Romanian model Ioana Spangenberg claims she has a natural 20-inch waist. When you see her thin middle in contrast to her 32-inch hips, it's no wonder tabloids like The Sun are referring to Spangenberg as "the human hourglass." The 30-year-old weighs in at around 84 pounds, and says she was average size until her teen years. "When I was 13 my waist was around 15 inches. Someone could put their hands around it, their fingers would touch and they would still have extra room," she told the Sun.
Spangenberg says she's tried everything and cannot gain weight around her midsection. "No one seems to believe it, but every day I eat three big meals and I snack on chocolate and crisps all the time. I just have a small stomach. It's a bit like having a natural gastric band - if I eat too much, I feel sick," she told the Sun. "In Romania it is better to be overweight, because that means you are from a wealthy family...so while my friends were going out and dating, I was sitting at home with Mars bars wishing I could fatten up," she told the paper.
As women all too familiar with trickery like Photoshop and wearing three pairs of Spanx, it's hard for us to believe Spangenberg isn't wearing a corset under her clothing. The legendary Ethel Granger, whose 13-inch waist was documented as the smallest in history, only attained her size with the help of severely pinching corsets. But Spangenberg insists her size and shape are all-natural, and with the encouragement of her German husband Jan, she's turned to the modeling industry to flaunt her skeletal figure.
"Jan was the first person who saw me as beautiful and encouraged me to celebrate my body. He asked me to pose in some photos for him," she told the Sun. "He was so impressed he put them online and the response was amazing." Spangenberg admits she has struggled with her self-esteem and told the publication she still wishes she could pack on a few pounds. "I would still like to gain weight so I don't look so shocking - and now that I live in Germany I can't get enough pizza or kebabs," she said. "But I'm finally comfortable in my own skin."
If she really, truly, is not wearing corsets, we're glad Spangenberg has come to terms with her natural appearance and we're glad she's gotten a good response from viewers. We can only hope women won't try to emulate her unattainable size.