Image: Unsplash – Angelina Litvin
[Anthony Ladipo | Contributing Writer]
Waist trainers have become the latest female-targeted fitness trend to storm 2015-2016. But what are they and do they really work? The Kardashian sisters, Jessica Alba and many more female A-list celebrities have endlessly promoted the effects of theses modern-day corsets. Unlike the lofty success stories of Hollywood fanatics, professionals in the field of health question their long-term health benefits.
The online market is flooded with a wide range of waist trainers to choose from, ranging from £20 to £80 from online retailers. At face value, they’re a cheaper alternative to a £203.50 bronze annual gym membership at the University of Hertfordshire.
In a nutshell, waist trainers work via the compression of the core leading, to a slimmer waistline after prolonged use. This explains their gross popularity, especially when the pressure to appear fit and in shape has ever increasingly become a top priority for many women.
Steve Pack, Sports Psychologist Lecturer at UH, proposed that the effects of waist trainers may not be as superficial as once thought by fitness sceptics.
“There is no doubt that body image is an important and frequent topic of debate in Western society. Our body is important to us personally for many worthy reasons. Waist trainers might facilitate this sense of social capital and worth.”
Buts what’s happening inside the body? Well excessive bowel compression (from extensive waist trainer usage) pushes your intestinal organs further down to your torso, producing various health complications underneath the surface. Consulting your GP before making any purchase would definitely be a smart move.
Whether voluptuous curves are worth compromising your health for is debatable. The widespread hype over waist trainers amongst women is more clear-cut; Pack argues that we should look at the bigger picture, which requires further debate.
“In a society which ‘forces’ many people to comply with so-called idealised norms, shouldn’t we be asking ‘what’ is my body capable of now and in the future, and not ‘what’ should it look like now and in the future?”
Perhaps the real question is much simpler: what price are you willing to pay for an enhanced hourglass figure?