Disasters for Women Caused by Tight Shapewear

When I was fifteen, I had a girl friend who was beautiful, with luscious black hair, big clear eyes and great figure.  However, she felt her legs were too short.  Actually her legs were longer than mine.  So she started to wear layers of very tight swim wear in hope of compressing her upper body and lengthening her legs.  When she grew up she became a fan of corset type shapewear, which pushed up her breasts and accentuated her behind, a very attractive figure.  When she walked on the street, many men gave her a second glance.  Like many young girls, I wanted to be attractive and was envious of her beauty.  At the time, neither of us were married and she advised me to wear shapewear to attract man to get a great husband.  However I only lasted two weeks with the new fashion style.  I thought it was better to be without a husband than to suffocate in that kind clothe.  From then on, I never wore shapewear. 

After I became a doctor, once she came to see me and complained of shortness of breath, fatigue, back and hip pain.  She was in her thirties.  A variety of diagnostic tests revealed no cause for her symptoms.  I told her that the tight clothing could be the cause.  The tght corset made her not able to have deep breath all ady along. And also the muscles were weakend.  Day by day and year by year. She had been  deprived oxygen by herself.  Her body couldn’t have enough oxygen supply, than developed shortness of breath and fatigue. Plus tightness block the curculation of blood and lymph system . That’s why she got  so much pain on her back and hips. But she dismissed my concerns and continued to wear the shapewear.  At age forty-nine, lung cancer was diagnosed in her.  I feel that the tight clothing may have contributed to it. 

Early this year, I was treating a patient, an successful woman banker. Before I even walked into the door, I smelt the heavy Chanel perfume wafting from the room. She was a fashionable lady who wore name-brand clothes, with red blouse and elegant white Saks Fifth Avenue coat, and her make-up disguised the fact she was in her forties.  She is also somewhat overweight and the tight shapewear caused folds of fat to spill over the edge of clothing.  She came to me for shortness of breath, fatigue and back aches.  When she was taking her clothe off for my exam, I saw she was wearing an extremely tight corset shapewear.  I advised her that the shapewear is likely the culprit for her symptoms but she didn’t believe me.  The second time she came to see me and said that treatments was not effective. I asked her whether she had continued wearing the shapewear.  The answe was yes.  So I encouraged her again to try not wearing that tight clothing.  This time she consented.  A week later, she called and said she felt much better, with no more shortness of breath, or back pains!  This is a very typical example of woman coming to see me with back pain that’s relieved after they gave up tight clothing. 

From patients like them, I learned that there is a price to be paid in the some ways of pursuing beauty and we should be cautious on how things could affect our health.  Shapewear may enhance your beauty, and can be enjoyed on occasions, such as parties and other social outings, but shouldn’t be worn constantly in daily life.  Is being pretty worth permanent damage to your health?

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49 Responses to Disasters for Women Caused by Tight Shapewear

  1. Margie Lee says:

    I agree that beauty is not worth it. I know people that wear heels and their feet are ruined. Also tight clothes that restrict breathing can’t be good. I wear comfortable clothing so I can breath. With all the other things we have to deal with, why add tight clothing to the list?
    Thank you for this article.

    • marye says:

      Thanks for your input my MOM IS NOW DIBETIC AND FINALLY GAVE UP HER GIRDLE AT 75 ON DOCORS ORDERS AND HER PEDITRIST SAYS HE IS NOW SEEING WOMEN IN THERE 20 AND 30 WITH BAD DEFORMED TOES AND FOOT PAIN BEYOND WORDS. Is it not time we wake up and rebel against these male and fashion beauty imposed sterio types I am a 47 year old women and love that my mother finally gave up her 1950 style girdal! I ALSO WORK IN THE MEDICAL FEILD AND A AM A Vet. I AM A SEXY HEALTHY 160 AND MUSTLED AT 5FOOT 7 AND NO LONGER FEAR MY HEIGHT..ALSO I. BROKE MY LEG WEARING SNEAKERS BUT DO NOT FEEL STURDY IN MY OLD HIGH HEELS SO YES I wear modest traditional shoes!

  2. Suzie says:

    When I was young I tried make-up a few times. I noticed right away a feeling of bondage to the look of the make up and feeling I had to put it on before I could leave the house so, I decided to stop wearing it. Now I’m 54 and was carded last two years ago. People always ask how I look so young – “I never wear make-up!”

    Also, by the time I was 8 I remember getting bad headaches in church. I’m chemically sensitive and get so sick around “fragrance!” You will always see it in quotation marks. This is because “fragrance” falls under trade secret laws made hundreds of years ago to protect business from their recipe of crushed flowers and such. Today, and in the passed five decades or so, “fragrance” is 95 % derived from petroleum. You know!…that’s how they get gas to smell the way it does. And, in fact, you might as well splash on some gas! Also, an important thing to know is that “fragrance” also, has hormone-disrupting effects. See the link to (breatcancerfund.) The fragrance industry is also self regulated!!! Here’s a few helpful links I’ve collected over the years.

    In 2002, I had a mammogram which resulted in surgery for bi-lateral biopsies. It turned out the hard spots where the result of poor support, and lack of knowledge.
    I had also been wrapped in binders after the birth of my son in 1972. I was ruined!!! I never fit properly in a bra and so by now I was desperate. I was brought to an answer when I found “A Bra Boutique.” They went right to work on me and fit me in a “Figurette” which allows for proper lymph fluid flow, and told me in about 5 months my breasts would fill in the cups because they were just sitting in there like two pooched eggs! Well, they did! And in five more months I was in the next size up! Now I’m one size up again and that’s my size. All the breast tissue that had been spread out all around my chest was now back in place!
    Those under wire bras are the worst!! They cut the flow of fluid! SO, anyway, here’s the link to the bra store. In the area of 122 and Powell in SE Portland.
    I don’t see a web page, not surprised.

    BTW, your all beautiful! All those telling you need you need this or that to be beautiful don’t care about YOU but about your MONEY!


    • marye says:

      Yes These are all it seems true You should also looks and cancer causing products at High end cosmetic and cancer You will be shocked at the list and also what is in sun screen.There is was a2011 bill for. the Safe Cosmetic. Act in america industry.Did I MENTION MY MOM HAD CANCER AT 48 OF THE BREAST AND IS NO 75..!?

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  4. Shirl says:

    I too have seen a client with this type of damaged self-image. Mine was a 84 year old woman with ‘severe lowback pain’, difficulty breathing, no appetite. Upon taking a history there were no clear indications for the problem…. This woman did not have a difficult life/job. Her most stressful time was playing bridge. She was very short, barely 5 feet tall and only weighed about 80 lbs. She was obsessed with being “FAT”.
    When I had her indicate where the pain was prior to treatment….it was purely muscle.
    As I got her ready for treatment and began to palpate her…….I discovered she had a garment on that was very constricting. She was wearing the tighest corset I have ever seen………I required her to remove the corset for the treatment and to leave it off all the rest of the day. She felt that the pain had miraculously disappeared and she could take a deep breath without restriction. Days later she called to say the pain was back! When asking what she had done….she admitted that she had to put the corset back on to please her husband. I suggested that she keep it off…..she refused. It seems that her husbands opinion of what constitutes beauty and good health was more important than common sense !

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