Kelly Lee Dekay is an artist and a model. She's also an enthusiastic practioner of "tight-lacing," a method of reducing one's waist size by basically living in a steel-boned corset in order to achieve Jessica Rabbit-like proportions.
Dekay spoke with both The Daily Mail and Cosmopolitan about her transformation, and while she's happy to share her accomplishments with others, she has a message for anyone who finds what she's doing unhealthy, unattractive or otherwise unsavory: It's not for you. It's for her.
Tight-lacing, for the uninitiated, consists of wearing increasingly tightened corsets until one's body is forced to bend to the will of steel and bone. It sounds painful, but according to Dekay, the only problem is how restrictive the corset can be. She does, of course, have some trouble with picking things up and exercising, but Dekay says she's worn her corset on hikes and takes it off if she wants to do something the corset won't allow, like weightlifting or playing softball (which can be very dangerous in a corset, according to Dekay).
Dekay found herself interested in tight-lacing after idolizing cartoon characters with tiny waists, stating that she liked the way they wore their "personalities externally." And she told Cosmopolitan that what she's doing is not about looking a certain way, it's about sex and art and fetishizing the entire concept of corsets. She also pointed out that while reactions to her look are mixed (and a quick stroll through the comments on Cosmopolitan makes it clear that many readers find the look "UNATTRACTIVE") that she's happy with who she is and doesn't care what others say. And also: She's a feminist.
"I know for sure I'm going to get a lot of heat for [saying I'm a feminist] given corsets' dark history," she told Cosmopolitan.com. " I started tight-lacing for me. I enjoy it. I wear my personality on the outside. But is it for everyone? No, absolutely not. But it's my body and my decision. Telling someone to conform to your idea of feminism is still oppression. People have this sense of entitlement over a woman's body. I reject that entitlement and choose to do the things that make me happy. That's feminist. My body, my choice."
Haters, of course, are gonna hate. Dekay has already had to post a statement about her statements on her Facebook.
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