STYLE

Woman Wears Corset For Seven Years To Get 16-Inch Waist

10/31/2014 01:07 EDT | Updated 11/03/2014 01:59 EST

Kim Kardashian's not the only one who's "training" her waist.

Model Kelly Lee Dekay achieved a 16-inch waist after practicing "tight-lacing," which involves wearing a tightly-laced corset at all times.

The 27-year-old New Yorker started shaping her waist seven years ago after being inspired by female superheroes and the cartoon character Jessica Rabbit, who's known for her hour-glass figure.


"Growing up, I just loved the exaggeration of styles and the beautiful costumes that comic book characters would wear and that led to the aesthetic that led to tight-lacing," she told the Daily Mail. "I've always loved how certain pieces of garments gave you permission to let out certain parts of you. So I think that's what tight lacing does for me, I wanted to become my own superhero villain."

She's also quick to point out that she's not pulling a Kim Kardashian, who has recently posted pics of herself wearing a waist trainer.

"I'm not a waist trainer. I'm a tight-lacer. I'm a corset fetishist, my tight-lacing goes beyond vanity. I love the artistry in the construction of the corset and the people who are part of that culture," she told Cosmopolitan.com.

A photo posted by Kelly Lee Dekay (@kellyleedekay) on


Aside from the shape the corset gave her, Kelly told BuzzFeed that she also adores the fashion element the corset brings to her outfits.

"I fell in love with the brocade, the zipping sound the laces made as it got tighter and the overall beauty of a corset. I love the different silhouettes different types of corsets create. There’s something very romantic about it."

However, it's worth noting that the LGBTQ activist did not consult a doctor before using the corset to slim down her waist, although she had a tight-lacer mentor and now visits a doctor regularly.

Waist shaping obviously comes with its detractors and doctors have warned that corsets and waist-shapers can cause internal damage. They also specifically warn against "tight-lacing" for young women, as their bodies are still growing.


Kelly, however, says that she's "in perfect health" and rejects critics' argument that she's not a "good feminist" for wearing a corset.

"I know for sure I'm going to get a lot of heat for [saying I'm a feminist] given corsets' dark history," she told Cosmopolitan.com. "I started tight-lacing for me. I enjoy it. I wear my personality on the outside. But is it for everyone? No, absolutely not. But it's my body and my decision. Telling someone to conform to your idea of feminism is still oppression. People have this sense of entitlement over a woman's body. I reject that entitlement and choose to do the things that make me happy. That's feminist. My body, my choice."