Worries of Waist Training

It seems new trends come left and right, whether it being the latest hairstyle, blue being the new black, or the never-ending latest diet fad.

A new fad among some women to hit the scene is tight lacing, or better known as waist training. This is the practice of wearing a tightly laced corset to slim your mid-drift.

There are various reasons why women would put their bodies into such extremes. One in particular is to hopefully lose inches off of their waist. While other popular goals is to maintain an hourglass shape or to help lose post pregnancy weight.

With this, one would be reshaping their ribcage to the desired silhouette.

This is new but not so. Corsets were first worn by male and female Minoans of Crete, though it did not become popular until the 16th century France and remained a fashionable dress until the French Revolution. Though, wearing a corset during these times were for different reasons.

Women would wear them to push up their breasts so they would peek over the corset, creating a bustier look, as well as a less rigid bodice.

As time passed, style had evolved. Until the 1840’s were the desire for a tighter silhouette was desired. It wasn’t until the late years of the Victorian era that medical reports and rumors claimed that tight lacing was fatally detrimental to health.

Then again, in the late 1900s the small corseted waist was no longer fashionable. That is until now, in the new millennium, the trend has been reintroduced.

Waist training today works as so, first one is recommended to do research. Find out exactly what goal they are trying to achieve and the severity they are willing to go.

Then there is finding out the corset preference. There are a few, such as, brocade, cotton, leather and satin. What they all do have in common is that they are steel boned, helping to keep a maintained shape in the corset.

Tiffani, a team member and video blogger for the Orchard Corset Blog, says that there is no one answer when you will see results. Numerous factors contribute to results. It all depends on your commitment. How many hours and days you wear the corset, and if you are incorporating diet and exercise.

It is advised that to have proper results you must incorporate all of this.

With popular celebrities such as the Kardashian clan and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, who swear by this based on their social media updates, their adoring fans are easy to follow.

Jessica Alba, another believer of waist training, revealed to Net-A-Porter magazine that she “wore a double corset day and night for months,” to help rid her post pregnancy weight.

Now whether this works or not, the most important question to ask is, is it safe?

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical professor of OBGYN at Yale School of Medicine, says once you take the garment off, your body will return to its usual shape. It’s also uncomfortable, restricts your movements, and if you wear it really tight, it can even make it difficult to breathe and theoretically could cause rib damage. There are plenty other statistics about this but I am not going to list them all just yet.

This also plays into a psychological sense. Meaning, using the media to convince women they should portray a certain body image.

Psychologist Marci Lobel this can help produce eating disorders in women. Some studies, such as “The Thin Ideal,” show that girls in the second grade, who see their moms and women in the media striving for this “perfect body,” begin to develop body image issues at a younger age. Claiming that they hate their bodies, want to lose weight and are already on a diet.

 It seems that at the end of the day there is going to only be two things to get your body into a slimmer shape, diet and exercise, or just be happy with who you are.

The freedom to be yourself

Gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender. These titles are all identifiers, but do they need to define who you are?

There are not many current statistics on the transgender community. This topic is something that is not often discussed or talked about as a social norm.

Cate Brenner shared her story with me about her struggle to be comfortable with who she is today.

audio project better from Krysten Massa on Vimeo.




Living in a nation reviled by another nation

Luigi Pesce Ibarra, a 24-year-old neuroscience graduate student at Stony Brook University, is from Venezuela, a nation ruled under socialism.

The late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez (Picture obtained through Creative Commons).

He lived under the administrations of the late Hugo Chavez and the incumbent Nicolas Maduro. With lack of democracy, both presidents ruled with an iron fist and reviled nations such as the United States.

Currently, Venezuela is in economic turmoil where inflation is over 60 percent and basic necessities and food are hard to come by. Protests resulted because of this and protestors, as well as opposition leaders, are arrested and jailed.

Now that Ibarra lives in the United States, his life here has been a “180 degree turn” from what it was in Venezuela.

Freedom from Addiction

Heather Manson, a 20-year-old Brooklyn native, sees freedom in a different way than others. At the age of 13, Manson started her abuse of drugs.

Growing up in a household of addiction Manson feels that she was trapped in a lifestyle she would eventually fall into. Stating that in the area of Brooklyn she lived in, being on drugs seemed to be more of a norm. After years of struggling with this vicious life cycle her family went through, she decided there was more to life.

With the final decision to move away to Florida, she was able to free her self from the demons she lived with.

Save-A-Pet animal shelter fights for animal rights

Save-A-Pet animal rescue has been helping Long Island animals find their forever homes since 1994. The volunteers at the shelter have closed down pet stores, saved sick and injured animals and protested against poor animal treatment in addition to housing abandoned animals for as long as they need.

Lynne Schoepfer is the executive director at the animal rescue. She’s grown up with animals her whole life and has always worked to help them lead better lives. Schoepfer has dedicated her time at Save-A-Pet to finding animals a loving home and stopping those who take away what an animal needs to be free.

A Driver’s License: The key to freedom

Growing up, all somebody wants to do is be older, have a driver’s license and go wherever they want. Stony Brook University junior Ria Hossain is almost there. She’s got her license, but the car is just out of reach at the moment.

During this podcast, she talks about her life growing up in New York City and how she has to rely on the Metro Transit Authority wherever she goes. It starts to become a pain, and her schedule starts to rely on theirs.

With a long school commute that could be easily cut at least in half and friends out on Long Island that are out of reach, a car is the only thing keeping her from the ultimate freedom of being able to go where she wants, when she wants.

Gaming free

Jennifer Dziuba, 23, a lifelong gamer and aspiring video game developer, delved into gaming culture, the changing industry and how free women are to game online in peace in this interview. When the semester ends, she will graduate with a degree in Video Game Design and Development from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The gaming industry is still dominated by men, but Dziuba is unintimidated in her career path. Dziuba represents the growing number of women entering the gaming workforce. Game development and gaming in general, she said, never weren’t options for her. Gender was irrelevant.

She has, mostly, averted a largely toxic online environment for women. Whether it’s the game’s story, law-breaking theatrics or being able to play with friends, video games have always proven liberating for her. She has 100s of hours each in the Saints Row and Pokémon games, Team Fortress 2, Skyrim and other games across countless consoles and her gaming laptop.