BODY SCULPTING: RETURN OF THE SMALL WAIST
Welcome to the first extract from Fakir Musafar‘s Body Play & Modern Primitives Magazines. I’ve split up the article into two sections so you aren’t bombarded with so much text. I’m really honoured to be able to bring this information to you. I have some more wonderful images and stories to share with you in the “Conversations with Fakir” page, but I’m still working on it. I’ll let you know when it’s up and running.
A young man’s vision.
Once upon a time in 1958, a young man who was quite caught up costume design had a vision. He saw himself and agrowing number of others creating small waists on themselves, in his studies of other cultures and times. He had learned that the aesthetic ideal of an attenuated torso – “a wasp like waist” – had been a cherished prize, a source of erotic pleasure and a reality both in ancient history and the recent past.
This particular body modification held a powerful spell over peoples ranging from the Minoans of ancient Crete (3000BC – both men and women) to the young men of New Guinea (lbitoe) to European and American cultures from 1500 to 1910. The fashion came and went in cycles. And it always returned. There were promises of a return in the fashions of the late 1950′s. Why not a full return in the 1960′s?
So our young, fledgling corsetier embarked on a two year program to rediscover the ancient and not-so-ancient secrets for creating a small waist. He soon learned that a small waist too persistence, planning, patience and a well-made training belt and/or corset. The last extant corset patterns were designed in the 1850-1895 period. so he rendered some of these designs in 3-D fabrics. But they wouldn’t fit anybody he knew. People had changed. They were now taller, thinner and differently proportioned. Also these old patterns could not be radically modified to do the complex body sculpting required of them.
New Corsets for Modern Bodies
Obviously, new patterns had to be designed for modern figures. But there was no guidebook, history or record of how the last corsetiers did it. Examining old corsets and reading between the lines, he deduced that corsetiers of prior times had been unsung geniuses. Designing an effective corset took in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology, psychology, mechanical engineering, art and magic! Using these various skills, the last corsetiers had sculpted mannequins to assume the shape of specific modified bodies. They then made corset patterns directly on the mannequin using techniques similar to those employed by mechanical engineers to design a structure, like a bridge.
Self-taught in anatomy/physiology and armed with the physical measurements of 200 modern figures (approximated from the drama department’s costume shop at San Francisco State University), the young corsetier began sculpting mannequins for the most common corset-modified figure types including his own. This project took a year. Then another year was spent designing and experimenting with corset patterns and construction techniques to render these patterns into workable, wearable garments for body sculpting.
The very first corsets he made were put to immediate use modifying his own body. An intensive 3 month period of continual tightlacing reduced his normal 25″ waist to 19″ [see photo 1 - "The Perfect Gentleman"]. However, the young corsetier had a head start. By the time he produced the first new corsets for modern figures, he had already sculpted his waist for some 10 years on and off wearing of wide training belts. These had pre-reduced his waist from 29″ to 25″.
All tis personal experimentation and research resulted in a wealth of information on body sculpting which will be available in future issues of BP&MPQ (for example, Physiology of Tightlacing, How to Make a Small Waist etc.) In brief the young corsetier sorted fact from fiction discovering these principles:
- Anyone can reduce the waist from 3″ to 6″ in hours by slowly tightening a belt or corset. However, this sculpting is only temporary. After several hours, the constriction increases discomfort until pain in the lower back (kidney area) and upper hips becomes unbearable and he corset or belt must be removed.
- Long-term or permanent torso sculpting is a 24-hour per day lifestyle that requires slow, planned reduction. It demands patience and major changes in eating, activity and sleeping habits. If gone about properly, the longer the corset or belt is worn during a single time period, the more comfortable, natural and erotic it becomes.
Back to the vision. The young corsetier (then 29) spent the next three years making corsets and promoting the cause of small waists. About 150 enthusiastic clients were eventually located, but not enough to make his business, the Hourglass Corset Company, a self-supporting financial success. In retrospect, the Hourglass enterprise was way ahead of its time. So corsets and body sculpting remained a personal passion, a hobby, and other work was found. Twenty years passed before another attempt was made to offer his unique, body-sculpting corset designs to the public at large.
In 1980 the young corsetier (now the Ol’ Corsetier) had the good fortune to meet Ruth and Lou, a couple who expressed genuine interest in body sculpting and corset making. A friendship developed. An agreement was made. B.R Creations (BRC) became the exclusive licensee to make and sell original corsets designed by the young corsetier. The agreement included a one-year training period for Ruth who proved to be a most worthy and apt student. Over the next ten years, interest in body-sculpting corsets grew at an amazing rate. BRC orders grew by leaps and bounds, the customer base went from hundreds to thousands. Small waists were definitely on the comeback trail by 1991.
In August 1991, BRC received a record number of corset orders. But unlike the same period in the prior year, waist sizes ordered were getting smaller. Over half of them were for waists from 18″ to 24″. And a fair number of even smaller waists were known to be in the making. These small waists, the handiwork at the young corsetier’s earlier vision, were by now beginning to appear in public places. You can imagine his delight on a September day in 1990 when he met one of them, quite by chance, at a crowded street fair in San Francisco.
Next time: Part 2 – Lauren’s Seventeen Inch Waist
All images and text reproduced with the Kind permission of Fakir Musafar. Body Play and Modern Primitives Quarterly Vol.1 No. 1. 1992