There are 101 reasons that corsets (and corset waist training) provide benefits, including solace, according to Lucy Williams in her new book Solaced: 101 uplifting narratives about corsets, well-being, and hope.
In reading the amazing stories, I learned about quite a number of benefits of corseting that I did not know about. We’ve heard recently a lot about using corsets to waist train and lose weight; pictured here is Melinda, an early student in our coaching program . She lost 13 lbs and 3″ off her waistline after three months.
Another benefit is that corsets can diminish distraction and increase focus. That’s important to some of us who also live in, and sometimes rue, a world that a New York Times writer called “the end of reflection” (Sunday, June 12, 2016, Styles section).
But there’s another benefit of corseting — and that has to do with reflection, and experimentation. I also think corsets also have to do with teaching, and requiring patience, a virtue that is well nigh lost in today’s IT world.
After all, you can’t just point the corset at your body and it flies around your waist and locks into place much like Iron Man’s red metal uniform does. You have to work at learning to lace a corset on, and lace properly for comfort and endurance in waist training, not to mention that you have to learn to slow down to season your corset, prepare for waist training, take care of your corset after you wear it, and more.
These are all benefits of corseting — if you define “benefit” that way. And perhaps, there’s the rub. But let’s say that we still believe there is some merit to introspection and deep thinking, at least from time to time. What do we face?
“Finding moments to engage in contemplative thinking has always been a challenge, since we’re distractible” said Nicolas Carr (author of The Shallows: What the internet is doing to our brain). One writer summarized the points Carr makes:
– Greater access to knowledge is not the same as greater knowledge.
– An ever-increasing plethora of facts & data is not the same as wisdom.
– Breadth of knowledge is not the same as depth of knowledge.
– Multitasking is not the same as complexity.
Most of us use our iPhones more than we think. In one study participants estimated an average of 37 uses in a day, but the actual number was around 85! That’s stunning to me.
About ten years ago I noted a rise in impatience. I noted it in email inquiries and in orders. If my business has been criticized to my knowledge, it has been so because of timing. My webperson and I still chuckle that we met in November of 2003 shortly after I published the first complete version of my book, Corset Magic. She was pretty upset when the book didn’t download immediately as it does if you purchase thru amazon.com, and she let me know about her pique in no uncertain terms! I had to tactfully explain that I hand-process orders at my office location, it can take up to five days or more, to receive the ebook link, and (to this day since 1999) I employ no secretary or office assistant. It simply takes time to do business with ROMANTASY, as she quickly understood. We ended up great friends, and she’s my main web adviser today, some 12 years later!
Of course, I try hard to make it worth a client’s while to have some patience, by offering personal assistance, pre-education, real design options (we are not a one-click corset shop), attentive followup, and individual review of all orders. That’s something you can’t get at Walmart or Macys; call ROMANTASY and you’ll get — me, and it’s been that way since I closed my retail shop in 1999.
If you expect a corset to appear like most expect a book, or a website to appear–in 2/5 of a second or less then we move on (per what engineers at Google found in 2012)–then you won’t enjoy corsetry or waist training. That’s especially true if you choose a corset business that has a sole owner who is hands-on.
We are not the only ones with a “low tech-high touch” approach to corsets. To this day some 25 or more years later, a world-class corsetier, Jerone van der Klis of Bizaare Corsetry in Amsterdam, does not employ corsetiers in his atalier; he does all his own corset design and construction work by hand. In fact, he told me not long ago that he no longer announces an expected production time. He only guarantees delivery for special occasions like a wedding.
So what does wearing a corset do, that counters our expectations of instantaneous gratification and diminishes our angst if we don’t have constant new notifications and alerts and downloads? What does it benefit us to waist train — if we still see any benefit in contemplation, meandering thoughts, day dreaming, and not jumping to conclusions and moving on?
Lucy’s book tells the story of several corset enthusiasts who like Temple Grandin, the famed autistic animal expert, enjoy the squeeze of a corset. It calms them down and helps them focus. It reduces their anxiety.
I think wearing corsets and waist training also encourages one (1) to experiment, (2) to keep an open mind, and (3) to understand the fact that corset waist training is highly individualistic.
When my present waist-training coaching program student Ms. T, encountered some right-rib tenderness from time to time when she got to the point of lacing down from a 27″ waist to 25.5″ (over the corset, or 24.5″ under the corset), she initially asked me for a solution. We discussed several, but what I overall advised her to do was to experiment to find what worked best for her, within the general principle of moving toward longer and longer hours of corset wear, no matter the level of waist restriction.
She did just that and is now about to conclude her last two weeks of training. She’s moving into longer hours of daily wear varying between 25.25 and 25.5″ as that level for 6 to 10 hrs turns out to be tolerable.
This is not an inefficient approach to corseting, even if it is not an instantaneous solution to some problem you may encounter in waist training. It is, however, required as an approach to effectiveness.
You need to remain open to solutions and adventurous and inquisitive in your approach. “Know it alls” don’t work in waist training either; you have to be willing to seek advice and asked what has worked for others, so that you have options to test out on your end of training.
Perhaps that is the best use of social media conversations, chats, searches, and posts that last 2/5 of a second, or 140 characters, or perhaps a bit more. Your online friends might just quickly provide myriad ideas of what has worked for them, so that you can sort thru the ideas to see what fits for you, and then experiment gently.
But as the NYT writer said, in general, deep thinkers “need time and don’t fidget.” So too, do waist trainees need time to devote to corseting and need to stay the course and not fidget too soon and off the program to try something new. Don’t lose this ability to take your time, and don’t ignore the above observations, as you enter into and pursue waist training.
The choice is yours to make: MAKE IT HARD–OR MAKE IT WORK!