We all want the perfect body but also like to eat — a lot. Because of the latter, many of us often find ourselves reaching for today’s modern undergarment torture device almost as evil as the corsets of the Elizabethan era. While I have yet to pass out from wearing a pair of Spanx, I have found myself sitting through an upscale six-course dinner dressed to the nines completely miserable because I couldn’t breathe — but hey, I looked good, right? If the old adage that “beauty is pain” is true, then I’ve been drop dead gorgeous a handful of times thanks to Spanx.
Millions of women worldwide will most likely agree about the misery yet continue to cling to the wardrobe foundation staple to achieve a look that’s slim and lean. However, in a recent Huffington Post feature, physicians were questioned on what the internal effects could be of something so externally painful. The results? Acid reflux, shortness of breath and slowed digestion that could cause in bloating and gas. Seem that sexy, slinky gown just got a little less attractive.
While experts believe the ill-effects of shapewear to be short term, those struggling with pre-existing bladder incontinence may suffer from increased stress incontinence because they don’t void as frequently as needed due to the difficulty removing the super-tight shapewear. Over time, incontinence can lead to even more decreased bladder control and bowel functions. Granted, it’s a reach that one pair of Spanx can cause such issues. Just don’t wear it regularly.
Should you find yourself in need of a smooth effect, make sure you are wearing shapewear that fits properly — you should be able to breathe and bend and sit without your undergarment cutting into your body, especially your waist. Be honest with yourself and go for clothes that flatter and fit without compromising your health and making you so uncomfortable you want to rip the damn girdle off.
If all else fails, cut out the dress size tag because it doesn’t define you — and there’s no such thing as perfection anyway.