Be­ing able to stand up unas­sisted is def­i­nitely prefer­able

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - FILTER -

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?

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