Nerina OrtonWhile photo retouching is the fastest route to a nipped-in waist, Nerina Orton, a college student from Birmingham, England achieves her waspish figure the old-fashioned way: by wearing a corset. Orton's natural waist is about 24 inches, but laced tight it shrinks down to 15.7 inches --less than an inch away from grabbing the Guinness World Record's "smallest waist on a living person," a title currently held by American Cathie Jung and her 15-inch miniature middle. Orton tells the Daily Mail her goal is squeeze into a 14-inch corset.
In a video produced by The Sun, the part-time burlesque dancer says she wears the custom-made garment an average of 22 to 23 hours a day, including when she sleeps. She only removes it to bathe. Orton eats six small meals a day to prevent her stomach from bloating.
While Orton claims her extreme fashion regime isn't harming her body, she acknowledges she gets x-rays twice a year to assess her spine and ribcage. "My ribs have moved closer together, so the doctor checks my spine to make sure it hasn't moved out of line or fractured.," she says. In the video, red welts are clearly visible on her back when she loosens the laces.
Orton tells the Mail that her mother, Gini Greer, provided her with her first corset when she was only 14 years old. She now owns 78 corsets valued at more than $25,000. "I was a bit chubby and wanted a corset to make me look slimmer." Two years later, she developed anorexia and her weight dropped from about 120 to 84 pounds. After about a year, she recovered from her eating disorder.
While Orton says she loves the feminine style of the corset, her obsession with physical modification still carries echoes of a body dysmorphic disorder related to her teenage bout with anorexia. "For me wearing a corset isn't just about looking sexy or being sexy," she says, "It's a way of life."