If you've ever tried on a dress or piece of clothing and showed it to a friend, only to be told it would look great if only you didn't have that one roll or bump or bulge, you may have turned to Spanx. We've all heard about the supposed magic that are Spanx, with advocates practically preaching from the pulpits about their transformative "shaping and smoothing" abilities. But if you've ever tried a pair of Spanx on, you might wonder what those who abide by the gospel of shapewear could possibly be thinking because those babies are NOT comfortable. Worse than being uncomfortable, shapewear like Spanx depends on people buying into the myth that your body has to be smooth and fat-roll-free to be beautiful. Some people enjoy wearing shapewear, and they make you feel great, then keep doing what you're doing. But others feel like they need it in order to look good. One Instagram user showed us exactly how untrue that is.
Olivia, who goes by SelfLoveLiv on Instagram, posted side by side photos of herself. In one photo she's wearing Spanx designed to give her a flat belly and basically suck everything in. In the other, she's freed herself from the shackle that is shapewear and she's letting it all hang out. In the photo's caption, Olivia explains why her belly is beautiful, with or without Spanx.
"I bought some Spanx about a year ago, hoping it would slim my figure and I could wear body con dresses. Do you know how uncomfortable these things are, breathing was not an option! I felt tight, uncomfortable and restricted in the first photo," Olivia wrote. "The relief of taking them off was amazing!!"
Spanx can definitely be uncomfortable, but Olivia explained that it's the feeling that she needed them in the first place that's the real issue.
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"Don't be fooled by campaign ads and TV shows and those fabulous insta models. Spanx are created to give the illusion of a flatter stomach and smaller figure," she wrote. "You don't NEED them. I feel totally fine in the second photo, and I can breathe again! You don't need an item of clothing in order to love yourself. You don't need to wear a tight piece of material in order to wear a dress or top. WEAR IT ANYWAY."
This is exactly the point. Many people think they need shapewear in order to wear certain pieces of clothing because it hides fat rolls, bulges and bellies. They think that because society has created a limited standard of what's beautiful, and it doesn't typically include visible rolls underneath your clothes. Shapewear helps you seem to fit into that beauty standard, but instead of attempting to fit into it, we should be making beauty standards fit us.
No matter what your body looks like, you should wear whatever makes you comfortable and happy. If shapewear helps you feel comfortable, that's great. But if you feel like you need shapewear to look good, remember that your body doesn't need to be slimmed or smoothed, it's perfect how it is. You can wear whatever you want to, whether or not your belly shows or you have a few or a lot of fat rolls. If it makes you feel good, that's all that matters. So if you don't like it, shed that shapewear and let it all hang out just like Olivia.