History of Tightlacing

 History Of Tightlacing


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Tightlacing is what is now referred to as “waist training.” You are strapping the old waist in to try to make it smaller than it really is. Over time, you can shift your body’s organs and deform your lower ribcage in the name of a tiny waist. Not that this is a good idea, but some people are into it.

Before you consider getting into tightlacing yourself, you should consider the effect it has on your body. While there has been no known issues regarding effects on some organs, there has been proof that tightlacing can put unnecessary strain on your lower lungs. In modern society, it may not be as big of a deal, but will make you more prone to catching pneumonia since you can’t fully expand your lungs. Additionally it can adversely affect your breasts, though not in a fatal way. The worst is really though that you cannot digest a meal if you are tightlaced in a corset. The food will not have ample passageway to make it through your digestive tract and is just a bad idea.

Here are a few notable people who have made their place in history for having a small corseted waist.


Cathie Jung: Jung is an American born in 1937 who holds the record in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the smallest waist. Her corseted waist is a whopping 15 inches. Uncorseted, which I hope she does more often than not, her waist is 21 inches. Corsets are meant to slim your waist by an inch or two. Six is a bit excessive.

Polaire: Polaire (1874-1939) was a French performer and one of the early film actresses in the beginnings of French cinema. She was famous when tightlacing was in fashion and she quickly became known for having the smallest waist in show business. History says that her waist was no bigger than 16 inches around making her waist a goal to be had.


Dita Von Teese: Von Teese (1972) is a modern burlesque performer who is also well-known as the ex-wife of Marilyn Manson. In the burlesque world she is the focus of a lot of fetishes due to her tightlacing. She has been wearing corsets since the age of 15 and her 22-inch waist can be tightlaced to 16.5 inches.

Violet Chachki: Just to add some color in this list of people, Violet Chachki, born in 1992, is a male to female drag queen is reported to have the smallest waist in drag history. Chachki can corset her waist to an impressive 18 inches. And even though an hourglass is certainly not a natural shape for a male body type, Chachki pulls it off looking completely natural.


Elisabeth of Austria: In this list, I find the Empress to be the most tragic victim to tightlacing. Where the modern counterparts have done so willingly as a fashion statement, I don’t think that is the same kind of case with Elisabeth. She had gone through a bad period of time. She had three kids back to back who were then taken from her to be raised by her mother-in-law. It was after this that she started tightlacing. Through some intense efforts, she got her waist down to 16 inches, demonstrating her discipline over her own body. She had a loathing attitude toward curving and overweight people, something she even passed onto her daughter who was mortified when she met Queen Victoria. It was reported she eventually gave up the tightlacing, but even then her natural waist was about 19 inches. I find her tragic as it seems like an old-fashioned explain of what would most likely be an eating disorder today.

I started writing this blog about corsets kind of due to a morbid fascination. I had seen the propaganda from the 19th century that had demonstrated warped rib cages and declared all of the horrible side effects that had come from wearing the corset. Read More…


How to Shop for a Corset

Inès Gache-Sarraute and Deforming the Spine

Kimmy K and the Corset Revival

The Faces of the History of Tightlacing

The True Story of the Corset


about Corsets
Corset Revival
Deforming the Spine
History of Tightlacing
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Story of the Corset


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