Lay the Spanx Wings Upon Me

Is there anyone that remembers girdles?

My mother wore one, and watching her wrestle into it never ceased to amuse me. I’d pop some Jiffy Pop and sit on the edge of the bed, and await the All-Star Wrestler that my mother became when she’d take on the Playtex 18-Hour Cross Your Heart I Can’t Believe It’s a Girdle! A heavy, moisture-trapping canvas tent of inflexible material that she’d summon up for duty. I’d witness her go to battle with it; she’d always win, and the entire ensemble would find itself stretched over her expanse. There was compression to the tenth degree; from the three inch wide shoulder digging straps down to the mid thigh O rings for holding up the stockings.

My mother loved that thing. Her reflection loved her back. She looked as taut as a Marine-made bed, even after having six kids.

I’d look at that piece of rubber she was encased in and promise myself, “no flippin’ way am I ever going to stuff myself like a sausage casing into something like that.” Well, I might not have said flippin’, but, the F sentiment was there.

I would always look fantastic, slim, and trim…not a hot mess like my mother.

There was to be no girdle in my lifetime.

And I remained true to my girdle promise to my future self, until the menopot came a calling.

As I left my 30′s and moved into my 40′s, it took little more than a sideways lusty glance at a french eclair and ping! ping! my pants buttons would go flying.

I had become thick waisted, built like a box; skillet butted. And it wasn’t a gradual over time change, it was an all of a sudden overnight bam boom with a waist that measured the same as my hips. 34-37-37. Lovely.

I see you dripping jealous now.

But the girdles I had been witness to as a child? Not going to happen. Too humiliating to admit that outside help was needed to continue on as a stone cold fox.

Then, while shopping, I heard the halleluia! Looking tissue paper translucent and light as fairy wings as it draped a mannequin: it was called SPANX.

It looked glorious sparkling under the department store light. And to the touch, as weightless as French tulle. There were no three inch fat straps, no X shaped tummy panels, and the whole miraculous thing was without a seam.

It couldn’t hurt to just buy it? I could just buy it, you know.

As soon as I got it home, I stepped into it. No shimmying required.

What did it feel like? Let’s just say that if I had the money for plastic surgery, I’d be one of those people sitting across from Oprah on a segment called “Addicted To Plastic Surgery: It Happened To Them.”

I wanted that SPANX in every color, every style, every variation. Even ones not yet invented.

God, I loved my SPANX. It was soft, felt like the air baths Benjamin Franklin used to take before an open window. And my body? Smooth and roll-less as a Ball Park Plumper.





This was not my mama’s girdle.

And, of course it wasn’t, because even though I may now need a bit of *air quotes* outside assistance for this fineness that is me, I am not a hot mess underneath it, like my mother was.

Of course I’m not.

photo credit: TC Fine Intimates via photopin cc

About Alexandra

Alexandra is a writer who has found the secret to getting rich as a blogger that she'll share with you for just $9.99. When not taking her checks to the bank, Alexandra blogs at Good Day Regular People about life as an overanalyzing mother of three boys trying to go unnoticed in her small town. The most important things you need to know about her are that the internet saves her daily and that she believes the most you can ask for in life is to arrive at the end of it all with your hair messed up, out of breath, and not throwing up. Alexandra is a contributing writer for TikiTikiblog and FunnynotSlutty.


  1. I said the same thing… till I got side boobs after breastfeeding my last kid. I lurve my foundation garments!

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  2. Middle State says:

    I love my SPANX ripoffs, known as ASSets. I wear them year ’round. And yes, I too, recall my mother and grandmother squeezing themselves into the suits of under armor known as girdles and swearing I’d never let that happen to my stomach and thighs.

  3. Elizabeth B says:

    I remember my momma wearing girdles when I was very young. I thought they looked scary. I finally succumbed to the Spanx a couple of years ago, but only wear them with certain things. However, I am ALL about my push-up bra. I don’t leave home without it.

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    • Alexandra says:

      The push up bra I just can’t get on board with that.

      BUT the spanx? NO PROBLEM. So smooth, so comfortable, you can bend over and no bowl of bread dough that needs kneading.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Apryl says:

    It’s not just shapewear I swore I’d never do like my mother.

  5. Anne Parris says:

    My mom went to a public college in the early 60s and girdles were part of the mandatory dress code. If your house mother thought you were not wearing the proper undergarments you had to go back to your dorm room to change.
    I always thought this was awful.

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  6. Okay, well you’ve never been spatula-butted your whole life, but all that aside, I think I need a Spanx tutor. I bought some of these here spanx one sweaty August day a few years ago, in Boston. Was going with Husband to his 25th college reunion dinner & wanted to go only with Husband and not my very own sidebars and jigglefriends. Thus, spanx. In the unairconditioned dorm room where we were staying (note to self: next reunion stay at the damn holiday inn) and tried to get that mofo piece of silicon over my custardy thighs. I pulled, I pushed, it twisted and rolled and became a solid nylon tubing around both my thighs, effectively pinning my legs together. Couldn’t go up, couldn’t go down. I spent a series of naked sweaty minutes trying to pry that thing off me, plopped it into the wastebasket. I am to this day jiggly and spanxless. Sigh.

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  7. Hillary says:

    Putting that image of Benjamin Franklin into an essay about SPANX was genius! I’m still smiling. But now I won’t be able to wear shapewear without thinking, “Does this have B.F.’s approval?

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