Waist training. We’ve all heard about it, but what is it really?
Some sources — such as LiveStrong and Refinery29 — agree that it’s the process of wearing a corset-like garment that cinches the waist and slims the figure over time ,resulting in that coveted hourglass shape (think Beyoncé and the Kardashians). But when Vox talked to San Francisco's Autumn Adamme, the owner of Dark Garden Corsetry & Couture and one of the world's leading corset makers, she clarified the definition by saying what waist training isn’t.
Although waist training and corseting are used interchangeably, Adamme emphasized that while they are related, they are "not at all the same thing." As she explained, "waist training is about gradually reducing the natural waist size," while corsets are "more commonly used for costuming or to wear for fun."
For the purposes of this article, we're using the terms interchangeably with the understanding that occasionally wearing a corset doesn't automatically mean you're actively waist training. Below, we break down the history of waist training, modern-day examples of it within the pop culture sphere, and how it affects the body. (Spoiler alert: It's probably best not to follow Kim K's example.)
The whole process required an entire team and took hours.
As we see in Vogue's behind-the-scenes video of Kardashian's Met Gala prep, the reality TV star had trouble sitting down once she was laced into that corset. "Anna, if I don’t sit down for dinner, now you know why,” she said slowly, struggling to lower herself into the seat.
So now you're telling me I can't even sit properly in one of these things?! Um, hard pass.