Contrary to what the Kardashians and other “fashionistas” have been telling you, shapewear is not as figure-flattering as you may have been led to believe. Don’t get me wrong. I think shapewear is a great invention and when I first read about Spanx, I was blown away.
I’ve always wondered how to get the smooth lines at the hip-thigh area when you wear a clingy wrap dress made of jersey material. I remembered thinking to myself, “I like how a pair of stockings holds everything in but I don’t want it to go all the way to my feet.” When I read about how Spanx came about in a copy of US Glamour a great number of years back, I was like, “WOW. So it is possble!”
When a local department store brand finally brought in Spanx, I put my money down to get a pair. An ex-colleague told me she “Spanx” it every day and that Spanx was “life-changing”. So once again, I went in with high expectations, looking forward to going into the office with a new, svelte figure.
But it was not to be.
It didn’t take me more than half a day to decide that I didn’t like Spanx-ing it. The fact that it required a great deal of huffing and puffing to get it, first, past my thunder thighs, and second, over my pendulous ass, was enough to make me question if I could do it on a daily basis.
To get my pair of Spanx on, I had to lie on my back on my bed, put both my legs up in the air, and PULL!!! Then once the torturous piece of shapewear got past my thighs, I would then plant my feet down and lift my hips and PULL!!!! It was hard work … I thought I was going to dislocate my wrists or something.
When I finally got it on, I put on my dress, expecting to look like a Victoria’s Secrets model. What I saw was the “Spanx Ass”.
How do I describe the “Spanx Ass”?
Imagine a bunch of potatoes put into a loose sack. That’s how your hip-thigh area might look like without Spanx. Then someone comes along with a machine that can suck the air out from the sack. The machine extracts all the air and pulls the sack tighter around the potatoes. Tighter and tighter it goes until it pulverises all the potatoes into a smooth mash, and the sack finally becomes one hard lump, no lines, no dimples, and no softness.
That was the one thing that I didn’t like about the “Spanx Ass”. To me, the result looked like my flesh had been compacted so tightly together, my bottom looked as hard as a rock. Hardly feminine, in my opinion. There was smoothness but there wasn’t any bounce. There was curve but no lift. The “Spanx Ass”, I decided, was not for me.
Here’s an illustrative explanation of “Spanx Ass”:
The lumps and dimples on the left are smoothed out, but there’s something “hard” looking in the After:
One of the Kardashian sisters with her back-view captured. A separate picture revealed she was wearing Spanx under her dress. Although the silhouette is smooth, the “Spanx Ass” is evident in that it looks like too much junk packed into a small, tight trunk:
Without Spanx, the butt should have a clear drop at the cheeks before the thighs:
With Spanx, it just looks like a slope:
Shapewear or Spanx may work well to create a smooth, lump-free silhouette but they just don’t have the same softness and bounce of natural buttocks, especially when women with more generous hips and thighs wear them. If they work for you, then by all means go ahead and continue Spanxing it. For me, I have found that I’d rather get a seamless thong or get a dress made from a more forgiving material than jersey, or one in a cut that doesn’t require the material to cling to my hips.
About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and hasn’t worn Spanx since the first time she tried it. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.
[If you like this story, you’ll love]