At 15.7 inches around, twenty-two-year-old Nerina Orton’s waist is the tiniest in Britain. Orton is a 5 foot 4 inch biomedical sciences student at London Metropolitan University and burlesque dancer in Birmingham. Orton achieved her small waist through years of restrictive corset wearing, which she started doing at 14 years old. She currently owns 78 corsets, which she values at approximately 15,000 British pounds. She wears one between 20 and 23 hours per day, only taking it off to shower.
Her waist is so small in fact that she’s only 0.7 inches away from holding the Guinness World Record. Currently, the title is held by 75-year-old American Cathie Jung who still shows off her 15-inch waist. In 2006, Jung even appeared on the Tyra Banks show with her husband, an orthopedic surgeon, who assured the audience that his wife’s corset wearing was generally harmless and actually helped with posture. Apparently the Jungs never expected it to go as far as it did; they didn’t think of it as body modification, they just wanted to make Cathie’s waist smaller. Asked about the negative side of restrictive corset wearing, Cathie explains that it’s difficult to drive a car, sit comfortably, and dress and undress. There are social problems associated with it too, as many people don’t understand why she wants to reduce her waist.
Orton however, explained that she can feel the unpleasant feeling of her organs moving around when she removes the corset. Moreover, she can’t eat very much, so she must eat six times a day. She must also get regular check ups to make sure she isn’t damaging any internal organs. Her ribs have moved closer together so the doctor must ensure that her spine hasn’t moved improperly.
But for her, wearing the Victorian-styled corsets aren’t just about being sexy but a way of life. She does mention, however, that wearing corsets makes her feel feminine and gives her some more pronounced hips. She admits that people stare at her, but she doesn’t mind. She enjoys being the center of attention. Her goal? To beat Jung’s current Guinness World Record with a waist reduction of 14 inches.