Nerina OrtonWhile photo retouching is the fastest the 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 and 23 hours a day, including when she sleeps. She only removes it to bathe and eats six small meals a day to keep 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 insides move around a lot," she says. "So the doctor checks that my organs aren't being damaged." 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. She says that she realized that she wasn't achieving the "Jessica Rabbit" look she craved through banishing food and, after about a year, 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."