In 2015, when we have come so far with making feminism a far more mainstream train of thought, it's a surely bit depressing to see the Kardashians promoting what is no more than a modern-day corset.
Waist trainers, sports corsets… the mind, it boggles. They seem to have exploded online of late, and the trend stems, of course, from yet another Kardashian-induced craze.
Many of the images of people wearing this kind of gear, whilst widely shared on social media, are pretty unrealistic. Dramatic before-and-after pictures can easily entice those desperate for an easy solution. It’s kind of amazing what people are willing to part with their cash for! On one site, I read that the waist trainer "creates compression in your core stimulating thermal activity which will accelerate your workout!" Right.
As far as I can make out, whilst the flattering nature of these mini-corsets might make for an excellent selfie, they’re not exactly conducive to breathing, eating, and, well, living. Of course, shapewear is always going to be a quick fix – Pilates and yoga might make for a more permanent change in terms of toning and posture.
I don’t think you have to be a doctor to realise that long-term, even if a waist trainer does manage to alter your shape, compressing your core for hours at a time mightn’t be the best idea. By constricting the midsection of the body, you could potentially harm the major internal organs in that region. And what will it do to your skin?!
My over-arching feeling on this is that the whole thing has to be a bit of a fad. Just like the breadmaker, the foot spa and the blender, the waist trainer is most likely going to be resigned to the back of the closet after a while.
If you’ll excuse the pun, I think that this fad raises a lot of, ahem, core issues about what us females are willing to do to ourselves in the pursuit of perfection. Is it possible to waist train and be a feminist? I'm sure it is, but the trend as a whole is a bit alien to me. It's also potentially quite dangerous – just as with the likes of caffeine pills and crash diets, it seems this is yet another case of us ladies being far, far too hard on ourselves.
Deirdre Foley is a history grad, sceptic, wearer of red lipstick and self-confessed 'beauty maniac'. She is also the co-founder of fabulous Irish beauty blog, Viva Adonis.