When a ‘Corset’ is not really a Corset. Part 1 – NOT A CORSET

Its the one topic that often incenses corstieres the world over, when celebrities, glossy mags and the people who read them – and BELIEVE them, jabber on about #WaistTraining, about how bad corsets are for you, how uncomfortable and sweaty they are, how painful they are… and then, you see it – the picture of the ‘Corset’ they are actually talking about:

Screenshot 2014-10-27 12.07.48and of course this:  kim-kardashian-hourglass-figure-lead

 Images Courtesy of  Hourglass Angel &  What’s a Waist/Kim Kardashian

Immediately my blood begins to boil, frustration levels rise, my anger toward celebs/glossy mags increases tenfold who do nothing to dispel the myth of corsetry, particularly modern corsetry where we have learned so many new techniques, new ways and materials for construction, more understanding of how the body works, (and doesnt) we have learnt from the methods and mistakes of the 15th centrury onwards.

You would think that journalists and article researchers – note that word, RESEARCHERS, would actually do even a tiny bit of tangible research into their articles, instead of their lazy journalism of copy & paste, perpetuating centuries old myths, scaring readers half to death with un-researched ‘facts’ before telling them that essentially “Its okay…because Kim Kardashian does it.”  I recall one glossy promoting Kim Kardo’s latest post pregnancy HEALTHY diet to its readership which advised that the breakfast plan was:

  • 1 Glass Hot water with squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Ghee (for those who dont know, that’s clarified butter where the milk solids are removed, popular in Indian cooking)

wait… what? clarified butter? they want me to get a tablespoon and dig in and eat clarified butter for breakfast?!  Sorry love, but screw that, I’ll stick to my shredded straw, im sure thats WAY more healthier that a mouthful of clarified butter…urgh.

These facts alone are why i’ve basically given up on the glossies, they are basically stupid, lazy, celebrity obsessed journalists who dont like basic facts to get in the way of a good photoshopped picture.  So lets take a typical comment, (not researched at all, just copied and pasted from the <insert brand of rubber tube here> and dig a little deeper (but not too deep yo!)

  • they compress your core, ramp up perspiration, release toxins, and metabolize fat. Does it? does it really? Yes, it will squish you in, I agree there, but really, does it just make you sweat more, thus lose bodily fluids faster which are IMMEDIATELY replaced as soon as you chug a glass of water post-wear/workout. Sweating naturally ‘releases toxins anyway so nothing special there, and please do explain how this rubber garment itself, metabolises fat other than how your body well, normally metabolises fat?
  • The tight fit also restricts your abdomen, reducing your food intake during the day. – as would any super tight fitting garment – have you even managed to eat comfortably, or shoved that Big Mac to one side because the waistband on your jeans is digging in when you sit down?

then whilst reading the comments under the glossy articles.. apart from the general body snarking, horrid comments and general misinformation are these types of remarks – all basically reading and believing whatever the magazine tells them, all believing they are wearing corsets *sigh* :

…Corsets are very tight and extremely uncomfortable, painful OMG….

….Corsets are the ones you string up and pass out if you have it too tight.

…my skin has been bruised very badly by this corset, ill never wear one ever again…

….Corsets can snap your ribs, which then puncture your lungs and can kill you…

…”Sarah Gottfried, an integrative physician and gynecologist told us: “The problem is that when you constrict your waist, your organs have to go somewhere…corsets push your lungs up….”

Er… what? silly me… and heres me thinking your lungs were actually under your ribcage, buy hey who am I to question the ‘opinion’ of a Gynecologist? oh wait…


Whilst its true that wearers can often feel ‘constricted’ in a corset, even  REAL corset, rest assured your lungs are not being shifted anywhere. The shock words are also rife in the articles particularly the word “compress” as in the ‘corsets compress your organs – making the reader think all manner of horror stories and visions but really, put into context:

Corsets compress your organs!!!

  • So does Pregnancy
  • So does basic movements such as leaning over or bending. (temporarily)
  • So does Yoga (particularly Nauli Kriya)  (thanks Lucy – she goes into much more – and better technical data on her post on shapewear here

So I guess that before I finish Part 1 (I dont want to witter on too long) its also time to drag out that old Victorian drawing that so many corset haters drag out year after year to attempt to bolster their zero researched arguments:

tumblr_m1bbsz13yp1rrjjh6o1_500There we go, because corsets are BAD!! this drawing tells you so! (Like, I could draw a picture that looks zero like your mom and say “Thats your Mom that is!” and it must be true) there is absolutely no artistic licence here at all, there is of course, staunch medical evidence to back up this ‘drawing’  they did medical X-rays and everything…didnt they? Erm, no.  However, a German quiz show did recently do an MRI scan of what happens  – See the Youtube video here of Lucy (Bisonenrancher) discussing the show and the results HERE which pretty much blows that old Victorian drawing out of the window and we are all eagerly waiting to see if they do a follow up to this experiment.

Next Time I’ll be discussing happier things and what IS a corset… for now, I could murder a cup of tea and some Hob Nobs…