modern day torture devices

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I have two words for you: Minimizing. Bras. Also: Spanx, pantyhose and high heels.

Allow me to explicate:

As I’ve mentioned before, I work from home. This means that I spend most of my days in yoga pants, tank tops, or just plain jammies, which means I am usually super comfortable.

When I travel for work though…GAH! I’m all about the heels, Spanx, and of course – the Minimizing Bra.

yes, from my own collection. I have a love-hate relationship with my shoes.
yes, from my own collection. I have a love-hate relationship with my shoes.
described as a
described as a “minimizing bra”…does she even have anything to minimize? puh-leez.

I know for some out there, especially perhaps the menfolk, the concepts of “making something smaller” and “something that covers a woman’s tatas” are (or should be) mutually exclusive. However I’m here to tell you that sometimes, having big(ger) jugs is not all one would think it’s cracked up to be.

of all the ridiculous
of all the ridiculous “not actually plus size” pictures you get when you google “plus size minimizer bras, this comes closest to what reality is for most women with larger boobs. it looks like a harness.

I realize also, that most men probably don’t want to think about all the extra things women wear to look skinnier, taller, or less jiggly, but the reality is, most women wear at least one or two things every day that is actually really uncomfortable when you think about it.

Now, some “articles of clothing” (here I’m using the sarcasto-quotes to indicate that I don’t really consider these real pieces of clothing; instead, I think of them as “things I have to wear if I don’t want my jiggly bits jiggling all over the office”) are really, truly, modern day devices of torture and terror.

Let’s explore.

I would like to point out that a) the full coverage panties that appear to be creeping towards her ass crack aren’t doing her any favors as it is, and that if she had better posture in the picture on the left, her “awful fat rolls” would be MUCH less noticeable, though that wouldn’t work for the idea they are trying to get across here.

This is what she’s wearing under that red dress:

do you have any idea what getting into these things in the morning? a joyful experience that is repeated every time you have to pee, except you're in a 2'x3' bathroom stall while trying to do it.

Side note: do you have any idea what it takes to get into these things in the morning? I believe I saw it referred to as being “reborn through a Spanx vagina”. That is not far off. It is a joyful experience that is repeated every time you have to pee, except you’re in a 2’x3′ bathroom stall while trying to do it.

All these fun and “sexy” (note, again, the sarcasto-quotes) items are collaterally referred to with the euphemism shapewear. I suppose this is because “clothing that makes you feel like you’re being compressed to within an inch of your life and that breathing might just make you pass out and/or die from lack of oxygen/rearrangement of vital internal organs” is not very marketable.

So, shapewear.

Now, lest you men think that the fun that IS shapewear is only for the ladeez, might I direct your attention to Spanx for Men (picture from the Spanx for Men website):

“yeah, I totally need to hide my embarrassing abs and miniscule love handles.”

What I’m realizing, as I’m Googling “shapewear for men”, is that Spanx is actually one of the better options for you out there, looks-wise at least. I mean, there is also this option (from

he’s a stud, and he knows it. plus, he has a handy flap through which to pee reasonably easily, which is more than I can say for the women’s version.
(waggling eyebrows) “you should see what’s on the OTHER side!”

Or, perhaps you’re more interested in the “butt lifting” shape enhancers. At least the Spanx “compression shirt” looks pretty much like a regular t-shirt.

By the way, what cracks me up about the site linked above is that all the men in the pictures look SO HAPPY! Seriously. I understand smiling to sell your product, but how silly do you think they feel, especially in those ones that zip up the front?

And, OMG. As I was surfing through the variety of images for men’s shapewear, I came across this. Now, before you click be warned: this is not the kind of shapewear I was thinking of, AND there is a reason why I didn’t post this picture straight into my blog. I never even considered such a thing! But I guess if there are push up or padded bras for women, I guess it makes sense that there would be “shapewear” for the penis.

yeah, she TOTALLY needs to firm up. i'm disgusted just looking at this...said no one, ever.
yeah, she TOTALLY needs to firm up. i’m disgusted just looking at this…said no one, ever.

As I browse through sites like this one or this one, I am selfishly glad to see that men’s fashion advertising suffers from the same problem as women’s: namely, that NONE of the men in this site (except I think the “worst-case, poor sap” before and after guy) have ANY need for shapewear. The idea being, of course, that you’ll see these paragons of in-shaped-ness and truly believe that this shapewear will turn you from your oversize jiggly self into someone that looks like this.

I have to wonder though do guys really get into the whole shapewear thing? Judging by my Google search, it would appear that there is indeed a fairly large market for clothing that firms the jiggly bits for men as well as that for women. This seems to be confirmed in this article from the NY Times (also referenced in the article is the aforementioned “push up bra for men”). I can’t say that I’ve ever met a man that wears shapewear, but in all fairness, I’m not sure that topic would come up in casual conversation with a dude. Just sayin’.

Obviously, there is a market for both men’s and women’s shaping/firming/lifting accoutrements because there is demand for it. Women (and probably men) feel more confident when they look skinnier/firmer/taller than they are without said accoutrements. That being the case, is it just me that thinks this segment of the industry is making a living off of our insecurities? I know folks like Sarah Blakely (Spanx founder) is really all about helping women feel empowered and better about themselves, I just wonder, does it have to be shapewear that makes us feel like a million bucks? Or is it wishful thinking to want someone’s self-esteem to be predicated on their accomplishments, personality, or inner strength?

Feel free to discuss*.

*I can’t describe how silly I feel saying that since as yet I have zero followers and have yet to receive a comment on any of my posts, however, as I mentioned previously I am using the power of positive thinking to draw readers to my blog. If I blog it, they will come. Read, that is.

also from my personal collection, and before you ask, yes i have worn them…once. as mentioned, i have a love-hate relationship with my shoes; some of them i love to look at but hate to wear.

1 comments on “modern day torture devices”

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