Did you know that there are people—adults—with a 16 inch waist?
That's right; despite being a literal baby-sized waist measurement, there are women who have managed to get their waist down to 16 inches—without any surgical interventions.
But even though having a 16″ waist might turn heads in the street and increase your follower count, there are undeniable downsides to having a 16 in waist as an adult.
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Who has a 16 inch waist?
Sarah Vaeth is a woman who currently has a 16 inch waist, which she sculpted by wearing a corset for up to 20 hours per day. Sarah isn't concerned about the health effects of corseting and has her sights set on making her already tiny waistline even smaller.
Considering that Sarah is clearly in great shape, it's likely that her trim figure has helped her (to an extent) to get her waist down to 16 inches. After all, if you have excess body fat, then your waist is naturally going to be bigger, even if you can slim its appearance with a corset.
Sarah notes that shrinking her waist to a point (around 18 inches) wasn't too difficult. However, the mother of one also makes it clear that as the waist becomes smaller, it gets harder to shrink it. This makes sense because it's not like you can infinitely shrink your waist (or any other body part, for that matter).
How small is a 16 inch waist?
How small is a 16 inch waist for a person? While a 16 inch waist might be a normal size for a baby, it's extremely small for an adult and is a completely unrealistic measurement for most people to achieve, even if they use a corset.
When you consider the fact that some people have upper arms and calves that measure 16 inches, you begin to realize just how tiny a 16 inch waistline really is.
There's also little research on the health effects of corsets, especially over the long term. Add in a surging social media trend for making your waist as small as possible, and you have to wonder if any of these tight-lacing corseting ladies will suffer from health problems down the road.
How about a 16.5 inch waist?
A 16.5 inch waist is very small indeed. Even if you got in the best shape of your life and drastically lowered your body fat, your waist would still measure far more than 16.5 inches in circumference.
Some people are drawn to the aesthetics of a 16.5 inch waist because it's indicative of such an extreme hourglass figure, which is a body shape that many women greatly desire to have.
Of course, for 99.99% of people, getting a 16.5″ waist is completely impossible and is indeed a goal that could affect both your mental and physical health.
What are the downsides to having a 16 in waist?
As mentioned, there's not much scientific research exploring the effects of corseting on physical health. However, it's widely believed that waist training—which you would need to do to sculpt a 16 inch waist—can make it harder to breathe, weaken your abdominal muscles, and lead to digestive problems.
On the mental side of things, some women can often feel pressured to keep up appearances for their social media followings. If, for example, they're known as the "woman with a 16 inch waist", then they might be more likely to risk their health by performing aggressive waist training.
Also, there's a chance that you might worsen your look in the eyes of the majority of people that you meet if you have a 16 in waist. This is simply because, at 16 inches, your waist would be out of proportion with your other body parts.
Conclusion: Is sculpting a 16″ waist realistic?
Considering that the average woman has a waistline that's more than double our 16-inch example, sculpting a natural 16 inch waist is completely unrealistic for a woman.
So while wearing a corset now and again for fashion should be fine, you don't want to risk your health by wearing a tight one all the time because there's no evidence that waist training is completely safe.
Ultimately, sculpting a 16″ waist is unrealistic. But you can always slim your stomach by exercising and working on your abdominal muscles with resistance training.
- Dailymail.com. (2019, September 6). Mother-of-one wants to match the record for the world’s SMALLEST waist at 15 INCHES. Mail Online. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7435559/Mother-one-wants-match-record-worlds-SMALLEST-waist-15-INCHES.html
- The Effect of Waist Trainers on Breathing. (2018). Respiratory Care, 63. http://rc.rcjournal.com/content/63/Suppl_10/3012838
- Fee, E., Brown, T. M., Lazarus, J., & Theerman, P. (2002). The effects of the corset. American journal of public health, 92(7), 1085. https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.92.7.1085