... and then I got a watermelon belly and my ab muscles got super lazy from months of disuse. I can still pull my belly flat if I think about it, but it's not quite so automatic as it once was.
So I thought "I will buy some Spanx to wear under my holiday fancywear, because god forbid someone tags me in a photo on Facebook where my belly is anything but flat." And off to Target I went to try and pick out the best Spanx for the job. I had never purchased Spanx before.
And you guys ... what the f***. That section of the store is baffling and terrifying.
The first step in purchasing Spanx is to decide which body part you want held in. These options included thighs, hips, ass, belly, waist, chest (??!). You can apparently pick and choose any combination of body parts to be Spanked, while other body parts can be enhanced. I guess the Spanx will push all the fat from some parts towards other parts and then you will look amazing? I'm not sure. I just knew that I wanted a Spanx that would help me remember to hold in my lower belly -- like maybe waist-high undershorts or something. That seemed simple enough.
Such a Spanx did not exist.
So I delved deeper into the racks of Spanx.
I found ass-enhancing Spanx, which would somehow push all the fat from your thighs and hips around to the back, giving you a badonkadonk made entirely of relocated thigh-fat. I thought about buying this one, since it most resembled the waist-high undershorts I was imagining, but then I worried that the weird elastic sections would show through my form-fitting dress and someone would say "Oh look, there goes Patent wearing ass-enhancing Spanx under her dress."
I almost purchased this. And now I have to live with myself.
There was a Spanx that was like a long, tight tank top reaching to below the butt. I thought that would work nicely at pulling in my stomach, so I grabbed it off the rack ... and discovered the next challenge in buying Spanx: Do you intend to use the restroom at any point?
This tank top thing had shorts attached to the bottom of it, making it some kind of horrible combo of shorteralls and wrestling unitard. But corset-tight. And flesh-colored. If you wanted to use the bathroom while wearing it, you'd have to completely remove whatever you were wearing on top of it in order to peel it off yourself and pee. What the f***. I put the Spanxitard back on the rack.
Like this, but shorter shorts. And less visible wang.
I looked at another camisole-type Spanx, but worried that the bottom of it would produce a line visible through my dress. "Oh look," the people would say, "there goes Patent with a Spanx camisole under her dress. You can tell because she has an upside-down muffin top [muffin bottom?] where it ends." So the Spanxisole was out.
At this point, I discovered a bottom rack of off-brand bicycle-shorts-looking Spanx. I hadn't really noticed this rack originally because they all claimed to be for "thigh" Spanking and I didn't need that. But after the Ass-Spanx, Spanxitard and Spanxisole failures, I was scraping along the bottom of the barrel.
But before I could pick out a pair, I had to spend a moment considering the very notion of Spanking up one's thighs. Like, what the hell? How does that work, even? I have worn plenty of corsets in my day, so I'm familiar with the concept of squeezing certain body parts until they relocate their mass elsewhere (into the boobs). How the shit is that supposed to work with your thighs??! won't the chub just all poke out the bottom, giving you enormous bulbous knees? I mean, unless you're wearing the special ass-enhancing Spanx, of course.
If your thighs are so fat that they require a corset, why would you even wear clothing so tight around the legs??! Why not wear a dress with a looser skirt, or pants that don't fit like a sausage casing?
HOW DID FAT THIGHS BECOME A THING THAT WOMEN EVEN WORRIED ABOUT? I can't say I've spent a single moment of my life wondering "how do my thighs look in this outfit." Do people even notice this? Do you look at women and say "whoa nelly, she should have corseted up those thighs because DAYAMMMM"??
If you're REALLY concerned, you can probably tone up your thighs with whatever the f**k this thing is.
At this point, I had been in the Target Spanx section for like ten minutes. I was about to ask someone for help because I just didn't even have a clue. I had learned more about women and their insecurities in those ten minutes than I had in my previous 28 years of being a woman.
A Spanx that convinces you your thigh fat belongs in your ass and your back fat belongs in your bra.
A Spanx that makes you look like a high school wrestler. (and what if your Spanx are successful at wooing a gentleman caller? How are you going to take your Spanxitard off in a sexy way?? Won't it make a really loud snapping sound while leaving weird marks on your skin?)
In the end, I just bought a pair of control top pantyhose and got the hell out of there. It was either that, or buy some sort of Spanx full body suit that would push my wrist fat into my calves and my neck fat into my cheekbones.
I hope my daughter never asks me to buy her Spanx. I won't even know where to start. "Which part would you like Spanked, darling? Do you intend to use the restroom at any point?"
I'll just stick to not giving a shit what my thighs look like. It's so much easier.
Plus, let's face it -- I'd rather look fat in something than leave the house wearing THIS.