The Girdle. Undergarment from Hell.
The dreaded girdle. Oh, how I hate thee.
When it was time for my mom to show my eleven year old self what to do with those weird looking, foot-long, crazy-thick pads in the pink box under the bathroom sink, she also gave me a strict word of advice: You MUST wear a girdle with these in order to keep them in place. We’ll go out and buy you one today so you can start wearing them right away.
Me? A girdle? What was I, eighty? Well, you decide for yourself because this photo is almost identical to the actual one that my mother made me wear:
I hated the girdle – and I mean, hated it. Yes, even more than the 2 inch thick Kotex I had to wear; and I balked every time my mother made me wear it. After a year or so of constant complaint she finally gave up and said, ‘Fine, don’t wear one. But you’ll be sorry because you NEED them to help keep everything in place. But if you want things hanging out all over then I guess there’s nothing I can do about it.’ Did I mention that my mother is famous? You know her – everyone does. She invented the Guilt Trip.
Challenging as it was having a celebrity for a parent, I was able to free myself from the confines of girdle-hood for many, many years. And life was good.
Fast forward um, about….three decades, and apparently I have crossed over into the Twilight Zone because I am eating those words. I now completely understand how important it is to keep jiggly bits from flopping around. For a while now I’ve been trying to find the perfect form-fitting undergarment. Gravity is having its way with me; things are starting to fall further and further towards the ground and I’m finding myself actually looking for a magical underwear to stop it. So far, I have been unsuccessful.
My mail carrier must be noticing it as well because for the first time ever, I recently received an unsolicited catalog in the mail by a company called Spanx, tucked in between an Omaha Steaks brochure and this week’s flyer for reasonably priced maid service. (Seriously, how do they know that I’m having a hard time keeping my floors free from dirt?)
I set down the mail and picked up the catalog. I was mesmerized. The girdles of today look NOTHING like the girdles my mother used to make me wear. There’s one that concentrates on lifting your butt; one to smooth your legs, and one for lifting your breasts. There’s even a whole body girdle that promises to slim and smooth all my bumpy parts at once!
I had to find these Spanx and try them on just to see if they worked. I jumped in my car and drove straight to the mall.
Heading for the intimate section of a store I looked specifically for Spanx but couldn’t find that particular brand, however there were plenty of other brands that had very similar styles, and so I grabbed as many as I could carry and headed to the biggest dressing room I could find.
First up: the full body
girdle sorry…. ‘body shaper’. (I’m so stuck in 1981).
Getting these things on is quite the challenge. It took me over 5 minutes to yank and pull and I was darn near out of breath by the time I pulled it up over my shoulders. Looking at myself in the mirror I wondered, ‘how exactly is this supposed to make me look better? I can still see every roll. The only difference is, now they’re all uniformly beige in color!’
Next, I tried on the ones that look like bike shorts, except these have butt lifts in the back (no joke!). They did make my butt look perky, but when I went to move around a bit, the waist band began to roll down my stomach a bit. Not good.
Finally, I tried the thigh slimmer, butt booster, waist whittler all-in-one. This one looks like the previous one, except there’s extra fabric that comes all the way up to the ribs. I’m assuming it’s purpose is to help eliminate that rolling I was talking about. Hmm. So far, so good. I went to sit down on the bench and see how comfortable it was. As soon as I sat down, the fabric at the bottom of my thighs began rolling UP. *Sigh*
Okay, ladies – time to help a gal out. So many questions…..
First: how many of you admit that you actually wear one of these contraptions, and more importantly, are they comfortable?
Do they work?
How do you keep these things in place? Have you ever tried on one that won’t stay put?
…and most importantly: how do you know what size to get? I have tried on my size according to the charts and it was so tight, it felt like I was being prepped for a mummy display at the Museum of Natural History.
…stopping now…..temples throbbing.
Pour forth any words of wisdom for this almost 43 year old woman who clearly doesn’t know how to shop in today’s world. I’m listening.