I don't begrudge Sara for becoming a billionaire off of Spanx. They look a heck of a lot more comfortable than the girdles my mother, grandmother and aunts wore to hold in the fat during the 1950's and 1960's. I'm willing to bet that the girdle was invented by a man to torture women. His mother probably spanked him during toilet training, and the girdle was the only legal way he could punish all women for eternity. Sara finally liberated women from the confines of the elastic Merry Widow. She deserves her billions.
The Girdle Reinvented
Sara Blakley thinks she invented something new with her Spanx Shapewear. I wonder if she realizes that she simply reinvented the girdle.
What is Spanx?
Just in case you haven't heard of Sara Blakley and Spanx, here's a rundown: She invented comfortable shapewear for women and started her own company with just $5,000. She's now one of the few women, self-made billionaires joining the ranks of Oprah Winfrey and Meg Whitman. She did all of this without spending a cent on advertising. News travels fast among women and it's understandable that Spanx would do so well with names like these:
- SPANX Power Panties
- SPANX Reversible Tight End Tights
- SPANX Slimplicity Open Bust Camisole Shapewear
- SPANX Higher Power High-Waisted Mid-Thigh Shaper 032
- SPANX Bra-llelujah! Full Coverage Front-Close Underwire Bra
- SPANX Medium Control Undie-tectable Panty
Why The World Needs Spanx
I remember watching my mother wriggle into her girdle when I was a kid. She looked like she was dancing a combination of the twist and the bop. If you're too young to know what the twist and the bop are, I feel sorry for you. You missed out on a lot of fun. I bet you don't know what Spoolies are either.
In the summer, we would fly from California to Kentucky, my mother's home state, to visit the extended family. During the fifties and most of the sixties, in the Southern and Eastern United States, women got dressed up to go shopping and that included the grocery store. Can you imagine putting on your Playtex bra and girdle, a slip, nylons and high heels just to go grocery shopping in 250 degree weather? Most people didn't have air conditioning then either.
I'm convinced that rap music is a reinvention just like Spanx. My mother, grandmother and two aunts invented the first rap song. The whole time they were waddling around in their girdles at the downtown stores, they half sang, "My girdle is killing me, my girdle is killing me, my girdle is killing me. Damn this girdle is hot, damn this girdle is hot, damn this girdle is hot."
When we finally got home, these women didn't even wait to get to their bedrooms to start undressing. The shopping bags were thrown on the floor, and they began peeling off the girdles as soon as they got through the front door. I won't mention what that looked like. When they finally got those elastic torture garments down to the ankles, they stood up and kicked them clear across the room, fell back onto the sofa or chairs and let out a big ahhh! I even felt a sigh of relief, and I wasn't wearing a girdle. They all looked like a bunch of beached whales.
Men Wearing Spanx
Women aren't the only ones who need a little help from Spanx. Men can now give the illusion of a tight, trim body. Spanx offers something for every trouble spot on the male physique:
- Cotton Compression Crew-Neck, or V-Neck T-Shirt or Tank
- Under Belly Buster
- Spanx Cotton Comfort Boxer Brief
- Zoned Performance Crew Neck Top
These Spanx lists are by no means exhaustive. Sara Blakely continues to add to her line of shapewear regulary. Click on a picture in the carousel galleries and try a Spanx product for yourself.