When I first discovered Spanx in 2005, I wanted to run right up to Sarah Blakely and give her an uncomfortably long awkward bear hug of immense gratitude. We would then have an instant connection and become best friends. I imagine our meeting would be just like this:
I had just had my first child and was pretty tired of hearing complete strangers exclaim, “you must be due any day now!” What? I didn’t fool you into thinking I was thin underneath this loose-fitting button up denim maternity shirt? Or perhaps the 3 month old I’m carrying might have been an indication that it would be physically impossible for me to be “due any day now?” There was no escaping it.
Now granted, I probably consumed somewhere in the neighborhood of 68,000 calories a day, packing on an astonishing 96 pounds. How was it possible to have an 8 1/2 pound baby and only lose 8 1/2 pounds? Wasn’t it all supposed to disappear magically once you delivered? No one told me that I would have to go through 2 years of self-loathing and hard work to come back to what was to be nothing at all like what I had before. If they had, my food pyramid might have looked a little different from this: (the placement of The Sara Lee Cheesecake on top is intentional, because I could eat an entire one in a day, and by could, I mean did.)
Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday. When FedEx arrived with my first pair of $38 Higher Power Body Shapers I was as excited as a retard with a new cupcake. I decided it would be a good idea to size down to an XL for maximum benefit! I was so smart!
I tore the package open excitedly, and unwrapped the Spanx from around the cardboard. I was puzzled by the fact that once unfolded, they looked like they may possibly fit over a banana, albeit snugly. I was baffled, but I was going to look ahhhmazing!
I’m not exaggerating when I say that it took me no less than 20 agonizing and utterly degrading minutes to get my fat ass into them. It was like trying to fit a hippopotamus into a tube sock, but I was determined.
This particular pair extended from directly under the breasts to mid-thigh. There was a sensation of my ribs being compressed to a point that I could only take in very tiny breaths of air. After wearing them for any more than 20 minutes, I would be struck with gut-wrenching stomach pains which were typically followed by a sweaty upper lip and a mean bout of diarrhea. But so what, my fat was so tightly contained, and I was aerodynamic and not jiggly. What a blessing.
Now let’s not forget to thank Sarah Blakely in all of her visionary genius for having the foresight to put in the split crotch feature (also known as a cotton double gusset.) If you’ve ever tried them on, you know first hand that once you get them on you are not taking them off until the party’s over. Then, in the privacy of your own home, behind a locked door, alone in the dark with all mirrors covered, you can at last begin the demoralizing process of peeling them off. I don’t know who’s happier to breathe, you or your vagina. Farts just fly out, your belly flops back to its normal happy shape and finally can fill your lungs to capacity.
My only suggestion to my BFF Sara would be this : please make a pair with an anus gusset, because what if someone* went to the bathroom fully anticipating a good old-fashioned pee, only to be surprised by a poop halfway out with other plans for your evening.
Just food for thought.