To tightlace or not to tightlace
It was a usual Saturday evening, snuggled up by the fire with my favourite hot coco, catching up on the first season of ‘Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian.’ Khloe’s ever so perfect, dreamy figure got me thinking about, “What is the ideal feminine figure that majority of women all around the world, myself included, would die to have?” The answer was as clear as the light of day and summed up into one flawless Disney character, Barbie. There is something so alluring to men and women about Barbie, perhaps it is; the tiny waist, flat tummy, long toned shiny legs, the perfect rear and the right amount of curve to the hips. Realistically this figure is nearly impossible to achieve which has resulted in, the reintroduction of the corset called, the waist trainer. This article aims to expose the raw truth of this ratchet item that belongs in the 19th century.
In order to expose the raw truth about the waist trainer one must understand, what this modern day corset is and why women are driven to train with said article of clothing. This modern day corset stems from the ancient undergarment that females used back in the 16th to 19th century for fashionable purposes. The dawning of the corset was basically a must for all women as the shape it formed, was one that was considered eloquent and to bluntly put it sexy, although subjects from that era dare never to utter such freely. This popular undergarment: gave just the right amount of highlight to the bosoms, making them appear perfect; it reduced the midsection of the torso and flattened the tummy, allowing for a perfect curve to the hips. This very uncomfortable undergarment, gave rise to the hourglass figure and resulted in waist reduction, giving the illusion that, every woman was blessed with such a perfect figure which we all know to be one colossal lie.
The reason for the corset becoming ancient history was not only due to, the change in fashion where silhouettes became the new in but also due to the negative consequences of, the frequent dawning of such an undergarment. To highlight a few: skin irritation and discomfort, due to said article of clothing being extremely tight fitting; acid reflux, a result of compression to the mid-section, thereby increasing heartburn and indigestion; difficulty breathing, due to the pressure of the stomach and restrictive diaphragm reducing the amount of oxygen intake, which often caused fainting.
Knowing these gruesome effects of the corset, one would think why on earth, such a demon would be reintroduced back into society in the 21st century, after being done away with in the 1800s. Our: insane desire to have this perfect physique; the image society considers ideal and the way men see us, is why the waist trainer has become so popular. Even I have once succumbed to this method of training, called tight lacing and speaking first hand, those were the most miserable training sessions of my life.
To further expand, the waist trainer is very similar to the ancient corset, however it is, not as strong as a corset therefore resulting in more negative effects. The tightly fitted garment is worn under training gear and is tightened to its max as demonstrated by, notables such as; Khloe Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose and many more. The new found hope, of a perfect physique and all the perks that come with it, leads one to purchase this supposedly, quick fix garment of hope. After some experience with said garment of hope, the truth will shock one and shake them to their very core.
In agony, the starving female then drags her annoyed self to the gym, to engage in a grueling workout which definitely does not go as planned. This garment of hope, results in pure discomfort where the body yearns to be free, free of such horrific torture. Fifteen minutes into the imagined grueling workout, this waist trainer ready to rip open results in: the torso being in excruciating pain; the breathing being extremely restricted; the skin burning from the chuffing and the body being numb, leading one to be on the brink of fainting. Masking the agony and fatigue that plague her, with pretence of enjoying the grind, the female decides to push through the motions, trying to reach the end of the grind as soon as possible. After the workout is complete; disappointed, irritable, in agony and defeated, she then leaves the gym to rush back home so that she may be free, free of this ratchet undergarment.
To her dismay, she then perseveres to continue future workouts in this fashion. Each session is one of absolute misery and sheer hell, constantly putting herself through this torture, for the ideal and most desired physique,’ the Barbie. ‘ Each and every time she waist trains, a mind over matter game begins where these thoughts constantly occupy her mind: “every celebrity does this and has the perfect figure; media thrives over females with this physique; fruits only and the lack of food is normal and temporary; men will stand and gawk over my hourglass physique, hailing me perfection.” These thoughts enable her, to get through the workout and simply stick its torture.
Sadly, unaware of the prolonged effects of this form of training, the female continues to train in such a manner until she achieves the ideal physique. However the Barbie physique cannot simply be achieved by waist training, as she will soon come to realise, as science proves that after the waist trainer is foregone, the body will return back to its original shape. Although what will be left is; a lifetime of regret remembered through the bruises, wasted time, potential damage to internal organs, a potential trip to the hospital or God forbid a new found illness which will consume her till the end of days.
Fortunately female fitness role models such as, Heba Ali amongst many, have women on a new path where eating well and gyming insane is the order of the day. This path aims to achieve; a full, happy and healthy lifestyle, teaching women that sexy shouldn’t be conformed to one body type but rather to your body type, as a result of healthier and correct choices. This revolution still praises the hourglass figure but also praises; the grinders, the healthy eaters and the happy and content people, highlighting that ultimately health and fitness should be the order of the day.
To conclude, ladies I say to you, let’s admire those that have been blessed with what men term sexy, ‘the Barbie’ but let’s join the fit revolution and allow, sexy to be our own unique body types, as a result of the positive lifestyle changes. Healthier choices make happier people and every healthy body is beautiful. Let’s: put away the waist trainers; incorporate a nutritious and wholesome diet; gym to our max, making sure we, grind, pump and burn those calories and shut the body shamers up. The time has come, for this former waist trainer to put down her typewriter and leave it at till next time.
Happy Lifting and Strive to Arrive!
Article by Nasreen Dukander
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