For most of us, a slender waist is the product of a careful diet and plenty of exercise. But not for Michele Kobke, 24.
The Berliner has shrunk her waist from 64cm (25 inches) to just 40cm (16 inches) by wearing a corset every day for three years – even while sleeping.
And despite now having a waist smaller than most catwalk model’s, the German slimmer says she hopes to whittle her waist down to a shocking 38cm or 14 inches wide.
Change: Michele in 2008, when her waist was 25 inches, and now, with a waist that is ten inches smaller
Tiny though Kobke’s waist is, the record for the world’s tiniest midriff is held by another – American Cathie Jung, whose waist measures just 38cm.
By comparison, the average British woman has a waist that measures 84.9cm (33.43 inches) – equivalent to a dress size 14.
However, doctors say that a waist bigger than 80cm (31.49in) could lead to serious problems, including heart disease.
Recent figures show that nearly 57 per cent of British women have waists bigger than the healthy limit set by experts.
Although Kobke’s tiny waist is guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows, the German believes she has the perfect feminine figure.
Teensy weensy torso: Michele believes she has a great figure, but it’s come at great cost to her health