You have given me a total education on this. I knew nothing of this before you just told me! Wow. I wish I had the kind of money to do a little binding.. just enough to get a super defined waist and then quit.
The thing is, it has permanent upkeep. To get that super defined waist/hip ratio.. you have to wasp for at least a year or two.. and by then, you dont have any ab and back muscles left and without those you're in line for a bad back breaking accident.
There is a whole subculture around corseting and wasping. I did some research once because I wasnt sure whether I was enraptured or totally creeped out.. hell, I still done. hehe.