‘Tis the season to over-indulge, true. But, alas, ’tis also the season to sequin, shimmy, and shake – all of which challenge chubby, out-of-shape, middle-aged me.
And while I can still wedge myself into my cute holiday clothes, do I look cute? Hardly. I more resemble that lump of coal Santa leaves children who have been naughty, not nice, than I do some hot party babe.
So, sadly I’m giving myself a Spanx-ing. You know what I mean, ladies. I’m stocking up on multiple pairs of those ubiquitous boa-and-breath-constricting toe-less undergarments that women are wont, but not wanting, to wear these days.
I tried Spanx once before but almost wound up in the hospital. My first venture into the S&M world of Spanx-ing occurred in the dressing room of a fashionable Fifth Avenue department store several years back – and my back has never been the same!
After much yanking and pulling and torso-contorting worthy of a professional contortionist, I finally had the contraption up and about. Then, the real trouble set in. My circulation was constricted. I had trouble breathing, and to make matters worse, I looked ridiculous. I thought I’d have to call 911 for help. Fortunately, a kind saleslady, undoubtedly used to Spanx-induced panic attacks, came to my rescue, extracting me from that vulcanized instrument of pain and shame.
Why is Spanx so popular? Why is it so uncomfortable? And why, in this liberated era of women loving our inner beauty, are we subjecting our outer bodies to this sweaty bondage?
In the 1990s, most women (not me) threw away dresses and skirts, stockings, and pantyhose in favor of pants. But somehow, they didn’t reject the need for a streamlined, jiggle-free profile.
Then Came Spanx
Spanx was created with $5,000 by 27-year-old door-to-door fax machine saleswoman Sara Blakely. In 2000, the first year of the company’s existence, Blakely recruited friends to fill orders out of her Atlanta apartment and generated $8 million in retail sales!
And from there, it was a short walk to the Red Carpet! Celebs and their suntan-sprayed legs all brazenly admit they wear Spanx, so that gave us mere mortal Mabels and Madges inspiration to get Spanx-ing too.
In 2012, Forbes Magazine named Blakely the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, and this year, she sits in the 21st spot on the magazine’s “America’s Richest Self-Made Women” list with an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion.
It just goes to show you, one woman’s pain is another’s gain! Of course, make that one bazillion women’s pain!
And There’s More Spanx-ing!
And today Spanx is so much more than toe-less pantyhose. Check out the Spanx Holiday 2018 catalog. Yes, Holiday catalog. Compression for Christmas!
Note Spanx founder Blakely on the cover, all slender and chic, smiling and surrounded by luminous blond little ones. They’re all dressed in sophisticated black and white holiday garb. The little girl is decked out in a frilly dress; the boys all sporting bow ties. Sara, of course, is the coolest of the group. She’s rocking a pair of “New! Faux Leather Side Stripe Leggings!”
(Also, note: Sara’s spouse, sadly, is missing from the picture. He must have seen her in a pair of Spanx supporting undergarments and fled the house … or photoshoot … in horror!)
Inside the 2018 Holiday catalog, there’s faux letter moto leggings, faux leather camo legists, faux leather pebbled leggings, and plain ‘ole faux leather leggings! It’s a veritable leggings-palooza!
Jiggly Arms No More
Spanx now sells something called “arm tights.” I’m not 100% sure what they’re for. At first, I thought they were compression bands – i.e. girdles for flabby arms, but they might just be sleek pieces to wear under sleeveless tops and such. As I said, I’m not sure the purpose. Spanx describes these “layering pieces” as a “wardrobe game-changer.”
And as they say, that’s not all folks! While still true to its core compression/constriction market of us pudgy middle-aged moms and grand-moms, Spanx is also set its sales sights on younger gals offering fishnet floral tights, “destroyed” tummy shaping tights (which refers to the pattern, not your belly after having a couple of kids), lightning bolt tights, and metallic shimmer tights.
Catwoman I am Not
Flipping through the pages of the catalog, I desperately searched for a relatable – and useful – undergarment to boost my sagging morale and middle.
“Eureka,” I thought when I turned the page to “Have Your Croissant … and eat it too,” but unfortunately the featured item was an open-bust catsuit. Have you ever tried one of those? I did. It was a full-fledged catastrophe. How can I put this discreetly? Well, the garment has an opening, a slit, for bathroom breaks, but that opening didn’t quite line up with my … Well, I’ll stop there. If I ever try one of those again, I’m just going to have to accept the need to completely undress before peeing. Honestly, I’m not sure looking good is worth that much effort!
Bad Grades are Bad
And don’t get me started on the sizing. As and Bs are for small sizes, you know, women who really don’t need Spanx. Cs and Ds, the BAD GRADES, are for us big, bad girls. I think the sizing should be reversed. We larger ladies need all the positive reinforcement we can get!
Oh, well. What can I say? When it comes to holiday eating, I have been decidedly naughty. Tonight, Handsome Hubby and I are going out to a fancy do. Time to get Spanx-ed. I’d better grab my phone and pre-dial 911 just in case something goes wrong! I wonder what the police scanner code is for a Spanx-related injury is? Maybe it’s just hysterical laughter?
Holiday Gift-giving Tip: Ladies, men can get Spanx-ed too! The company makes body-shaping undergarments for guys. Just right for the big boys on your gift list, at least the ones who have been naughty!