Women have been stuffing themselves into corsets, girdles, and girdle-like garments since the beginning of time.
For the last ten years, many women have worshiped at the altar of Spanx, that miracle-working undergarment that promises to “promote comfort and confidence in women” while simultaneously cutting off our supply of oxygen.
Before you laugh and come down firmly on the side of “No Man Will Ever Wear These,” you need to know that, Spanx for men are a huge hit. They are selling out of stores as soon as shipments arrive, and as you might suspect, online sales are even hotter.
Of course, unlike some of the garments in the Spanx for women line, the men don’t have the traditional tummy-sucking and thigh-squeezing shapers.
Instead, they have undershirts, as modeled by men who, interestingly, do not need to wear Spanx, given the fact that they are currently sporting six-packs.
Spanx claims the undershirts feature “powerful compression zones” and are “physique-improving” and “game-changing.” The men interviewed in this article seem to support the claims, saying that the super-tight undershirts gave them “pecs…definition” and “confidence,” in addition to back-pain relief.
It seems a bit unfair that men love their Spanx. Women are held to physical standards of beauty that men are fortunate to avoid. And while we love our Spanx too, they are a necessary, and often uncomfortable, evil: pregnancies change our bodies, our breasts succumb to forces of gravity beyond our control, and losing weight has always been more difficult for us than it is for men. If we want to even approach these unattainable beauty standards, we must look a certain way.
So guys: Can’t you pretend to hate them just a little, for our sakes?
Regardless of who’s wearing the Spanx, “shapewear” has become a hugely popular (and profitable) industry. Much like the multi-billion dollar diet industry, which peddles quick-fix weight-loss miracle cures that do not touch the underlying causes of the American obesity epidemic, shapewear offers a similar short-term solution.
What do you think of Spanx for men? Guys, would you wear them? Would your boyfriend or partner wear Spanx?
And what do you think of shapewear in general? Harmless figure-enhancers or dangerous fads?