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Commentary: Spanx: A girdle by another name that does the same
Published on August 1, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Anthony L Hall

I am reliably informed that many young women not only wear Spanx these days, but actually scoff at the notion that there’s no difference between their Spanx and the girdles their grandmothers wore during the 1950s.

Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian who descends from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He is an international lawyer and political consultant - headquartered in Washington DC - who also publishes a current events weblog, The iPINIONS Journal, at
I am stupefied, however, that these hipsters do not seem to think (or care) about the natural letdown that must attend their Spanx-free bodies revealing their naked truth.

Frankly, I don’t understand why any self-respecting woman feels the need to wear hair extensions, face-altering makeup, and/or body-scrunching Spanx to feel good about the way she looks. And don’t get me started on the pandemic of fake boobs; or on the arguably self-hating practice of black woman bleaching their skin to look white … to make their blonde wigs look natural, I suppose.

But I’ve seen enough of those before and after pictures to suspect that the way many women look just with and without makeup is like night and day. Hell, I imagine the only thing worse would be finding out that her hair extensions, makeup, and Spanx were so convincing no man would ever have guessed that she was a he (a la The Crying Game).

Meanwhile, I’ve been like John the Baptist preaching the gospel of natural beauty for years. Here, for example, is what I lamented in my most recent sermon:

Who would’ve thought the liberation inherent in the sexual revolution and feminist movement would devolve into a self-abnegating farce, where women themselves consider it a ‘brave decision’ to go out in public without makeup…

The instructive irony, of course, is that etiquette about makeup these days is such that not just Carmen but far too many women would rather expose their naked bodies instead of their naked faces in public. This indicates the perverse extent to which even women of undeniable natural beauty and professional success depend on makeup for their self-esteem.

(“PSA: Unmask Your Woman Before You Tell Her She’s Beautiful,” The iPINIONS Journal, October 16, 2013)

Just like the grandmotherly girdle, Spanx exploits the sadomasochistic proposition that it’s better to look good than to feel good, which seems to appeal to all women.

Only this explains why the billionaire inventor of these suffocating body constrictors is now peddling Spanx skinny jeans to wear over Spanx skinny britches to make relatively skinny women look even skinnier. Which is rather like Oil of Olay marketing anti-aging potions in commercials featuring models who look like teenage girls, no?

The cotton, polyester and Lycra blend pants, which come in sizes 26 through 32, cost $148 per pair…

The move is a bold one for the popular shapewear brand, which is a favorite among stars like Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé and Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as non-famous women.

But according to Spanx founder Sara Blakely, she’s moving into territory that should be well-received by her customers.

(Daily Mail, July 28, 2014)

Call me crazy, maybe, but why on earth would a skinny bitch like Gwyneth Paltrow need to wear a modern-day girdle? Oh right, looking like a size triple zero is the new fashion trend….

Sadly, a naturally thin woman like Gwyneth wearing Spanx is no more pathetic than a naturally beautiful one like Beyoncé using Photoshop. Ironically, the only time Bey reveals her natural beauty is when, like Carmen Electra, she craves a pat on the back for displaying a fleeting/Instagram moment of “bravery.”

With apologies to Hamlet: vanity, thy name is woman!

NOTE: To ensure there’s more truth in beauty, I hereby urge all men to insist that their first date with any woman is a day at the beach (or, especially in winter, any outing that forces her to unmask herself in broad daylight).

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Unmask your woman

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