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?