The Fat Word

Fat is not a four letter word.

The Feminomics of Spanx — Act Three: You May Crush My Internal Organs, But You Will Never Crush My Spirit

Continued from The Feminomics of Spanx — Act Two: Sara Blakely’s Rags to Much Tighter Rags Story

In the last article, we briefly touched on the utility of Spanx; it smoothes bulges, hides lumps. It makes clothing that wouldn’t look “good” otherwise lay more smoothly against the body. It must be a tricky item to market.

“Are you malformed? Do you feel bad about your saggy lumpiness? Here, try SPANX!”

Not so coincidentally enough, Spanx does no actual marketing. It has grown solely through word of mouth. For example, Blakely kept sending gift baskets to Oprah with Spanx in them. Eventually, Oprah made Spanx one of her Favorite Things. Spanx is like an infection. There are no billboards, no commercials making you feel bad. It’s passed from person to person. Women, openly sharing with other women that they are unhappy with how they look, and recommending special expensive underwear to hide their imperfections. Women are sharing this with one another, spreading it, disseminating it. It’s everywhere now. Celebrities wear Spanx. There are Spanx for men. There isn’t a giant corporation telling us to perk our asses up. We are telling ourselves.

Think about the real purpose of Spanx; Spanx facilitates a lie we tell each other about our bodies. It’s a lie we tell because it is too hard to ask for support and respect for how we actually look. Spanx legitimizes what the Fashion and Beauty Industrial Complexes keep pounding into our minds.

We need to change to fit in.

We need to change to squeeze into the molds society has set out for us.

No, seriously. LITERALLY SQUEEZE.

Spanx and other foundational undergarments smoosh our insides so they don’t work properly. Our lungs don’t breathe as well, our nerves get pinched, our muscles atrophy. We don’t even poop properly anymore.

But look at this video from the Spanx website of a woman modeling the Slimplicity Full Slip:

Did you see how sad she looked? Then suddenly they gave her makeup and a necklace and she was happy! They smoothed out all her normal bumps and lumps, and made her pretty. Because she wasn’t pretty before. She was gross.

Sara Blakely is a model female entrepreneur, someone who pulled herself up by her pantyhose and is now trying to help other women do the same. But did she have to make her fortune on something like SPANX!? My heart, as well as my ass, hurts from knowing that our best model for women making it in the business world is someone selling insecurity out of a little red backpack.

One comment on “The Feminomics of Spanx — Act Three: You May Crush My Internal Organs, But You Will Never Crush My Spirit

  1. Pingback: The Feminomics of Spanx — Act Two: Sara Blakely’s Rags to Much Tighter Rags Story | The Fat Word

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The Fat Word

The Fat Word strives to bring the perspectives and life experiences of fat people into the main stream culture. Fat is Not a Four Letter Word.

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The Fat Word supports fat activism, body positivity, and social justice movements worldwide. Inclusivity is paramount. We struggle together, we fight together. The Fat Word is a place for open discussion. We have two rules only. You disparage another person for their appearance and you're gone. All other topics are open for discussion at the moderators discretion. As long as you follow the rules of civil, logical debate, you'll be fine. Straw men are not welcome here, nor are concern trolls. If you have genuine questions about the fat acceptance movement, you're in the right place. If you seek to sow dissent, move along.
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