What happens when you wear a slimming corset for seven years? You get a 16-inch waist.

 

Kelly Lee Dekay started wearing a corset seven years ago, and her waist now measures 16 inches around. Today, she attends and models at fetish events — the fetish, of course, being her exaggerated hourglass figure.

 

Dekay claims to have become inspired in her quest for a tiny waist by female characters from comic books, like X-Men’s Storm. On the exaggerated styles of such characters, Dekay says, “I like that they wore their personalities externally.”

Storm's small waist was a source of inspiration for Dekay's own waist. (wikipedia.org)

Storm’s small waist was a source of inspiration for Dekay’s own waist. (wikipedia.org)

 

Unfortunately, going to such lengths to externally reflect your personality has some alarming repercussions for your internals. As Dekay’s ribs contract, her organs are pushed around to accommodate new spatial confinements.

 

Additionally, performing strenuous activity can be dangerous in a corset. For this reason, Dekay takes it off for the gym and other physically demanding activities. Morewover, she struggles with routine pursuits, like climbing stairs.

 

While Dekay’s endeavors at first may appear to be an embracing of her own body by making a personal decision, some consideration needs to be taken.

 

The image of a small waist — with Storm, for instance — stems from men’s objectification and sexualization of women. Though Dekay may have freely chosen to shrink her waist so drastically, it cannot be ignored that the choice still ties into patriarchal control.

 

In fact, the corset itself can be considered a tool of the patriarchy: an object that confines women — both literally and figuratively — for the purposes of male self-interest.

 

Do you think that Dekay can wear her corset and still be considered a feminist, or do you think she’s working against the achievements of feminism? Let me know below in the comments or on Twitter @ryanlawlessness