A brief guide to waist slimming via corsets.
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-white photo 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.