New garments, same idea. New age body shapers have taken cues from the girdles of the 40s and 50s.

There used to be a time when a woman wouldn’t leave home without a girdle, but as we progressed into women’s liberation, and new accepted forms of the mainstream American female body emerged, those girdles were replaced by nylons with thin control tops, oh, and the Visa card. But here we are, back in girdles with a modern twist. The difference is, we’re not being stuffed by mind-controlling ad men into uncompromising male-made garments—21st century women embrace them.

It’s been over a decade since the award-winning, pop cultural explosion launched on the market. Everyone from Oprah to the “The View” spotlighted Spanx, and starlets like Tyra Banks and Katie Holmes swore by them. The body shapers come in a range of slimming looks, fits, and tones that are specialized for the woman’s form, and will tighten up that agonizing pouch.

And boy aren’t the men getting hip? Men today know, that extra slim waist walking down the street may not be all you.

I’m a true size 6. I’m in Bikram Yoga three times a week, and you better believe I don’t have a LBD moment without my Spanx. My Spanx and I are inseparable. There is no other that wraps me, pulls me in, and makes me look like a million bucks. And the most amazing part about it all is, no one has to know.

Until they do.

I was at a nightclub in a sexy black backless mini dress on the dance floor killin’ em. This sexy bald brotha eases up behind me and we’re grinding to a Labor Day dancehall mix. I’m feeling good. My hips swaying and popping to the sounds. He places his arms around me. I take a step closer.

Then out of nowhere, as he’s gripping my waist, this brotha starts feeling around and says, “What you wearing, Spanx?”

I looked up at him and stepped back like he called me out my name.

Just as my lips start to rip him a new one, something clicked in my mind and said, “Why are you mad? There’s no reason to be embarrassed!” Sensibly, I looked back up at him, smiled a flirty one, blinked my eyes and said, “Yep! Gotta keep it tight!”

“So what, you gotta a gut or something?”

“Awww ish! Here we go!” I thought. It seemed like the music just stopped.

“Does it look like I have a gut? You can’t be serious.”

He unwrapped his arms from around me and said, “So if you don’t, why you wearing it?”

Heaven knows I didn’t wanna make a scene, but my womanly curves were under attack, and I was on my fourth martini. So you know what happened next. I went in.

Bet you wanna know what I said, right? Well, unfortunately, I don’t remember much after that. I did have four drinks, not including those shots I didn’t tell you about.

For now, my question is, when in the hell did men find out about Spanx?

Body shapers were supposed to be a woman’s secret weapon—emphasis on secret. Now every man from the club to the office are checking for Spanx marks. I need for men to stay absolutely oblivious to pouch suction of any kind. After all, isn’t that the whole point?

I blame wives and long-term girlfriends. You’re the disenchanted ones among us single body shaper-wearers who have lost the thrill. You ladies are audacious enough to go to bed in your Spanx, walk around the house in your Spanx, cook your man dinner in Spanx. Now men peeped our game, and our insider secret is not so discreet anymore.

But who cares, right? Men should understand, the body shaper is like makeup, they enhance our beauty, and make us feel sexy. Although it’s a little hard to breathe at times, body shapers are here to stay, and you boys better get used to it!

Do you wear body shapers? Which ones do you prefer?

–Geneva S. Thomas

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