• Tue, Jun 1 2010

Spanx for Men is an Equality Let-Down

Payback’s a bitch.

For all the years women have had to stuff ourselves into girdles, do hours of mind-numbing ab work, and starve, the tables are finally turning. Spanx for men has hit the market, in the form of undershirts that suck their shit in.

Unfortunately, while this might sound like sweet, sweet revenge, it turns out that men are really liking the new product and the way it makes them look. According to the New York Times:

Keith Peer, a 43-year-old software executive in Medina, Ohio, owns six Spanx crewnecks, which he credits with improving his posture and helping him look better in tapered shirts. “It enhances your figure, it fits tight, sucks you in,” he said.

Another satisfied customer had this to say:

Robert Hytner, a 51-year-old former defense contracting executive in New York, turned to Equmen shirts after a back injury, and then got hooked because they improved his silhouette. “Whatever garment I put on top, I had a tight look,” he said of his 10 Equmen undershirts.

WTF? You’re happy that you’re being forced to look like a slimmer, more socially-acceptable version of yourself? How is this the divine retribution we’ve all been waiting for? If men enjoy being packed in to spanx like sausages, what’s next? “Hey, have you guys heard of this thing called Ipecac? I can eat all I want without putting on any weight! What a wonderful, positive step forward in my life.”

Adding insult to injury, many men are claiming that the shirts help relieve back pain. I’m not completely sure of the physiology that leads to one gender to experience eased back pain while the other experiences constricted organs from essentially the same article of clothing, but I do know that it doesn’t seem fair. Is there perhaps some way that we can redesign Spanx to provide lessened lower back pain for women? Maybe that would even the playing field a bit…

At any rate, it doesn’t seem like progress to me that now both genders are expected to walk around in body condoms all day long. I would have preferred to see an article about how the founder of Spanx realized, in a white-hot epiphany one day, that she had essentially reinvented the girdle and thereby set women back about 50 years. Instead, she had this to say:

Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, said that her products weren’t aimed at men with beer bellies and women with muffin tops. Stars as lean as Gwyneth Paltrow wear Spanx, said Ms. Blakely, who says she was a Size 2 when she invented it. The brand was never for “the hugely overweight,” she said.

Lovely.

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