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The Girl With The Impossible Waist: Model Rachel Ann Jensen Talks About Her Corset Training Experiences.

Even though Corset training has been around since the 1500s, it still has somewhat of a negative stigma surrounding it. Even more so now due to the very similar act of waist training becoming more mainstream.

I spoke to Rachel Ann Jensen; a Model and Blogger that's known for her small waist and classic style. (I like to call her a modern Betty Brosmer. Also known as "The Girl With The Impossible Waist" because of their resemblance in appearance.) Her husband, Eric Jensen, is a Designer who specializes in Bespoke. I wanted to know about her about her experiences with Corset training and how she felt about the stigma surrounding it.

Q: How did you first come to love vintage style fashion? What has been your experience with it so far?

A: I feel that this lifestyle is an evolution. It was for me, and I’m sure it is for most girls.  It’s not like I decided one day that I wanted to dress like a pinup, but rather little pieces of influence throughout my life lead to my passion for vintage style and glamour. 

I would say the earliest signs of influence were the old movies my dad introduced me to when I was a little girl. My first obsessions were My Fair Lady and Rear Window, and I remember craving the beauty and glamour of Audrey and Grace in those films.  I wanted to emulate their femininity. I could probably go on forever about little milestones of influence that lead me to my current style, but these movies were probably the very beginnings of it.”

Q: What’s your advice for women who want to start wearing vintage style clothing?

A: “Watch old films and tv shows.  If this doesn’t spur your passion for the style and lifestyle, then maybe it isn’t for you.  I feel that the pinup community is born of a passion for glamour - it comes from within. If the old footage does spur your passion, then watch them endlessly.  It’s probably my number one source of inspiration.“

Q: You and your husband lived in Italy before moving to New York. Do you think your time living there has influenced your style? If so, how?

A: “It absolutely did. It was actually one of the milestones in my style evolution. This is partly due to the reason we were in Italy. I was immersed in the timeless tradition of Italian tailoring. My husband’s maestro taught the art of bespoke tailoring for both men’s and women’s clothes. During these two years, I was surrounded by the elevation of style and luxury - but not through fashion designers who are popular for their names, but by the essence of luxury through the work of skilled craftsmen and artisans. This taught me the origins of “classic style” which truly goes hand in hand with vintage style because they are often one and the same."
Even though corset training has been around since the 1500s, it still has somewhat of a negative stigma surrounding it. Even more so now due to the very similar act of' 'waist training' becoming more mainstream.

Q: How did you start modeling?

“I honestly never considered myself a model. I still have trouble calling myself one!  It’s probably silly since I guess modeling is a big part of what I do because it does go hand in hand with being a blogger and influencer - especially in the pinup world.  So that probably answers the question; modeling evolved from being a blogger and influencer.”

Q: Do you have any advice for maintaining a vintage look?

A: One thing I do that makes life a lot easier for maintenance is to wash my hair much less than I used to! I learned this from one of my favorite pinups Miss Victory Violet. I wash my hair no more than once a week, brush it often, and continue to curl it when needed!  

Q: What era of fashion do you like to wear the most and why?

A: “My favorite fashion eras are definitely '30s - '50s, and I think this has to do with a combination of the emphasis on the feminine silhouette and the dedication to beauty and glamour. As a corset wearer, I, of course, love the New Look era of the late ’40s and ’50s, but even the ’30s and ’40s had most garments fitted through the waist as well. This look is just the aesthetic that I personally love.”

Q: You are known for your small waist. So much so that it has become your signature look. Do you have a set regimen? Or do you just mainly Corset train when you feel like it? 

A: “Yes, my audience has really responded to my hourglass aesthetic and corset look! I’m able to cinch easily due to my long torso, and my bust/hip ratio to my waist makes my curves look even more extreme. I used to set aside times to wear my corset daily. Now, I’m out and about so often that simply wearing my corset when I leave the home is enough to call it waist training.  Now it works out that I wear it about 5 to 7 hours per day, and probably about five days a week. When I’m breaking in a new corset, however, I’ll wear that one at home too. I hope to get back into wearing corsets even more often when I’m at home - New Year’s resolution.”

Q: What’s been your experience with Corset training so far?

A: “I used to feel self-conscious about my curves, and like many women, I went through a phase of wanting to be as skinny as I possibly could.  There’s nothing wrong with being thin, but my mental state was the problem. It was torture on a small scale - I was afraid to eat too much, and this is a problem because I LOVE food. When I began wearing corsets, I saw that I could cultivate my curves and feel really great about my body; I also developed much more healthy eating habits, and the pairing resulted in a much healthier state of mind. 

I feel transformed when I put on my corset. This is similar to statements I’ve heard by Dita Von Teese about the self-creation of glamour - it is a beautiful thing. It’s ok to not feel that you are naturally the most perfect person in the world.  You should be comfortable with who you are naturally, but you can create the glamour that makes you feel extra amazing. I think it’s great for women to realize that even as we age and feel our bodies and appearances changing, we can and will always have our glamour!"

Q: How do you feel about the controversy surrounding corset training?

A: “I understand that corsets can seem odd or unhealthy to those that are uninformed, but I think it’s unfortunate when others make judgments before doing research.  I’ve done research, and I’ve learned how to be safe when wearing corsets, and I’ve learned that it is not unhealthy at all when worn properly. I’ve also learned that there are benefits to wearing corsets. 

I think there needs to be a sense of trust in others and also respect. Trust that others know how to take care of themselves, and respect their personal decisions. In my personal experience, it sometimes feels that we’ve come so far in respecting others’ decisions when it comes to injections, plastic surgery, etc, but for some reason, the choice to wear corsets is extremely hard for others to except.  This is probably because it is just very foreign in today’s world.”

Q: What’s your advice for women who would like to try corset training?

A: “Two things I always tell those that inquire: start slow, and listen to your body.  The corset will feel strange at first because it needs to be broken in, just as you need to get used to it. Give it time and definitely don’t cinch tightly right away. Even a small cinch will make a difference in appearance!”

Q: Any up and coming projects we can look forward to?

A: Yes! I have a few exciting things in the works for 2019, with new NYC based partnerships, some projects with longtime partners, and some exciting things for my bespoke business with my husband: Sartoria Jensen.  Stay tuned!