To understand the history of waist training you have to go way back in time. You’ve probably heard of the term “corset” before. It’s a special kind of garment used to hold and train the waist into a desired shape - which is usually an hourglass figure.
And so lets start by first looking into the history of corsets. Corsets have three main uses:
The most common and well known use of corsets is of course fashion. They’re used to help slim the waist, which in turn makes the breasts, hips and butt look bigger. This creates an hourglass figure. Back in the olden days, most corsets were laced up extremely tight, and they also used metal in their construction, so the coset would not rest directly on the skin, there would be another layer between the body and the corset. Nowadays modern garment technology has come a long ways and it’s perfectly normal to wear a waist trainer directly over skin.
For hundreds of years, doctors would prescribe corsets to people with back issues. Specific spinal issues, like scoliosis would often be treated by the use of a corset. Not many people know this, but famous painter Andy Warhol wore a corset his entire life.
If you’re into kinky sex you’re probably no stranger to corsets in the bedroom. Corsets are a popular sexual fetish, especially in BDSM culture. Often dominants enjoy wearing corsets (sometimes black, often leather), and sometimes the breasts or other areas are left exposed.
The History of Corsets
Corsets have been around for a serious amount of time. According to the history books, Catherine de’Medici, the wife of King Henry 2 of France, enforced a ban on thick waists at court attendance during the 1550s. Nobody really knows why she hated “thicker waists” so much, but she did, and that’s what apparently started this whole movement.
The name has changed quite a bit over time. Originally, it was called “a pair of bodies,” then in the 17th century people called them “stays.” It wasn’t until the 19th century when people began to call them corsets. By 1920 corsets began to fall from fashion and girdles and brassieres took over. The corset moved to more of a lingerie, fetish and goth subculture item. There have been a few revivals lately, like in 2001 when the movie Moulin Rouge came out, also lately the Steampunk culture has some small groups getting back into wearing corsets, but it hasn’t been until just last year when modern waist trainers have become a popular form of waist reduction that we’ve seen such an influx in mainstream media attention toward the corset.
The History of Waist Training
Women have been using corsets as a tool for waist training for thousands of years. The idea is pretty simple, you wear a tightly laced corset for a certain period of time (known as tightlacing), and this constriction around the waist can eventually reduce the natural waist size.
Petite women are often able to reduce their waist size quite a bit, but larger women with a higher body fat % can tighten their waist considerably more.
Many sizes have been popular over the past decades, but in general the most popular were 16,17 and 18 inches. According to the Guiness Book of World Records, Ethel Granger has the world’s smallest waist at only 13 inches!
Modern Waist Training
It's been hundreds of years and waist training has taken on many different forms. From 1550's Victorian Era, to BDSM subculture, to today, where you’ve probably seen a whole bunch of celebrities wearing waist trainers on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Kylie and Khloe Jenner use waist trainers all the time, of course Kim Kardashian is a huge fan, and even Jessica Alba used a waist trainer for three months straight after having her two children.
Modern waist trainers are made of the highest quality materials. They're designed to help do the following:
- Instantly take up to 3 inches off your stomach area
- Reduce love handles and fat around your waist
- Flatten your tummy
- Increase thermal activity to stimulate sweating during a workout
- Suppress appetite
- Help with posture
- Give you the hourglass figure you want
It's hard to say what the next generation of waist training will look like. But one thing is for sure, the hourglass figure women have desired has been in and out of vogue for thousands of years, so it's not likely this ancient practice is going anywhere anytime soon.