Kim Kardashian’s latest goal is apparently to shrink the size of her waist by several inches, using a technique referred to as “waist training.” In one of her recent Instagram selfies, Kim took a picture of herself wearing a special waist-shrinking corset.
In the caption, she writes: “#Hourglass #WaistTraining #NoPhotoshopNecessary.” The corset she’s wearing reportedly costs $139, and was made by a company that claims a “potential waist reduction” of seven inches.
Kim Kardashian’s attempts to get skinnier after having a child might be inspiring to some, but in reality, waist training isn’t probably the best way to go about toning your figure. Health experts say that waist training isn’t effective, or even entirely safe.
“It’s going to make you look slimmer when you have it on, but I don’t know any physiology that would explain that you’re going to lose body fat by wearing this device,” Stephen Ball, associate professor in the department of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri, told TODAY.com. “People want a quick fix. They don’t want to put in the effort that it actually takes and so I’m sure lots of women will see these pictures and go out and spend their money on these types of devices when they should be focusing on exercise and healthy eating.”
Corsets have been used throughout history to induce form-fitting beauty standards. Also known as tightlacing, the practice diminishes the volume of the lungs, making it more difficult for the tightlacer to breathe. In addition, tightlacing can change rib structure as well as the position of organs such as the liver, which is pressed upward. It was particularly popular during the Victorian era, but has since lost its appeal in general fashion. But the practice has reemerged in recent years among celebrities like Jessica Alba, who used a corset to help her keep her shape after giving birth. There’s also something called the “Corset Diet,” which essentially squeezes your stomach to the point that makes it painful to eat too much — and painful to breathe, and probably to move, as well.
“Waist training would be more aptly named ‘waste training,’ because you are training yourself to waste time and money,” Jeff Halevy, TODAY Show fitness correspondent, said. “The notion of an external brace or corset reshaping your midsection is pure pseudoscience. While it is possible to elongate or stretch a body part over years, as some African tribes have proven with their customs, it is not at all possible to do the same to the trunk of the body — especially after coming into adulthood, when the torso’s bones, tissues, and organs have grown to maturity.”
So before spending money on a corset because Kim Kardashian got one, choose the safer and healthier route instead: diet and exercise.