Meet the woman with Britain's thinnest waist: Nerina Orton, 22, has a midsection that measures a mere 15.7 inches around. (For comparison, a regulation softball's circumference is 12 inches around.)
The part-time burlesque dancer and biomedical sciences student has achieved her tiny figure through years of restrictive corset-wearing, the Sun reports. Orton, who measures 5'4", began the practice at age 14. She now owns 78 corsets and wears the Victorian garment between 20 and 23 hours every day, wearing it to bed and only taking it off to shower.
Orton is just 0.7 inches from the Guinness World Record currently held by American Cathie Jung, who at 75 years old still amazes audiences with her 15-inch waist.
During a 2006 episode of Tyra Banks' talk show, Jung showed off her extreme hour glass figure that took decades to achieve. Jung's husband, Bob, an orthopedic surgeon, assured Banks that while his wife's organs were "shifted around a bit" due to the 24/7 corset routine, she wasn't doing any serious harm to her body and was, in fact, helping to preserve her spine and posture.
On the other hand, Orton said that when she takes the restrictive clothing item off, she can still feel her body adjusting. "When I'm not wearing a corset I can feel all my organs shifting back into place," she said. "And that's not a very pleasant feeling."
Both Jung and Orton are self-professed devotees to Victorian fashion.
"For me wearing a corset is not just about being sexy, or looking sexy, it's a way of life," Orton said, adding that she adores the delicate waists popularized by English women in the 19th and 20th centuries.
According to Nicky Clayton, creative director for the Queen’s lingerie maker Rigby and Peller, corsets were "originally designed to nip in waists and made with heavy whale bones to give support and structure to the early fashions of the 1900s and pre-1900s."
Taking drastic steps to achieve a certain fashionable look is nothing new, of course. With the advent of plastic surgery, it has become even easier for men and women to modify everything from their toe lengths to their shoulder and buttocks thickness.
Unable to indulge in large meals, Orton said she eats six times a day. She also receives regular medical checks to make sure she's not damaging anything internally. She said hopes one day to shatter Jung's record with a waist reduction of an astonishing 14 inches.