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Going through extreme measures to be thin is often thought of as a modern day affliction. But Cathie Jung of North Carolina is a rare reminder that the pursuit of "beauty" has always been popular and often times painful. Jung, also known as the corset queen, has worn a corset every day for the past 12 years to obtain her shockingly small 15-inch waist. Corsets were extremely popular in Victorian Times as a means to obtain the ever-desirable hourglass figure. They essentially squeeze the lower part of the rib cage together, compressing all the organs inside, most notably the lungs, bladder, and stomach, ultimately impairing the function of all three. The seriousness of health complications simply depends on the frequency with which a corset is worn and how tight a corset is laced. Cathie Jung claims that wearing corsets has never led to health complications for her. Although Jung holds the record now for smallest waist on a living person, the record for the smallest waist ever goes to Ethel Granger, whose waist measured an astonishing 13 inches. Jung commented on modern people’s take on this old fashion tradition, “A lot of people think its wonderful, but some people think it’s ridiculous, perhaps they’re jealous because they’re overweight.” Or perhaps it really is just ridiculous.
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