These two terms that refer to similar, although not identical, practices could do with a bit of myth busting! When most of us have some desire to achieve an alternative body shape, it’s easy to get sucked into the idea that something could change your shape permanently. But at what cost? What actually are these things, how do they differ from standard shapewear, is it safe, and does it work? Let’s delve into the world of body shaping and waist training…!
What is Body Shaping?
Body shaping, or sculpting, refers to non surgical techniques designed to decrease the number of fat cells in specific areas of your body. They often involve heat, cold or ultrasound methods to target fat cells and remove them from your body. The procedures tend to be around 25 minutes long (designed to fit within a lunch break!) They often require a period of several sessions to have any effect.
What is Waist Training?
The concept behind waist training is that with long term use of high compression garments, your internal structure is altered to give your waist a more defined shape. The key here is that the change is intended to be present even without wearing a body shaping garment. This practice is nothing to do with fat cells, more the structure of your body. However, one waist training practice is to wear the corset whilst working out. The idea here is to stimulate thermal activity in your core to sweat more during activity. In addition, the waist trainer’s high compression can force you to eat fewer and smaller meals.
How do they differ from Shapewear?
Shapewear garments are not designed to change your body forever. They are intended to work in combination with your wardrobe to gently create the look that you want. Clearly, the silhouette that we wish to project can change depending on the situation. This is what shapewear allows. So the differences really lie in flexibility, permanency and compression.
Does it work?
This is one of those unanswerable questions! Whether body shaping and waist training techniques have a lasting impact on your body will range from person to person. What one woman swears by could be completely ineffectual for another. Often women find that waist training only changes their shape for the time that they are wearing the waist trainer itself. Which begs the question, why not just invest in a good pair of control briefs! Body shaping procedures can be costly and are again variable in their results.
What are the dangers?
Both waist training and body shaping practices are incredibly unpredictable. Some people find they achieve the results they want, others notice no change. Some experience adverse reactions. Waist training specifically compresses your bladder, lungs, kidneys and ribs as well as your stomach. So extended use can clearly carry hazards to the function of your organs.
So, what’s the verdict?
Really, the same rules apply to waist training and body shaping as they would for any new physical regime. Proceed with caution. Go easy on yourself and balance the risks. Could the changes that you want to make to your body be achieved in another way? Is a more temporary solution more sustainable for your physical and mental health? A corset can give you a dramatic shape for that special occasion, but is it really something you desire every day? On the whole, the changes that shapewear makes to a body are more subtle and gentle. So consequently are more sustainable.
At Elle Courbee, we want to celebrate the wonderful range of body shapes that exist in the world. We’re about creating a look and a shape for an occasion or for daily confidence. We’re not about changing you – you’re great just the way you are!