Being able to stand up unassisted is definitely preferable
has burst back into pop culture, catapulted by none other than the Kardashians, of course. The thinking is simple: wear a waist trainer that cinches in your middle and hope that eventually your body will take on that desired hourglass shape even when you’re not wearing it. While Mrs West would have us believe that her almost miraculous post-North weight loss was the result of a gruelling gym routine, she couldn’t keep her secret for too long. When she first posted a photograph wearing her waist trainer, I breathed a sigh of ‘I knew it’ relief. And then googled to find out more. Retailers are now producing special ‘fitness waist trainers’ and ‘sports waist cinchers’; well-constructed works of latex and plastic that supposedly help you target your abdomen when working out.They apparently compress your core and make you sweat more, with the weight loss aspect extending to you simply not being able to eat as much.And much like Kim,Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, the slimmer your waist looks, the more voluptuous your curves appear. But while the aesthetic benefits might be worth the discomfort for some,the‘weight loss’ you’re seeing is unlikely to be a loss of fat; the leaner look could be attributed to a redistribution of fat and organs in the abdomen. Getting that hourglass shape by sweating it out under a latex waist trainer is also not necessarily an indication of weight loss.Sweating is the loss of water, and while you may look and feel less bloated, you’re not losing fat. Working out while wearing a waist cincher automatically cuts down the amount of oxygen you are able to inhale, leaving you short of breath. According to experts, a lack of oxygen could contribute to metabolic syndrome – which slows down your metabolism and results in weight gain.In more extreme cases, the pressure could cause broken ribs and collapsed lungs. And as much as a waist trainer is focused on and will support the core, if you haven’t strengthened your core sufficiently prior to training,extensive use of a waist trainer will decrease core strength over time. No matter how good a slender waist looks, being able to stand up unassisted is definitely preferable. I, for one, am going to give the quick fix (and rather frightening health risks) a skip. Would you pull a Kim K and wear a waist trainer? Tweet us
I participated in a round-table discussion on feminism and what it means to be a ‘modern-day woman’, hosted by eNCA news anchor and Power FM presenter, Iman Rappetti. While introducing ourselves, I was struck by an entrepreneur in her 30s who described herself as ‘child-free.’ It was only after she explained the difference between childless and child-free that I took in the impact of her statement:a childless woman is one who wants children but doesn’t have them yet, while a child-free woman doesn’t want to be a mother. She then explained how her stance on not wanting children is often met with shock and judgement – as if the biological ability to fall pregnant somehow puts you in a situation where you are expected to do it. In the event that you are so bold as to not want to bear children, you lose points for reneging on your duties.Worse, still, is that this judgement often comes from other women.Why is that? I have found the treatment to be similar for women who choose not to get married.That is why we have derogatory phrases: spinsters and (loosely translated as ‘all the men who have been with you have passed on you’). Irrespective of the language used, the phrase suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong with you as a woman for not getting married.
The operative word for me in both these instances is ‘choice’: choosing not to have children or to get married. Is this not what women have fought for – the right to make our own decisions?