The Truth About Waist Trainers

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If you have ever been tempted to follow Kim Kardashian's lead and don a waist trainer in the pursuit of an hourglass figure, Laura Willcox has a word of advice for you: don't. In the latest episode of her series Femme Ed on Refinery29's comedy channel, RIOT, Willcox explores the waist trainer's allure, as well as its consequences.

"It was the great social scientist Sir Mix-A-Lot who once said, 'little in the middle, but she got much back,'" she notes. "Dr. Mix-A-Lot's words highlight our culture's obsession with the hourglass figure."

Sex appeal aside, constricting your midsection and therefore also your internal organs with a Renaissance-reminiscent garment that makes it difficult to breathe is — to put it mildly — not recommended. "The MRI that I saw on my patient who was wearing one at the time, you can actually see her ribs moving into her liver, so the liver had ripples where the ribs were," Holly Phillips, MD, tells Willcox of the waist trainer's medical dark side. In response, we have three words: No. Thank. You.

Watch the video above for the full story on this inadvisable accessory.