Most women dream of an hourglass figure – but for Kelly Lee Dekay sculpting her waist has become an obsession.
Inspired by her favorite comic book villains, Kelly, a fetish model, has shrunk her waist to a miniscule 16 inches using a steel boned tight-laced corset.
The 27-year-old, from New York, started 'waist training' seven years ago after being inspired by the extreme shapes of voluptuous Jessica Rabbit and Marvel character ‘Storm’.
Kelly, who studies fashion, said: “Growing up I just loved the exaggeration of styles and the beautiful costumes that comic book characters would wear and that led to the aesthetic that led to tight-lacing.
“I like that they wore their personalities externally.
“I understand their measurements can’t ever possibly be achieved because they would break but I think it’s interesting how fabric and thread can just easily manipulate the body to do such and extreme silhouette. “
Growing up, Kelly was a tomboy, and says that corset training has helped her to overcome childhood shyness.
She said: “As a little girl I was very shy and I loved the way comic books portrayed the characters.
“I liked that Batman is actually Bruce Wayne but when he puts on the batsuit it allows him to become this vigilante.
“He was the same person but the different outfit allowed him to channel a different side of himself.
“I’ve always loved how certain pieces of garments gave you permission to let out certain parts of you. So I think that’s what tight lacing does for me."
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But waist-training is not without it’s problems, and Kelly does struggle with some physical tasks.
She said: “The corset can be restrictive when going up the stairs. You can’t carry too many heavy things cause you could hurt yourself.
“I actually did hiking in my corset and that’s very dangerous.
“I also played soft ball in a corset once, that was an interesting feeling, but I don’t go to the gym in a corset - that’s really dangerous its because I do weight lifting.
“But if I do want to do something extreme, I don’t limit myself. If I have to be out of my corset, then I’m out of it.”
But despite the limitations, Kelly has no plans to hang up her corset, despite facing some negative comments online.
She said: “I get mixed reactions. Some people really love it, some people really hate it, but I always did it for myself - I didn’t really do it for people’s reactions.
“I love modifying and its often mistaken that modification as being a means of like not loving yourself but I modify because I can, because its fun.
“People say that it looks unnatural, but I have big bright blue hair - what part of me screams I want to be like everybody else?”