My June 29 New York Times had a fascinating article about the teenage brain, and I learned one more reason to advise that one be 18 yrs old as a minimum before starting corset waist training — or older.
The Times’ opinion article “Why Teenagers Act Crazy” by Richard A. Friedman, professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College (wonder if he knows Dr. Oz?), reported on research that shows that the teenage brain is obsessed with fear and excess anxiety, while reasoning and executive control emanating from the prefrontal cortex do not develop until later, around age 25. That’s one reason teenagers are prone to accidents and injury — and in my opinion that fact signifies enhancement of the risk that teenagers may use poor judgment in pursuing waist training.
While we will make a corset for a Junior or Senior high school prom and have done so a number of times (witness the cute peacock blue and lace corset by Sharon, and red silk corset by Sue worn by two high school women), we won’t make it excessively restrictive, and we generally don’t accept a waist-training coaching student who is under 21. That’s the age when the long bones in women at least, approach their maximum growth (tho it may take longer), and apparently, the age when reasoning becomes more sound.
My general answer is, “Are you in generally good health, specifically with no hypertension, high blood pressure, hernias repaired or otherwise, GERD disease, severe constipation, ankle swelling, or severe asthma?” Almost anyone without these substantial health challenges and in generally good health can wear a corset and pursue waist training in my experience.
In the end it is a highly individual matter as to how comfortable or fast the process of waist-reshaping will be, and that also depends upon the kind and fit of corset is being used for that purpose.
I started pursuing custom corsetry when I was 48 and I’m still going, tho albeit at a less frequent interval, with less tight-lacing. I turned a happy and generally healthy 70 years of age last fall and intend to corset and educate about them, for many years to come!
What’s painful to me is not my corset or any periodic waist-training I do pursue from time to time, but to see so many middle-aged and older women let go of their bodies, sense of sexiness and well-being, and give way to sloppy posture and formless clothing behind which to hide. Men, too, by the way. But I know how women suffer from poor body images far beyond men, and I know how great the grand majority of women of any age will look and feel if they venture out to try a fully-custom corset.