Shapewear: Stop the Slimming Insanity!

Have you ever tried on wedding dresses? Well, let me tell you, it’s stressful! First you’re worried about the actual dress (is it fancy enough, is it too fancy), but then you start to hone in on your body. My god look at those sausage arms! Is my ass really that large? And here comes the 360 mirror view, what a great way to see all of  your trouble spots at once. I was sucking in and working angles like nobody’s business. And then I did something I never thought I’d do, I thought of shapewear. Because every bride wants to be crammed into a sausage casing on their big day. Nope, that was it!  Time to dial back on the extravagant meals and cut out (a wee bit of) my beer consumption. I refuse to wear shapewear. I am what I am, flaws and all.


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The weight loss and fitness industry brings in $20 billion dollars a year in the US alone. 85% of consumers are female. (Source: ABC News)  I’d venture to guess that much of this $20 billion is spent on shortcuts and get fit quick schemes. Are there really so many of us naïve enough to believe there is a magic pill? A perma Spanx?

Apparently the answer to the question is a resounding YES! Massacusetts residents Annique Bellot and Tara Stefani have filed a class action lawsuit against both Maidenform and Wacoal for what they say are false claims about the products’ permanent results. In the suit, the women claim that Wacoal’s $60 iPant and Maidenform’s $38 Flexees Instant Slimmer products mislead customers by promising to “permanently change women’s body shape and skin tone.”

Yes, for real. These women actually thought that a glorified pair of biker shorts and a girdle was going to permanently reduce the appearance of cellulite and change the shape of their bodies. But surprise, when removed, their bodies looked exactly the same as when they crammed themselves in!


Photo credit: Nordstroms

The company has responded, saying it “has recently learned that the manufacturer of the fabric used in certain shapewear products marketed by Maidenform may be unable to provide the level of substantiation for advertising claims that Maidenform expects.” There is nothing wrong with the products, the statement goes on to say, but unsatisfied consumers are entitled to a refund. But Bellot and Stefani aren’t simply looking for a refund, they’re looking for punitive damages. Because surely these ladies were mentally scarred by the false claims and endure some level of suffering.

If you’re picking up a little sarcasm here, you should be. Because while I get feeling like you’re never at your goal or nitpicking small details, I also understand that fitness equals work.  What I don’t get is thinking some magic potion will achieve what takes others hours in a gym each week and strict adherence to a healthy diet. There is no way around it and to think you’re going to shave off years of neglect with something you find at the store is foolhardy and irresponsible. Ladies, we’ve got to stop feeding the companies that make these ridiculous promises and products. You can do this; take off your modern day corsets and breathe! Put down the remote and stop listening to these infomercials! Get outside, go for a walk, eat some real food, and love yourself. No shape wear product, cellulite cream, body wrap, diet pill, cabbage soup diet or crazy exercise contraption is going to give you a VIP line to fit and it’s definitely not going to make you feel better about yourself. That’s all you!

About the author

Melissa is a 30-something who lives in Atlanta. She loves her dog and beer way too much and would rather go to a concert than go shopping. Currently she’s only writing from her desk on her lunch break from her corporate 9-5. You can find her attempts at fiction, rants and musings at QuickStepp.