Features

My week wearing a waist trainer

Waist trainer

In the Fashion Quarterly‘s autumn issue, we investigate the rise of the ‘Instabody’, and the lengths women are going to in order to achieve the exaggerated, hourglass curves popularised by the Kim Kardashians and Kylie Jenners of the world.

From cosmetic surgeries to extreme exercise regimes, we learned that there are many ways to achieve this trending body type. Always willing to put herself on the line in the name of investigative journalism, Miss FQ digital editor, Skye Ross, offered to trial one of them. A Brazillian Butt Lift was obviously off the menu, but a waist trainer? Why not. This is Skye’s experience…

What were your thoughts before trying the waist trainer?
I approached the whole thing with pretty low expectations and a lot of questions – how would the waist trainer make me feel? When would I start to see results? How does it actually work? I expected my waist to look tighter straight away but I was certain it would take more than a few weeks for me to see results without wearing the device.

What was it like to put on?
It definitely takes time! When one clasp does up, another seems to undo – not ideal. When I finally got there, it felt tight but not uncomfortable, and I have to admit that I loved seeing my waist look tiny and tense. I can understand why people wear theirs religiously as the compliments were the best ego boost for a Monday morning.

How did you feel after 2 hours?
Fine, but I wasn’t as hungry as I would normally have been around breakfast time. I barely finished my coffee.

How did you feel after 4 hours?
My organs felt like they were hurting. Wearing something so constricting began to feel quite uncomfortable.

6 hours?
I’m not normally one to snap but I was getting pretty grumpy. In hindsight, I think I was hangry.

How did you feel for the rest of the evening?
Relieved – once I took it off. Interestingly my posture had improved, but I didn’t have everlasting abs after wearing it for only six hours. Damn.

You abandoned the challenge for a while after that, why?
I was worried that it wasn’t good for me. As someone with a healthy appetite it concerned me that a garment could take away my hunger so easily. I now understand, after doing a fair bit of research, that that’s basically the objective, but it’s not one I’m on board with. I’m a firm believer in balance, and I think that if you’re trying to lose weight, eating healthily and exercising regularly is the only way to go.

A couple of days later, you gave your waist trainer another go. Why?
I felt like wearing it for one day wasn’t enough for a fair trial.

Was it better the second time around?
Slightly, as I knew what to expect. Physically, I felt the same effects.

What are your major concerns about waist trainers, based on your experiences and what you’ve read?
It concerns me that they are basically designed to make you eat smaller portions and that it motivates you to want an abnormally small waist – factors that I believe are not conducive to a positive self-image.

Do they have any redeeming features? Was there anything you liked about wearing a waist trainer?
I liked how it improved my posture. As a 6ft tall girl, mine sat perfectly between my hip bones and shoulder blades, and this gave great back support.  I do wonder how smaller girls would find it, however. I also thought it looked chic over a white t-shirt, but I could achieve the same look with a cool corset belt and save my internal organs!

Would you ever commit to using a waist trainer or recommend it to a friend?
Nope. I don’t need to lose any weight and I’m pretty body confident.

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