Wasp Waist

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Fashion A term referring to a woman's (or cross-dressing man’s) waist when subjected to the rigours of a corset
A wasp contour was a hallmark of beauty in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when ‘normal’ corseted waists ranged from 23 to 20 inches
Medical problems Fractured and deformed ribs, respiratory complaints, weak abdominal muscles, deformed and displaced internal and reproductive organs, the last of which increases the risk of miscarriage and maternal death
Genetics The term wasp waist has also been used to describe that of a person with Löwenthal’s disease, a familial condition characterised by a thin waist, enlarged pelvic and shoulder girdles, hyperextended and atonic extremities, muscular sclerosis and rhizomelic contractions