A burlesque dancer’s tips
Screw you, medical professionals -- you can’t tell me how to live! I decided to go full steam ahead with my waist-training experiment. But first I wanted to talk to someone with lots of experience. Luckily, I live in New Orleans, where you can’t go to a dive bar or gala fundraiser without tripping over a burlesque troupe’s corset ties.
“Listening to your body is the best way to do it,” advised Mina Mechante, a burlesque dancer and sales associate at Trashy Diva Lingerie, which sells corsets and waist trainers. “I put my corset on before I do my hair and makeup and get it snug, but not as tight as I can make it. By the time I’m done, my body is used to [the corset], and I can get it a little tighter.”
Mechante often is active in her corsets, wearing them while performing, go-go dancing, and biking. “When you put on the corset, you realize, yes, you can breathe normally. It’s more of a mental thing.”
Trying on the waist cincher
The waist trainer from HourglassAngel arrives in a narrow white box that reads “Where great women begin.” Because obviously, to be a great woman you need to compress your colon and bowels. The rubber latex garment feels sturdily athletic, like one of those yellow LIVESTRONG bracelets from the aughts. I exhale and fasten the first hook.
Even for a novice, getting into a waist trainer isn’t that difficult. I hooked the top, then the bottom, and worked my way toward the midsection, where a puffy white bagel of belly flesh squeezed through the gap. Miraculously, the waist trainer closed. Even more miraculously, I felt a little squished, but fine. Better than fine, in fact. I felt smoking hot.
I wore the waist cincher during my bike commute, partly because I wanted to see if Mechante’s claims held up and partly because I did not want to take it off -- that’s how good I looked with an inch gone from my waist. As Dr. Sam warned, deep breathing was arduous, and midway through the 4.5-mile ride I felt slightly nauseated. Nobody at work commented on my newly curvy figure, but that’s probably because they are nice people and not sexual harassers.