Manscaping, metrosexual, and man Spanx, oh my! Sara Blakely, the genius behind (no pun intended) Spanx undergarments has dipped her toe into the roiling waters of male vanity (http://www.spanx.com/home/index.jsp) . Her newest pitch is men’s undershirts made to, “firm the chest, flatten stomach, improve posture and support your lower back”. Neiman Marcus is among the first retailers to carry these, but I have a feeling that this product,like her others, will take off simply on word of mouth. Why do P90X or pass up those tongue scorching chicken wings and chili fries when you can just suck it all in with an expensive undershirt?
Women have done this for years, first with the torture devices known as girdles, then with various versions of Lycra contraptions and now Spanx pantyhose, leggings, body slips, etc.. They always bring to mind the scene from Steel Magnolias of a plump woman shaking her pastle clad booty on the dance floor. Dolly Parton’s character Truvy watches the woman in horror and turns to her friends telling them, “ Well, these thighs haven’t gone out of the house without Lycra on them since I was 14.” Her friend Clairee nods and responds, “ You were brought up right.” Girls have been taught from a young age to hide our flaws or risk public ridicule (from men and women) and so we have shoved, wiggled and squeezed various curvy body parts into whatever will contain them for the moment.
I guess it is only fair that men should have the pleasure of this experience too. It all looks great when you are dressed, but what happens when you have to extract yourself from these contraptions? I suspect that one day soon, we will hear a story on the news of a new couple that was injured when they attempted to undress themselves and escape from their body shapers in the heat of passion. They will either get trapped, thrashing around like caterpillars trying to escape lycra cocoons or butts and bellies will explode once released, blackening eyes and breaking bones. It won’t be pretty. My mother always said you have to suffer to be beautiful, so suck it up people.
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