Wasp waist

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Olga de Meyer Caracciolo, 1902

With wasp waist is in fashion a particularly narrow, emphasized waist referred to (as well as the waist of a wasp, especially the members of the insect-subordination of apocrita ). Especially in women's fashion, the wasp waist is determined from time to time as an ideal to be striven for. The narrowing of the waist occurs primarily through corsets , but also through belts , elastic corsetry , corselets , corsages .


Polistes gallicus with wasp waist

Probably the oldest mention of the wasp waist is found in the Fatimid librarian Ash-Shabushi (or Sabusti, died 1008) in his book on monasteries in the Islamic area. There the following poem is attributed to the Caliph Almanon . It refers to Christian girls of the court who wore a so-called Christian belt (see Dhimma ), which was probably responsible for the waist. It reads (quoted from the translation by H. Preißler):

They are like gazelles , like golden dinars , lovely in white robes.
Palm Sunday brought them to us with their beautiful belts
. They have long curls and swallowtails.
They have delicate waists, they look like wasps.

The female wasp waists were particularly pronounced in times of tight corsets with strong lacing . This was mainly the case in the late 17th and 18th centuries, between around 1840 and 1910, and after World War II in the late 1940s and 1950s ( New Look ). To achieve an even more extreme wasp waist, some women still have their lower ribs surgically removed today .

Medical consequences

Deformation of the chest due to excessive lacing of the waist with corsets (Fig. From 1892)

A tight constriction can result in shortness of breath or fainting . After getting used to it for a long time, these problems usually no longer occur. If the lacing is too tight over a long period of time, the internal organs can be damaged. Even a naturally particularly slim, untied waist is sometimes referred to as a wasp waist, although in reality there is no waist circumference that is as narrow as the historical ideal.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Sarah Peters: Sophia Wollersheim - How dangerous it is to have four ribs removed , Express , July 4, 2017, seen on June 13, 2018.
  2. Jane M. Ussher: Women's health: contemporary international perspectives. Wiley-Blackwell, 2000, p. 17 .
  3. Bernhard Langkabel: Man and his races. Dietz, Stuttgart 1892, p. 15f.

Web links

Commons : Wasp waists  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files