospital has reported that some women have passed out from wearing these fashion asphyxiation garments. Let’s add to that there can be even further complications, crushed organs, cracked ribs, the list can go on.

Plus, experts say it doesn’t really work. Gasp! News flash people, “Spot reducing doesn’t exist,” says Ochner. “You can’t reduce the collection of fat in any one particular area of your body.” Basically you are just pushing it around, you are not losing any of it, all the fat will go right back to where it was no matter how long you do this for. Even wearing  the “trainer” in the morning means by evening it will all be back where it started. There is no way to train your fat to stay put. It’s not Fido.

Basically wearing a waist trainer is a waste of time that can lead to other health issues. A real long-term weight-loss plan is what you need. However, that requires work. You are worth the work. Easy is not healthy, or permanent. Get real.

What are we teaching our kids?

So that is the skinny on this piece of crap trend of fashion. The health aspect anyway. What concerns me more is the message it sends our kids. Our young girls are duped into thinking they have to look a certain way, and our young men into thinking women need to look a certain way. We have been working so hard as mothers and fathers in today’s society to bring about a revolution of self-acceptance. Self-acceptance doesn’t mean we settle for being unhealthy, but that we be our best selves. We learn to take care of ourselves, eat right, exercise, and be happy with the results of an overall lifestyle that is hopefully combined with a healthy attitude.

Trends like the waist trainer are just one more demon on the horizon of young girls and women not thinking they are good enough, or pretty enough, or thin enough, or curvy enough. By bringing back a device that was removed from our fashion vocabulary centuries ago, we have wiped out all the good we have been doing in recent years. The reality show people, that I won’t mention, somehow rule the idea of image and health and beauty in this country have such a huge platform to relay a message of positivity, and they don’t.

We need to make sure we are heard above the roar of fashion and reality “stars” and teach our girls that they are so much more than a ridiculously unnatural waistline. We parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends need to be the stars in our children’s lives and teach them that they are all that they desire to be already. We need to teach our sons that women come in different shapes and sizes and they are all beautiful and should be respected and cherished just the way they are. We need to not allow fashion like this to weasel its way into the mindset of this generation.

We don’t need to “keep up” with anyone. Let’s see this fad get dropped off by the wayside, better yet, the trash.

Reinventing Julie - a blog for the middle age empty nesters


About Julie Mason

Julie is a nearly fifty year old almost empty nester. Life is interesting, ever changing, fun, infuriating, and Julie wishes to share it with you all. She hopes to learn along the way as well and write about anything and everything that strikes her fancy.

36 thoughts on “Waist Training: A New Fad That Shouldn’t Be

  1. You are so very right Julie. I have a friend who bought a contraption similar to this despite my advice to the contrary. She almost passed out on a day out. She couldnt eat at lunch and kept sipping on water util she couldnt sip that either, she was sick i.e her tummy was throwing out the water she had been sipping as there wasnt anywhere else for it to go…..!
    Someone has to speak out. glad you are!

    1. Thank you for the story. It is a real issue, even if it seems frivolous. We, as women, deserve to be better and stop trying to go for the quick fix. It doesn’t work.

  2. You named it correctly – a fad. As women we really have to get to know ourselves and live our lives for personal happiness rather than trying to live up to societal standards. This is so sad – that in this day and age women feel compelled to do this.

  3. Yes! It definitely is a harmful practice, damages organs and ribs. The best way to get a natural slim, shaped waste is to use an exercise belt. But, people love to take shortcuts! Great post!

  4. I am very fashion conscious but this contraption will never find its way into my closet. People these days love short cuts and that is going to be the death of them.

  5. It’s funny because a loooot of personal trainers use it for some reason, and they advise other people to do the same as well. I know just because a lot of people are doing it doesn’t make it right. It’s just peculiar because they say it makes you sweat more, and they lose weight off of that area, but science says otherwise. It’s weird.

  6. It seems like these things come around every few generations. A few years ago, I took my Girl Scout troop to Savannah (the birthplace of Girl Scouting) where my girls (all about 16 or 17 at the time) had a chance to dress up in clothes from the 1890’s. They thought the corsets were so cool at first, then after about 15 minutes, they couldn’t get them off fast enough. Then we talked about body image and how pop culture has such influence on what is “beautiful.” It’s all just a line of bull. The trick is to learn to feel comfortable in your own skin, no matter what shape it is.

  7. I totally agree. It baffles me that waist training has become a “thing” again, even with as much knowledge as we have on hand about the risks.

  8. Some of the pictures online with women and their tiny waists seem to be photoshopped. They have before and after pictures with the waist trainers looking like they cut the women in half almost. I don’t really believe it. It seems they are wearing the wrong size, like squeezing into size 4 jeggings but you know you’re a size 7. However, I do know that they help conceal the pudge when wearing my form-fitting dresses, so I’ll keep my waist trainer for those special occasions.

  9. I saw one of these the other day on the end of the aisle. I couldn’t really believe that anyone would buy or use this, but I’m sure young girls are influenced by TV and think it might work. I really hope we can change their idea of a perfect body, and to just be happy with what you have. You made some excellent points!

  10. A great read as always. I hadn’t heard about this yet but it is beyond ridiculous. I am blessed with daughters who are strong and athletic and smart about health and nutrition and a son who sees that in them. BTW, I don’t know if you can control this, but just below the comment posted by Justina is an ad for “Yoga Burn… 1 yoga tip for a tiny belly.”

  11. Waist training is silly to me. I believe the only waist training should be good old exercise and diet. People are always looking for a quick fix that end up giving dangerous results.

  12. After my daughter was born i was soooooo quick to want to jump back into my pre baby bod that i actually tried this fad. Its ridiculous, i didnt try it for long but you can tell as soon as you put it on its doing you damage… Biggest waist (hehe see what i did there) of money ever!

  13. People want a body different than what they have. Instead of learning to love what we are born with, we work so hard to change into something else. Self acceptance should be taught for sure!

  14. People have been doing stuff like this for years – there will always be those who go to extremes. It’s no different than those who completely rebuild their body with plastic surgery. It’s a sad reality. All you can do is teach your kids to love themselves.

  15. I completely agree with your post 100%. I can’t believe that people think wearing a corset and putting their bodies through this torture is smart. Has no one read past accounts of what corsets could do? I’m hopefully this trend will pass quickly.

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