You've got to have Spanx, right? They slim you down, keep your wobbly bits in place, make you feel sexy, and... harm your health? According to HuffPo and a team of experts, shapewear harms your body. Not too surprising, if you think about how tight these undergarments need to be in order to deliver on their promise of perfection.
Huffington Post's panel, which consisted of a gastroenterologist, a dermatologist, and a chiropractor, reported that restrictive clothing leaves several key organs compressed, namely your stomach, intestine, and colon. This can "worsen acid reflux and heartburn" as well as "provoke erosive esophagitis," complicate digestion, and limit the movement of the diaphragm essential to respiration.
The tight compression can lead to "a reversible condition called meralgia paresthetica, which is when the peripheral nerve in your thigh is compressed. This leads to tingling, numbness and pain in your legs, all of which can come and go or become constant." Other consequences of an over-reliance on shapewear? Yeast infections, folliculitis (an infection of the hair follicles), and a weakening of the muscles relied upon for good posture.
The bottom line? Your shapewear could be causing damage if you wear it too often. While it is safe in moderation (like once every six months at a wedding or awards ceremony), you should not be breaking out the Spanx for your daily grocery store run. After all, a layer of tight fabric is not a substitute for actual muscle tone and should never replace exercise.
Women have been wearing clothing, undergarments, and shoes that cause pain for centuries — remember the corset, everyone? From high heels to tight pants, daily discomfort has become the norm for many of us. By bringing attention to the actual damage caused by shapewear, I can only hope that women (and society) will begin to embrace natural bodies. Skip the shapewear, love your body as it is.