The corset gets a bad rap. Before the restrictive undergarment fell out of favor with the general population, doctors and reformers blamed corsets for everything from tuberculosis to permanently damaging the wearer’s internal organs. Author B. (Knock-Off Nina, 2013) aims to correct those purported misconceptions in this economical how-to guide for novice waist trainers—those who wear corsets “with the intention of semi-permanently slimming and reducing the waist circumference.” When used correctly, she argues, a corset will narrow the wearer’s waist and help her achieve an hourglass figure. With a measured tone throughout, the book begins with a brief history of corsets peppered with interesting “did you know?” facts; for example, pregnant women and men sometimes wore corsets. That’s followed by an explanation of corset construction and their different types, as well as what to look for when shopping for one. Sensible advice includes avoiding cheaply made fashion corsets in favor of more costly models with steel boning and better-quality fabrics. Next are tips on getting started with waist training, including determining what size corset to buy and how to properly wear the garment. While the author is convinced that committed corset-wearing can semipermanently reshape a person’s body, she cautions beginners not to expect overnight results; she points out that overly aggressive waist training is likely to be unsuccessful and may even be harmful. She also doesn’t claim corsets are a magical fix for those seeking a curvier figure, and she perfunctorily includes some advice on healthy eating. More in-depth is a section on exercises (with black-and-whitephoto illustrations) intended to improve core strength, which is especially important for waist trainers, as there is evidence that long-term corset-wearing can weaken the abdominal and back muscles. At the same time, little convincing evidence is offered to support the contention that wearing a corset will actually produce lasting changes to the body. The advice isn’t bad, but the bias is clear.
More of a pamphlet than a book, this is a useful introduction for those interested in learning about the waist-training lifestyle.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)