It’s been unforgivably long. I know. I have a whole list of unposted blogs that I wrote and then decided I hated. What can you do?
The following (horror) story is meant for my fellow chunky ladies, but even if you find yourself not in that category, feel free to read on…
Today I went up a jean size (translation: today I ACKNOWLEDGED that I went up a jean size. I have deliberately been wearing dresses and leggings since I got back from my five week binge diet of daily wine and bread in Spain this summer because I didn’t want to recognize the truth that I had totally packed on some pounds). But today it was chilly. Today I wanted to wear jeans. Today I chub-rubbed through the inner thigh of the only pants that fit me, so today I faced the music and sized up.
Because let’s be honest, the only thing worse than grabbing the next biggest size up is trying to stuff your flab into a pair of pants that USED to fit, breaking a sweat while your wrestle your fat ass into them, having to hold your breath so you can button them, and then watching the rolls spill over the top while the waist band cuts off blood flow to your lower extremities.
After I had grabbed a few pairs of jeans to try on, I made my way toward the dressing room. By coincidence, I just happened to pass by the shapewear section on the way. I paused to look at the choices and decided to give it a go. Now, I already have a pretty solid variety of spanx at home (the kind that squeezes your legs, the kind that squeezes your abdomen SO severely you feel like a 18th century courtier who is prone to fainting spells and hysteria because she can’t effing breathe, the kind that looks kinda like a wet suit, and of course the kind that’s basically glorified granny panties). For whatever reason though, something about buying a larger jean size made me feel the need to try a new set of shapewear on (as if somehow NEW shapewear could eradicate fat better than what I already have? Idk). The pair I picked up looked pretty intense and it boasted having “anti slip technology.”
I didn’t really think of it at the time, but you’re more clever than me. You know what anti-slip means, right? IT MEANS THE INSIDE IS FULL OF RUBBER.
Now, for those of you who chose to read this despite not personally identifying as a chunky lady, allow me to explain to you really quickly what exactly it’s like to wear shapewear.
Imagine you have a daughter. Your daughter has a lot of Barbies. The Barbies wear a lot of nylon/spandex. One day you’re chilling at home and you come across one of these Barbie outfits and you think to yourself “I could probably fit in that.” So you decide to take your giant, naked, jiggly adult body and CRAM it into literal doll clothes. Imagine how hard that would be. THAT is what it’s like to put on shapewear.
So I go into the changing room and strip down to my undies in front of a full length mirror (ew) and then decided to try the shapewear first to get it over with. Now, again, for those of you who are spanx virgins (that sounds dirtier than it is), allow me to share with you the cardinal rule of shapewear: NEVER, EVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES PUT IT ON OR REMOVE IT WHILE STANDING IN FRONT OF A MIRROR. You know how a can of biscuits looks when you bust it open? How the white, doughy rolls ooze and spill out of the cracks? Now imagine that times roughly 1,000 — that’s removing shapewear. Now imagine that in slow motion and reverse — that’s putting on shapewear.
All round I give it a 10/10 for shattering the self esteem of literally anyone (and I say this as someone who believes that she is chubby and gorgeous. Being fat doesn’t really rattle my opinion of myself, but putting on shapewear definitely does).
So hear I am, standing in a room full of mirrors, staring at my own pasty, smushy body, and I decided to stuff myself into that tiny, rubber-coated, Barbie-sized spandex wet suit while making eye contact with my own reflection (AKA, I decided today would be a good day to learn to hate myself). Because you know what feels worse than the feeling of insecurity (and let’s face it, getting winded) while wrestling yourself into shapewear?
Um, how about the sensation of every single hair getting methodically plucked out as you try to yank some rubber-lined micro shorts over your flabby unshaved body!
I’m not sure what the fitting room attendant thought I was doing (based on my grunts, screams, and expletives), but I know that when I looked at myself I was staring into the eyes of a slightly unhinged madwoman.
There were literal tears streaming down my face.
When I was finally done (and I had managed to stop sobbing) let me tell you, I looked gooood and I knew it. But I also knew that I would rather eat glass shards than try to take the contraption back off, much less ever put it on again. Rest assured, it did not find a new home with me this day. After I peeled it off I was happy to grab my new jean size and get the hell out of the store before I had any more bright ideas.
Is there a lesson in this? I mean, I guess you could make an argument for “love your body the way it is” (which, for the record, I do. Extra chub and all, I am usually pretty happy in my own skin). That’s all well and good, but I think the real lesson is “No matter what you do, no matter where you go, what you think, or who you become, never try to put rubber spanx on over unshaved legs. Ever.”
Nobody deserves that kind of suffering.
Until next time,
I'm nobody with the urge to be somebody and a gift for telling stories. My hope is to use this site to hone my writing for a wider audience than college professors and family friends. So cheers to you, dear reader! Please let me know what you think