Tuesday, September 6, 2011

GUEST POST: Why I Drank the SPANX Kool-Aid

As I've noted, Tuesdays are the day when my wonderful blogging friends use this space to let loose.  There are no rules, not even that one rule about not talking about Fight Club.

Do you know Alexandra from Good Day Regular People fame? OF COURSE YOU DO.  

What can I say about her that hasn't already been said? She is truly one of the most generous, selfless, kind-hearted people I have ever run across, and if you are wondering what the fuck she is doing palling around with the likes of me? Well, so am I. But I'm doing it quietly so she won't realize just how wrong this is and ditch me.

I'll link to a few posts from her blog, but you can also find her on BlogHer (where she was a goddamn Voice of the YEAR), Tiki Tiki Blog, and Listen to Your Mother, among other places.  Read about how she almost stayed a Miss and how she can translate teenager and you have to check out a guest post from her youngest, Baby E, where you will die from the adorableness.

I cannot stress to you how exceptional this woman is.  I'm sure she's touched your life as she has touched mine.

I'd tell you to follow her on Twitter, but you probably already you already are.

Without further ado, this:

 It was the mid 1960's, and I sat on the bed watching my mother pull up and tug down and manhandle herself into her Playtex 18 Hour I Can't Believe It's A Girdle!

Before she'd ever go out for an evening, this stiff criss cross heavy canvas tent of inflexible material was summoned into action. I'd witness her go to battle with it; she'd always win, and the entire outfit would find itself stretched over her body. There was compression to the tenth degree; from the three inch wide shoulder straps down to the mid thigh O rings.

My mother loved that thing. Her reflection loved her back. She looked like a million bucks, 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, trim, tall, skinny, 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 button would go flying.

I had become thick waisted, built like a box, and skillet butted. And it wasn't a gradual over time change, it was an all of a sudden over night bam boom with a waist that measured the same as my hips.

I see you drooling jealously 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. Do the kids still say that?

Then, I saw it. While shopping for a winter coat in women's better fashion: SPANX.

It looked so glorious under the department store light, all translucent on the mannequin. 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 home, I shimmied into it.

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

God I loved my SPANX. It was soft, felt like nothing, 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 outside air quotes assistance for this fineness that is me, I am not a hot mess underneath it, like my mother was.

Of course I'm not.


  1. Oh, Sunny: do you know how much I love being here?

    Even with the evidence of my dorkitude by sending you this guest post in size 24 font?

    A blind as a bat dork.

    I crack myself up.

    Seriously, thank you for letting me into the cook kids club, even if it is by accident, on account of me not knowing you're one of the cool kids.

    Thanks for loving on this square mama, and it is a JOY to know you.

    We will meet, one day...and I pity those eavesdropping in on that conversation.



  2. Been wanting to try them SPANX myself :D

  3. empress, yet again i follow you into places men should never tread...lol...um, i think i will continue to say i will never wear one...i hope...smiles.

  4. Everything you said! Or as Sally would say to Harry, "YES! YES! YES!"

    I am trying to stay away from blogs this week since big things are happening on my side of the universe, with a manuscript going out into the world and all, but when I saw this on Twitter, I had to stop by. It was also the tempting siren call of two of my favorite bloggers together, that made me stomp on over here.

    I have been wearing Spanx for a couple of years now, ever since as Empress so succinctly put it, I grew this poochy ab thing overnight.

    I love the Spanx. Love them. I hear that after Gwyneth Paltrow had a baby, she wore two sets of Spanx to the Oscars. Even the insufferable love the Spanx.

    And not to be all TMI, actually I'm always TMI, but my favorite Spanx are the ones with the, ahem, opening on the bottom. The first time I accidentally bought that type, I was horrified, that there was a hole down in the lady part areas and read that it was so you didn't have to yank those things down to take a tinkle. It freaked me out. But then the first time I took advantage of it and I didn't have to come out of the stall with my sweaty hair stuck to my head like a marathon runner from trying to yank those babies up, I was sold on the peehole Spanx.

    Okay, now that I've horrified everyone, I'll leave. (Backs out the door, red faced.)

  5. Damn. I thought I wouldn't be swayed to anymore "shape" garments after "Slim n lift" which is just not comfortable. Now I have to check out them Spanx.

    Great post!

  6. I love Spanx and I love that they let me eat crap and still look good! God forbid that I ever have to take them off because all you people will be running in fear!

