Spanx, but No Spanx!

5 years ago

For any woman who is larger than a size 6, there is most likely an outfit or dress that doesn't display her figure as flattering as she would like.  (For any woman who is smaller than a size can suck it, and I'm pretty sure we aren't friends.)

Fortunately, for those of us in the former category, the geniuses at Spanx created a product that allows women to put on undergarments of wonder, and give the illusion they are thinner than they actually are. 

A thin cartoon character looking in a amusement park mirror

Normally, I'm not a fan of Spanx for a variety of reasons (the most important being that I am a fan of breathing and prefer to do it on a regular basis).  However, every now and again, a situation comes along that calls for Spanx.

Recently I had such an occasion.  I presented at a seminar and wanted to wear a sassy dress to deter the attendees from what was most likely going to be extremely boring presentation.  Tragically, the sassy dress I wanted to wear didn't flatter my stomach the way I would have liked. 

You see, I have a bit of a food obsession, and my love of food extends to all things fried and anything made by Hostess.  (Please also see my other posts about my love affair with Chipotle).  So I knew if I didn't want to gross out my audience with fat rolls made of beans and rice, I needed to purchase a new pair of Spanx.

I headed to Target to make such a purchase.  Normally, I purchase my Spanx at Saks, but the uptight saleswomen there tend to judge me and my purse from Charming Charlies, and I wasn't in the mood to deal with those women and their plastic faces.  Although most of them lack the ability to make any facial expressions because of their Botox injections, I can still feel them judging me with their eyes...that, and the fact I was once mistaken for the cleaning lady.  I was asked to only enter the store from the rear to avoid detection from the other patrons.  Now it's the only entrance I use.

I went into Target, avoiding the strong urge to grab a pretzel and some nachos from the snack shop, and headed straight for the lingerie section where I saw several packages that looked like this:

What the hell kind of marketing ploy was this?  Was Spanx serious? What amazing marketing mind brought this photo to the packaging designers and said "this drawing by my third grader of some naked chicks is really going to sell this product"?  I mean, I know me and my best black friend and Asian friend like to hang out wearing only Spanx and high heels, all the while throwing our hands in the air like we don't care, smiling like idiots; but that's only for the lucky people who answer our Craigslist "massage" ads.

What was this design?  Were these women wearing shirts or bras or were they just naked on top?  If so, where were their nipples?  What are the chances of three women being friends that don't have nipples?  Maybe they met at a support group called Nipple-less 'nonymous.  (I'm not aware of such a group, but I suspect at the meetings they drink out of bottles with huge nipples.)

Okay, back to the packaging.  You need to focus.

What exactly was this drawing on the package supposed to suggest?  As much as I would have liked to analyze this further, I couldn't as I was on a time crunch.   I hastily purchased the Spanx (along with a choice Hostess snack), and headed home to get ready.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize I would spend the next 10 minutes engaged in a ferocious battle. I definitely didn't realize who the battle would be with.

When I arrived home, I opened the package and pulled out the coveted product.  It looked like nude biker shorts for a very disproportionate person with tiny legs and a midsection the approximate length of a serpent.  I didn't have time to waste so I immediately began putting them on...or trying to. 

Who fights in a ring... Wearing a skirt? She doesn't even have feet!

I spent the next 10 minutes engaged in near deadly combat with nylon and lycra.  They were formidable opponents.   I literally fought the battle of the bulge as I grunted, cussed and tried to pull the material up.  After several f-bombs, I was ultimately successful in getting the Spanx into place, and breathed a sigh of relief...or tried to, but the constriction of my rib cage by this devil-product made that impossible. 

For those of you familiar with Spanx, you know that once the Spanx go on, they suck in your fat with such force that you feel like the top of your body is going to be propelled into space like a rocket ship.  These undergarments are a launching pad for your midsection and believe it or not, that doesn't make for a comfortable fit.

Despite these new NASA qualifications, I was upset because I didn't look nearly as good as the sketches on the package.  I had the biker-type shorts pulled up to my bra just as instructed.  I suspected it was my stance, so I tried out the rocking poses as advertised on the package.  However, I struggled to get my hands up over my head, so I decided to move on.  I put on my dress and surveyed the results.  Not too bad.  I really did look 10 pounds thinner, although my face aged 10 years from the battle.

I headed to work, but was incredibly uncomfortable the entire morning.  Normally, I drink a bottle of water and a caffeinated beverage of choice in the morning, but I didn't drink either because I was petrified of going to the bathroom and removing the Spanx.  I knew I would never get them back on without a bite stick and a vat of Crisco. 

By mid-afternoon I was so dehydrated I was beginning to get dizzy, which didn't make for a good mood.  As I attempted to prepare for my presentation, I realized not one person commented that I looked thinner.  Was I really so big that the apparent loss of 10 pounds was just a drop in the bucket?  Was the restriction of my rib cage and the crushing of my thighs worth the misery I was experiencing? 

Source: Slim Cognito® Shaping Mid-Thigh Bodysuit $72.00

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn't like what Spanx were doing to me.  True, I may have looked thinner (although if I did, no one noticed), but I didn't like the way they adversely affected my mood.

So, just before going on for my presentation, I went to the bathroom and peeled the torture chamber off my body.  Words cannot describe the sweet relief I felt as my fat rolls dropped a foot and a half down to their normal location.  I felt like myself...fat rolls and all...and that was just fine with me. 

I then celebrated my victory over the Spanx with a deep breath (my first one of the day), and a chocolate chip cookie...or two...

Not me, although this guy could use some Spanx.


Lisa Newlin Embarrassing myself so you don't have to. You're welcome.

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