Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Miracle of Spanx

In opposition to the Trend-Setting, Chic Mom persona I don, occasionally I find myself sorely out-of-the-loop on some extremely important fashion advances.  For a decade, Spanx has been making the talk show circuit and the cover of popular magazines.  I vaguely recall hearing about it over the last several years, but I dismissed the garments’ fame as a gimmick. Ten Years of Great Rears, seriously?  But only last week my life was transformed by the body shaping miracle.  In my eyes, Spanx is well on its way to the veneration status of the Uber Undy.  Like Pope John Paul II blowing passed Mother Teresa on the fast-track to sainthood, Spanx is skyrocketing beyond the Playtex Cross-Your-Heart Bra to the pinnacle of Undergarment Everest.

In preparing for my third marriage…don’t judge me…I recently found myself explaining to a bridal shop consultant why I did not want a strapless gown.  “My boobs are tiny, situated low on my torso, and sagging.  The bodice of a strapless gown would end up in the vicinity of my hips, a location where my breasts are most comfy, much to my chagrin.  In their defense, forty-five years is a long time, and they are tired.”  The consultant seemed unmoved by my explanation.  With a flat affect, she said, “I haven’t met a set I couldn’t lift.  It’s all in the undergarment.”  Whatever. 

So I followed Ms. Thing to the fitting room, and she said, “I have several dresses in mind that would be perfect for you!  I will be right back.”  She then handed me a strapless bustier/long slip made of alien material.  The textile was tiny, light and soft.  I laughed.  First, like this was going to fit, and secondly, like this was going elevate my chest to the “normal” position.  For shits and giggles, I will try to get my leg in it.  (I know I sound big and tough in print, but in the real world I don’t like to disappoint anyone, including Ms. Thing.) 

Surprisingly, the wonder garment went on with minimal effort…it fit…it cradled my ta-tas at the appropriate height… I could breath… it was comfortable.  And then there was silence.  I listened for apocalyptic thunder signaling the end of days, for they must be nigh.  No thunder, though.  Just a pleasant moment of alone time with me and my new BFF, Spanx.  I whispered “I love you,” to my Spanx as Ms. Thing, whose status had just upgraded to “Goddess, Giver of the Sacred Body Shaping Knowledge” returned with dresses…including strapless ones. 

I came out of the private dressing area adorned with the first dress, and tried uselessly to get my Mom’s attention.  As usual, she had made friends with some other brides-to-be and was chatting them up during my fitting room epiphany.  Mom is the ultimate socialite; she has some issues with focusing.  She easily strays off-topic, and if something shinny appears in her peripheral vision, she follows it.  Apples don’t fall far from their trees.  Lord only knows what she was sharing so intently…So, I wave my arms frantically, and finally get her to come over for an opinion.  She says, “How did you get your boobs up there?”  And I knew.  Miracle Verified.  Beatification.  Bra-llelujah!  

I did not purchase a strapless gown, but my Spanx should not be blamed.  That distinct honor goes to the nasty flab that has taken residence on my upper arms.  C'est la vie.  Of course, I bought my Spanx, which I have affectionately dubbed “Franc,” and considered 2011 to be a success the moment the transaction was completed.           

Here is a little history of Spanx…..Spanx is shapewear, which includes pantyhose, full bodysuits, bras, tights, shorts, vests and panties.  Men’s wear is also now available.  Sara Blakely began this phenomenon after cutting out the feet of her nylon hose to smooth her figure in slacks and give her shoe style options.  She has grown her idea into a multi-million dollar business, complete with a charity foundation to help women through education and entrepreneurship.  She launched her Foundation with a “Give a Damn” Party.  In the days since the dressing room revelation, I have begun to revere Sara…soon she may move up to Bethenny Frankel status.*

However, buyer, beware, there are imposters afoot…from infomercials to discount store shelves, pseudo-Spanx abound…creating exaggerated muffin tops, increasing the sales of Lexapro, and mass-producing feminine chaos. Generic options simply can not compare. My combination of nylon, Lycra, cotton and latex is heavenly, and I truly believe the Slim Cognito Mid-Thigh Shaper has the tautness to hold back Lake Mead, if the Hoover Dam were to burst.

Now that Franc is in my life, no more will I experience driving home from work feeling my stomach flab escape the top of my Jaclyn Smith Kmart control top tights.  Never again will I feel said stomach laying on my thighs…just stretched out, relaxing.  I have battled Grand Master Flab most of my life, and its appearance on the drive home after a long day tires me.  But, alas, I now have Franc Spanx… and all is well with the world.

*My Rowdy Friend Amy gave me some updated information on Frankel.  Apparently, Bethenny has also created Skinny Girl Sangria. Perfect for culturally correct Mexican-themed parties! (Hispanic-themed parties? You know what I mean!)  Next on the Rowdy agenda, the “We Give a Damn Fiesta,” proceeds to benefit “Dress for Success.”

A. Ballerina

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