Sunday, 18 April 2010

Pressing the flesh

Apparently increasing numbers of men neurotic about their appearance are clamouring for secret shapewear to give them a trimmer, sharper figure.

In particular they want something to flatten their expanding bellies so they don't have to keep sucking them in to impress the ladies.

Quite a few companies already offer special flab-controlling garments for men and now even Spanx is introducing a range of male shapewear - including a high-power T shirt that can shrink your waist and belly by several inches.

Men who've tried them seem surprisingly matter-of-fact about submitting to the same squeeze and squash regime women have been putting up with for centuries.

What's up with these guys? Are they really so alarmingly vain, so mortified by a few unwanted inches that they're prepared to join their womenfolk and spend all day in flesh-constricting garments?

If their increasing girth really disgusts them so much, wouldn't eating and boozing less be more natural than elasticated discomfort?

I can't see their partners being too keen either. If there's anything guaranteed to kill sexual passion stone dead, it's the sight of heavy-duty, keep-it-all-hidden underwear.

I'm glad my own belly is small enough that I don't have to consider such drastic options. I don't need to wrestle with anything trickier than a pair of knickers.

At this rate women will soon be as confused as men when it comes to the real-or-fake question. Is that belly genuinely flat? Is that bum genuinely compact? What exactly will be revealed as Mr Slimline sheds his outer layers? A lot of women could be as disappointed as men when the Wonderbra is slipped off.

So no devious shapewear for me. What you see is what you get.

Spanx? No thanks.

26 comments:

Kate said...

Well Nick - it was bound to happen... body waxing, eyebrow shaping, make up and now corsets!!! I wonder if they'll still save the stockings and high heels for weekends?
Its all very strange!

Nick said...

Kate - Well, I'm glad men aren't expected to wear high heels, that's one bit of discomfort we can avoid! And I don't wear them at weekends either....

Grannymar said...

Nick - One of the Award winners at the IBA 10 accepted his prize adorned in a dress, full make-up, wig and stilettos. I believe it is normal attire for him when not working.

Nick said...

Grannymar - Oh transvestites are another matter altogether. What intrigues me here is ordinary straight guys who're flocking to squeeze themselves into female-type shapewear.

kylie said...

is a cross dresser the same as a transvestite?

Fat Sparrow said...

The first thing I thought when I saw that pic was "Dear god, the amount his butt crack must sweat, I would not want to be there when he took that off." My next thought was "These should be mandatory for men that dig around in their bits in public, ha."

Nick said...

Kylie - Sure is. Where have you been all these years, lol?

FS - I know, these things must be horribly sweaty. Especially the absolutely enormous things that some women wear. Good idea about those totally embarrassing guys.

kylie said...

i guess my take is that a trannie dresses up in public, where a cross dresser does it at home

Nick said...

Kylie - Ah, I'd never heard of that distinction. I think the ones who do it at home are just too shy to do it in public. Not to mention the possibility of unexpectedly meeting their workmates!

Scarlet Blue said...

...you can tell by testing their arms... and whether they have wattle beneath their chins.
I'm not a woman to be fooled with.
Sx

Nick said...

Scarlet - Ah yes, women aren't fooled so easily. The visible ravages betray what's being carefully concealed....

Rummuser said...

I doubt I will ever be able to get into one of those things. If I manage to, I bet I will hyperventilate and may even croak. Ditto for me too - you get what you see.

Nick said...

Ramana - I could get into them, but why would I want to? They must be desperately uncomfortable and I'm not a masochist.

Liz said...

Oh surely not?!!

Nick said...

Liz - It's hard to believe, isn't it? It's bad enough that women are expected to wear such grotesque garments.

Wisewebwoman said...

Well blokes ARE joining the lipo and botox queues too, ya know Nick. One of my friends, bags of loot, just had his stomach sucked and his forehead botoxed.
I'd prefer a corset on a man to a tatty rug on his head. Or spare me the combover.
I dated a crossie once for a couple of months. In my tennis playing days. It is very different to transvestite behaviour.
XO
WWW

Megan said...

Oh heck, this is nothing new. Some of Brummell's contemporaries had valets that would pack sawdust into their stockings. For a more shapely calf, you know...

Megan said...

And they did wear high heels then! :)

tattytiara said...

Eh, people have always used clothes to change their shapes. Suits have had padded shoulders and belts have been getting tightened longer than any man on earth has been alive. Once upon a time it was tight hose and codpieces, now it's panties developed by NASA. Fear no fashion, baby, second verse, same as the first!

Nick said...

www - Yes, bad wigs and combovers are laughable. And corsets are not exactly passion-stirrers, except for fetishists. So cross-dressing really is different from transvestism - how exactly?

Megan - True, men in previous centuries have dolled themselves up just as much as women. Is this a new age of the dandy?

Tattytiara - Indeed, it's happened before. So it's NASA that's to blame for today's corseting? Now if you'll excuse me, I need to adjust my codpiece....

secret agent woman said...

Here via Heart, because I loved your use of the term "plastic surgery victim."

I have always wondered the same thing about elaborate undergarments to pad or hold in - a huge case of false advertising! My feeling is I would never want to wear something I'd be embarrassed to take off in front of soeone.

Nick said...

Secret Agent Woman - Well well, the chance effect of a chance phrase! False advertising indeed, who knows what's being hidden? And yes, the embarrassment of removing such hideous things must be immense.

Quickroute said...

I confess to being tempted to buy a 'Tummy Tucker' ("as Seen on TV!") but was too embarrassed to bring it to the counter - I'd imagine they make you sweat a bit which with my overly active body heat wouldn't be a good thing

Nick said...

Quicky - Just say no! I'm sure they're extremely sweaty and as you say, for extra-sweaty types like us, best to leave well alone!

Ursula said...

Spanx and other supporting underwear are not supposed to be taken off in front of your lust interest: They are worn - discreetly - to make your clothes hang better.

U

Nick said...

Ursula - I know that's the idea, but a lot of women end up in the bedroom with an acutely embarrassing removal problem....