A shortcut to a curvaceous body
The faja is a girdle imported from Colombia and apparently it is on the comeback, and not only among the Colombian community. Corsets and girdles are nothing new but the ones in question had originally been designed as postoperative wear for people recovering from liposuction procedures in order to ensure proper healing. All of a sudden the faja had been discovered for its other qualities and other uses. It was seen as an effective method to hide and shift fat around the body and women on all sides of the spectrum, whether heavy or skinny, desired to alter their shapes to what most women consider to be that beauty ideal of a guitar-like or coke-bottle like body shape. Those who wear the faja will attest to the fact that it’s not like putting on a pair of socks or slipping into underwear, it’s usually a bit of a struggle to wriggle oneself into them, and tug on the material in an attempt to shove all the flesh inside, and by use of hooks and a zipper they ensure that body fat is properly hidden from any suspecting eye. Funny how as I’m writing this I have been thinking about Sofia Vergara, and her amazing physique, and wondering whether she too wears a faja to achieve her spectacular looks? But I’ve seen her in a bathing suit, and on second thought the faja had probably been designed according to her specific measurements! I ’m not quite sure that I would go to this extreme, where my comfort would become jeopardized for the sake of my looks, I’ve been known to give away a pair of shoes that I’ve worn for an hour or two if I discover that I had made a mistake by purchasing them, and in fact they had been extremely uncomfortable, albeit they look fantastic on my feet. My bra has a way of routinely coming off in the car when I’m tired after a long day and all I want is to feel comfortable. But for all of those haters of love handles, who can’t get rid of them no matter what, it’s all good news I suppose.
From the photos in the article the girdle looks like it would be lumpy under clothes...that is my biggest issue with them. I know a lot of women (mostly moms) who wear "body smooothers" like spanx, but a lot have the boneing in them and I am clueless how to wear them and not have them pop out or fold over when you sit down. I've had 3 kids and body shapers do help with certain outfits. I too like to relax and the end of the day, and I also agree some shoes are meant for sitting (or dancing on poles!), but my friends who wear them love them because they don't have to suck their tummies in all night and they can enjoy themselves (eat and drink) without feeling overly full in certain clothing. I've had 3 kids and I'm not about to have surgery to get rid of excess baby skin, so if undergarments like this help a girl out and make me feel more confident then I guess its a plus. A few years ago I was shocked when I joined a bunch of friends in the bathroom and I was the only one not wearing one--and these are all moms who are healthy.
Somehow I doubt Sofia Vergara wears one; to me, she seems like a natural beauty and she probably works really hard for her physique.
I'm not generally a fan of shapewear for everyday use. I wore a tummy-tucker thing for my wedding and I sometimes break it out again if I want to wear something clingy that would reveal my belly pooch, but those occasions are few and far between for me. I know others, though, who swear by Spanx and such even for everyday wear.
Personally I would not want to spend all day sitting at my desk at work with one of these on, no matter how great it made me look. I have found that tummy-shapers are always way more uncomfortable for sitting down than for standing around looking pretty, especially for people like me who look pretty fit and trim when standing but get a big belly pooch when sitting down. So IMO, not worth the trouble - but to each her own!
I have nothing against shape wear, but this sounds a little too close to the corsets of 100+ years ago that could really do some damage. The article mentions organ shifting and the zipper forcing the air out of your lungs. For me, that is going way too far.
I would be concerned about wearing them on a regular basis, especially for folks who are doing things that required core strength. Having this kind of artificial support weakens you back and ab muscles, so you end up becoming dependant on them. There are also digestive issues to worry about. I also wouldn't let a teenager wear them except on a special occasion. Their bodies are still growing, so the issues are compounded. Plenty of folk are into corsetry, and thanks to the web, there's a lot of info on how to do it fairly safely.
Porshka, tightlacing smushes your organs around in a similar way to carrying a baby! Modern corsetry isn't really dangerous unless you lace too aggressively, especially if the corset doesn't fit you well in the first place, or just lack common sense :)
I wouldn't even call corsetry a shortcut to curves though, let alone more moderate shapewear. More like a way to temporarily fake it. If ooonly the curves stuck...
That looks frighteningly like a corset.
I've done some research into corsets, actually. Both for personal curiosity, and for research for my stories (as I need to have some kind of underwear in a pre-renaissance world!), and the things that turned up are... fascinating, but also a bit disturbing.
Put basically, if you were to go out and dish out the dough (talking about upwards of $300 here) for a "proper" corset, they would ask you what your waist is in inches. And then, they would send you a corset that is about two inches smaller than that. This is your "corset size." I'm not talking about tightlacing. Corsets, while pretty and fun sometimes, can become quite detrimental when worn constantly. Much like a weight belt, it can cause your body to rely on the garment, rather than muscles, and you'll lose much of your muscle in the abs and transverse abdominus.
And then, there's tightlacing. This is what it's called when a person wants that extreme "wasp waist" figure. They get the corset, and lace it too tight. And, as your body attempts to grow accustomed to that shape, you keep tightening. You WILL eventually conform to that shape, even without the corset on. However, you are removing about 10 years off your life by doing so, because it's not moving the fat around... you're altering, squishing, and potentially damaging all of your organs. They generally get pushed up into the diaphragm, which means you have very little space to breathe. I imagine this is why so many women back then tended to pass out, and why we have those "corsets make you faint" jokes.
So... yeah. It's sort of like Chinese foot binding.
I love corsets. I love the way they look and what they do for your figure and the lift for the chest, all of that. But ONLY for occasions. Rarely do I ever wear a corset... no matter how much I love them. And I certainly don't go down two inches off my waist size when I lace them up. And, well... I wish I could afford a well made one, just to have it ;)
I've made a few corsets (like real ones with spring steel bones, which are actually pretty flexible) in the past, and my opinion is that as long as you aren't lacing it too tightly, there's no problem with short-term wear. The ones that I make have a busk in the front, and once you've laced the corset to a *comfortable* tightness, you never have to lace it again, you just open and shut the busk.
Also, the fact that you get a corset two inches smaller than your waist really isn't as ghoulish as it sounds- you'd also have two or more inches of lacing between the two back edges. If you lace it all the way shut then, yes, you are doing something that's not good for your body, but kind of goes without saying that moving your organs around is bad, no?
Anyway, corsets = only as bad as the way you use them