26 January 2007

Women of DC, please meet Spanx.

I realize it's customary to pack on weight during these colder months, but if you've padded up to the point where your fitted trousers are now the pair you unbutton "just for a few minutes" after lunch, I hate to break it to you (actually, I don't), but you're not fooling anyone.
Beyond being able to literally see the resultant ripples from your weakness for Christmas chocolates beneath your gabardine, we can also see, evidenced by the needed-a-shoehorn-to-get-my-ass-in-here fit of your skirt and embarrassed smile, you think this weight gain is just a temporary situation.

What's temporary, though? A month? A year?

We all fluctuate, it's as much a part of being a woman as loving perfume and crushing on Clive Owen. And as long as that fluctuation is within a reasonable range (you know what that range is for you), you have every right to keep wearing the clothes in your normal rotation. If your poundage jumps beyond the reasonable range, however, like the woman I just stood behind at the Sizzling Express buffet on 18th St., it is downright unprofessional to scoot around these conservative streets looking like you've smuggled a Jell-O fruit mold down your pants.
It was seeing her plop two heaving spoonfools of the stuff into a too-small partition in her Styrofoam box that inspired me to write this post.

If you're on the cusp - she surely wasn't, but if you are - please meet Spanx. She comes in all sorts of incarnations, including short-shapers, full body-shapers, maternity- shapers, control-top hosiery, panty-shapers, thigh-shapers, and my favorites to say out loud: "Power Panties" and "Bra-llelujah!" Ranging in price from around $20 to $70 and available in numerous locations such as Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman's, and your favorite local boutique, Spanx are truly a professional woman's best friend when the unfortunate reality that is reaching the upper limit of the 3-5 pound fluctuation inevitably occurs.

Just a few months ago, I thought body-shapers were badges of dishonor. The object of my affection at the time, poor soul, had to endure a particularly salty e-mail essay on the matter, entitled "False Advertising." My attitude used to be that if you didn't have the body to pull off a certain outfit, not only should you put it back in the closet but you should also admit to yourself you don't deserve to wear it. I haven't completely strayed from this line of thinking, but at least now I have come to recognize the good they can do for their wearers. Though I should remind you all, Spanx are for those women on the cusp of making it comfortably into the item in question.

If you're not on the cusp and you can't even remember a time when you were, please just embrace your new size with a new wardrobe.

I'm sure this is going to get me in trouble, but I believe it's just as unprofessional for a woman to go to the office in too-tight full-coverage clothing as it is for a thin woman to walk around in an inappropriately low-cut top or miniskirt. The only difference is, a supervisor would never say anything to the heavy woman, whereas the thin one would probably get sent home or at least sent to the Ann Taylor next to her office.

Oh, the inequality...


Anonymous said...

A-men to that.

BFF in Chicago said...

I actually find it more distracting when a heavier woman wears tight clothing than when a thin one wears a miniskirt. Maybe it's different for a man though...

Jen said...

That doesn't just apply to the women of DC. You should post this as an open forum for the women of Minneapolis/St. Paul and their FUPAs.

Johanna said...

You're definitely right on that point, Jen, Spanx *aren't* just for DC women.

But I've found that even more than in places like East Lansing, MI and Norman, OK, women in this city have no clue how to deal with the 3-5 pound weight fluctuation.

I guess they've been too busy eating power lunches and skipping the gym to notice their FUPAs have now reached a can't-see-my-shoes-anymore point.

I vow to always be too vain to let that happen.