working the shape you’re in

It suddenly dawned on me, as I was wrestling with my spandex the other night, that there comes a time in a woman’s life (and it’s a pivotal moment) when she has to make the decision to wear a body shaper. Whether you’re struggling with a post pregnant tummy or a jiggly bum or trying to draw definition and shape and hide all those lumps and bumps, pulling that body shaper on is both a depressing and exciting occasion.

There was this dress sitting in my cupboard that I loved. But it was just sitting there. I didn’t have the courage to wear it. It was s green one made of that heavy clingy fabric that’s both flattering but rather unforgiving at the same time. For the life of me I can’t recall the name of the fabric right now. Anyway, you know when sometimes you go shopping and you see a dress you must have: you try it on – it fits, but not quite the way you hoped it would. And then as you’re paying for it at the till you make a promise to yourself then and there (and your dress) that you’re going to have to do whatever is necessary to be able to work that frock with the confidence it requires… And then of course months later your eyes keeps sweeping quickly past that dress as if it’s not there when you’re desperately looking for something to wear for that special occasion. And then off you go shopping again.

I remember picking up an article about the body shaper and astonished to discover that Jessica Alba admitted to wearing ‘spanx’ for those sexy evening dresses she looks flawless in. Yes, we all know Jessica is hot but if she needs to wear them, where the hell did I get off thinking they’re only for women in their 40s, is what I was thinking. And then more women came out of the wood work admitting to the same. Okay Beyonce wena we knew about but Eva Longoria? And Gwyneth Paltrow too?

Now buying a pair of spanx is not as easy as it looks.

No point in buying small size cos you’ll the night in pain. And one that’s just your size is not going to do you any wonders either. What works for me is buying the size I would be if I were a dress size smaller. I find it gives me a realistic ‘tuck’ and I don’t need to spend the night dashing to the loo to pull down what’s riding up. And yes, I have about 8 pairs of various body shapers which I don’t use so I’ve tried them all. But then again, it depends on the areas you want to enhance and play down. For me, it’s my waist I want to enhance and my hips I want to play down. So I now only wear the bottoms – a pair of short pantihose if you will.

Walking around Edgars shopping for my first pair (or whatever the collective noun is) of spanx I was rather embarrassed I must admit. But then after putting it on and seeing my lower body as a smooth and somewhat nip-tucked surface, I was heartened by the fact that it opened up what I thought was a vastly diminished wardrobe. Stuff that I couldn’t or wouldn’t wear I could suddenly wear. Such a nice feeling.

Pic from Brown Girl Gumbo


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