Spanx Very Much
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The 21st century corset that's changing waists and bottom lines
There is a scene in Gone With the Wind where Scarlett O'Hara is clutching a bedpost, gasping for air, while Mammy pulls and stretches her corset strings to highlight O'Hara's impossibly tiny waist. Women have always been prone to being fashion victims and no matter what the era or century, one enduring rule holds: the figure must conform to the silhouette in vogue at the time, to be truly fashionable. The pressure to have the perfect body has always been there — the hour-glass figure prevailed in the early 20th century to be replaced by a slimmer, more slender look 100 years later.
The corset has undergone many changes since its origins in the 16th century (then, it broke an occasional rib and damaged vital organs with its uncompromising steel wires), to return in 2000 in the form of Spanx, a brand that sounds more like a fetish accessory though there's nothing remotely erotic about it. For the uninitiated, this is a tight spandex tube worn under the clingiest of dresses, an engineering marvel that magically lifts your derriere, hides all those ungainly, fleshy parts of your body by stuffing them into the tube, and smoothes out lines to give you a celebrity red carpet figure.
Needless to say, in a fat-phobic world Spanx is a smashing success, endorsed by Oprah Winfrey and Gwyneth Paltrow and has made its creator a millionaire several times over. It was at the top of the shopping list of all my friends travelling abroad this year
(a version of Spanx is now available at
La Senza outlets across India at approx Rs 3,500.)
Critics call it deception (the very unkind ones call it desperation) but just donning a body slimming garment to appear two sizes lighter sure beats plastic surgery or liposuction, and many would insist, hours slogging at the gym.
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