  7. You fit into Spanx without a muffin top? And no struggle to pull them on? Wow!

  8. Hilarious! Also? I am now terribly tempted to try Spanx, just to see what it's like!

  9. I wonder if they'll work for me! Although I could see them squeezing me too hard in certain places.

  10. Okie doke...now that I'm done snorting loudly in my cubicle...

    I'm trying them. Sold. What in the hell is it with box hips? Cripes.

  11. I love me some Spanx. They always make me think of a scene from Steel Magnolias:

    Truvy: Clairee, you know I’d rather walk on my lips than criticize anybody...but...Janice Van Meter…
    Clairee: I know...
    Truvy: I bet you money she’s paid $500 for that dress and doesn’t even bother to wear a girdle.
    Clairee: It’s like two pigs fighting under a blanket.
    Truvy: Well, I haven’t left the house without lycra on these thighs since I was 14.
    Clairee: You were brought up right.

  12. Spanx are the best invention EVER!!! But I'm still reeling a bit from you saying your mom had six kids!!! I. Can't. Even. Imagine.
    My favorite part: I'd be one of those people sitting across from Oprah on a segment called "Addicted To Plastic Surgery: It Happened To Them."
    So True. I'd be there with you.

  13. Oh, Alexandra, love you here, love you there, love you everywhere!

    And I can say, as your BlogHer roomie, I was witness to the fact that you are lovely, and have a very nice shape, even without the cast iron underwear.

  14. Dear Santa,

    For Christmas I want a pair of pee-hole SPANX like Joann Mannix.



    (Women in their 40's can still believe in holiday miracles, right?)

    p.s. Empress ~ I'd drink Kool-aid with you anytime. You, too, Suniverse. And Joann. Oh, what a party!

    Spanx all around! And god bless us, every one.

  15. Ha, you all mock, but look at the powers of the worshipworthy SPANX: its promises lured two men over here. (brian and Mark: we are SO gonna love on ya..)

  16. I found the Church of the Holy SPANX a few years back and I'm a believer. When you read that even the skinniest Hollywood starlet shimmies into these things so as to avoid the dreaded VPL (Visible Panty Line) what's not to love?

    And as for you Suniverse - I think I need to borrow a book!

  17. I am such a fan. It started with the small ones just to shrink and smooth those thighs, and then when the kids arrived, I bought the neck to knee suit, and I've never looked back!

  18. Wow!! Everyone loves SPANX. I feel like I'm missing out. I have to go to the store and buy some right away.

  19. The word SPANX means something completely different to a guy.
    Especially a lonely guy.

  20. Lovely: You will LOVE them, they feel like nothing and look like a million bucks.

    Dear Al:

    Of course it does, that's why there are three men here commenting.

  21. Lusty looks at eclaires - yep, you nailed that one. SPANX is a thing to wear with pride! And didn't I just see a picture of the Kardashians in a trashy magazine with their SPANX showing? You are so trendy, so sexy, A! But seriously, I highly doubt your waist was ever boxy. Liar.

  22. Hey I just discovered The Suniverse through Good Day, Regular People......and I LOVE it!! Not to mention Alexandra's post - thinking maybe I could /should / just might try those SPANX!! Plus, I watched the episode of Hot In Cleveland with Valerie Bertinelli where they were also singing the praises of those SPANX...

    Great blog!

  23. Hooray for all the love of SPANX! I've never tried them, so I'll have to drink the Kool Aid, too.

    Thanks so much to Alexandra for guest posting. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  24. i love these different roles in life we slip into...
    i'm reading a book called story craft by jack hart. it's full of examples of different award-winning non-fiction writers who worked for years before developing the knack to structure and polish a narrative.
    you do it so durn naturally:)

  25. Um... are you channelling Sally Struthers or maybe even the Oprah herself, Alexandra, because the only box you're built like holds spaghetti. If you're thick-waisted, I'm Dumbo. And while better than an olde fashioned girdle (I'm assuming,) spanx still feel like hell. And on we short-waisted dames, they pull up to just under the bra, then roll down like a window shade. Not fun. Not drinking the Kool-Ade.

  26. Is 35 too soon to indulge in some Spanx?



    Loved seeing you Alexandra!!

  27. Now I definitely have to get Spanx because all the humor bloggers are doing it. I did try a knock-off version and it was NOT comfy; I think I pulled a muscle trying to get into it. But I always trust my Empress!

  28. How funny.

    I am glad you bought a pair and LOVE 'em! I've never tried them, but I have friends who love 'em.

    My mother, too! LOL...

    Getting old really bites. Doesn't it???

  29. Don't worry, I have wiped the jealousy drool away before typing.

    I will definitely be looking into these next wedding I attend. The hell if I'm spending another one of those nights trying to suck in my wine gut for hours on end.

  30. Oh, this is wonderful! The fact that it's in 24 font only makes it's MORE WONDERFUL! I remember my mothers girdle and bras and I was scarred! I tell you, my parents had to threaten me to wear a bra because I KNEW mine were going to end up like that!

    ....and they have! I wear what I call "Big Momma Cottons". Comfort is key for me...and I'm willing to bulge rather than squeeze myself into a torture chamber.

    My sister is a huge fan of Spanx and where she couldn't convince me....you might have!

    You are SO not a dork!

  31. They changed my life!
    I wear skirts all the friggin' time now, because of SPANX. YAY. Rock on, sista.

  32. Lady estrogen: I know, I know, what the Eff was I waiting for?? They have changed my life: I walk taller, prouder, and stone cold foxier.

    Ed: my point, proved again. There are FOUR men here that were beckoned with the SPANX post title.

    They are bewitching.

    What a fun post to write, Thank you, everyone: for letting me have such a good time with all my weirdosities.

    You're all just SO GOOD.

    I think Ima start my own planet, and bring you all with me.


  33. Okay here's the only thing. I once bought a Spanx thing and tried to put it on, in the middle of August in an unairconditioned room in Boston. The damn thing got literally stuck in a sweaty roll somewhere mid-thigh. I tried, oh I tried, but NO. Too sweaty, too hot, and maybe I had my foot through the crotchless bit. Can one be too stupid for Spanx? I may be that person. Some time later, however, when trying to make a birthday cake (lopsided, wobbly, sort of like my stomachal area), I realized that frosting is the Spanx of cakes. Slap it on (not in a hot room) and voila! a multitude of sins hidden. Your post makes me want to try again to Spanx myself, however, but I'm not sure I should thank you. I might be lonely without my tummy rolls.

  34. I think it's well known that I appreciate curves.

    On the male side of the spectrum, I've been wearing a lot of "compression clothing" since I started running. Bike shorts were ok - they held your legs tight & made for a cute butt, but things pushed over, and that just wan't very attractive. But, when I started running, I needed both shorts & shirts (shorts to keep my thighs from rubbing together, shirts to keep my nipples in check) - and let me tell you, I look damn good when I'm wearing this clothing.

    I understand the allure of spanx. But, I also really, really, really like a good curve.

  35. Spanx and Victoria Secret- sounds like a helluva good combination to me- my niece's wedding in October is looking better and better... you make me smile- thank you

  36. Okay... I'll have to check these out for reals now. I've hear so many women singing their praises for so long, but seems there's something to them after all. AND I'm intrigued by the Pee Hole Edition™.

  37. I have never heard the term "skillet butted", but it made me giggle.

    I hear all the time how fab Spanx are, I'm kinda wondering how plastic surgeons stay in business!

  38. The image you painted of your buttons flying off one by one - ping! ping! - each time you so much as look at an eclair has me giggling uncontrollably. I think it's the "ping-pings" that's putting me over the edge.

  39. You all need to try SPANX: seriously, they are the greatest thing.

    They feel like air, and the top to bottom edition: no chance of something being pushed up and out: it's all just smooth...

    and takes the rolls out of the bakery window.

    Not even kidding.

    P.S.: LOve how SPANX in the post title brings the guys running.

    SO love that.

  40. You'll always be a stone cold fox to me, whether you're hermetically sealed or not.



  41. I was beckoned yet again! Wow, talk about magical powers!

  42. Ah, the magic of Spanx! We never think we'll need it, but everyone does at some point. Or so I tell myself.

  43. Spanx should be sending you a "thank you" letter and a cheque! Great post!

  44. AL: you just can't stay away. That's OK, you can follow my SPANX a$$ anywhere.

    Amy: yes, it IS magic. I love it.

    Sandra: I know! Just thought of that yesterday.
    Why do I give myself away? (Bono wrote a song about me, you know...)

  45. Alexandra— I have seen you in person. If there is a hot mess underneath, you really do have one terrific undergarment going on.

  46. It's official. I need to invest in Spanx. Because I could stock one or even two bakery windows with the rolls I've got going on!

  47. my spanx sits in the bottom of my drawer crumpled up in a sorry heap. sometimes when it sees me, it gives me the evil eye.

  48. Target has Spanx like garments made by Sara Blakey, the inventor of Spanx. They do not have the pee hole.

    Love that you all are willing to admit to wearing Spanx. Even my husband doesn't know when I do.


Every time you comment, I get a lady boner.