The Man Girdle. Oh Yes. It’s Here.

Step aside, Spanx!
There’s a new brand of body shaper in town, but this time it’s…for men?
Now, ladies: we all do it. Whether it’s a padded bra (oh, excuse me “lightly lined bra”. Honey, you’re still faking it), control top pantyhose or even the aforementioned, miracle-working Spanx, we’re all guilty of some, shall we say, false advertising.
I am the first to admit it, and frankly, I think it’s great. Seriously, some dresses just require that I shake more (or less) than what my Mama gave me, and I will happily snap up something silicone and/or lycra-based to make it work.
From corsets to girdles and beyond, body-shaping is nothing new for us girls. It is not new, nor is it novel; on the contrary, a certain amount is expected. I like to think it adds to the feminine mystique of preparing for a night out, like eyelash curlers, body scrubs and complicated lingerie.
But on a guy?? Really?? I’m sorry, this is not something I can get behind. Yes, we all agree that modern menfolk can have body issues just like their female counterparts. Metrosexuality is de rigeur, and I’ve accepted that sometimes men will smell better or have softer skin than I do. So, when I read that men’s underwear brands like 2(X)ist were creating new lines featuring ‘spandex briefs and tank tops designed to have a trimming effect’, I tried to keep an open mind, but suspected it was an isolated incident.
But the examples just kept coming. Los Angeles underwear brand Go Softwear has the “Waist Eliminator,” with a waistband that extends up to mid-torso in order to flatten the tummy. Man-panty maker Andrew Christian introduced the Flashback Butt Lifting Technology Boxer – ‘a stretchy bodyshaping brief with a built-in elastic sling to lift and perk up the back side by “up to an inch”’
My god. There must actually be a market for this stuff.
Blame it on Hollywood hotness, or Hedi Slimane, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. However we did it, evidently we’ve managed to make men just as self-conscious as women! Well done, America! But fellas, take note: call it what you want, but a girdle’s a girdle. If I were dating a man (and I mean a straight man), and I got his shirt off to discover support hose, I would run for the hills – immediately, if not sooner.
Call it unfair, but I think a beer gut is a nastier surprise than say, slightly smaller breasts. More importantly, I don’t care if you’ve got one! But I do care if you wear lady-clothes.
Am I being shallow? Sure, it’s a double standard, but no more so than the couple I know we’ve all seen over and over: the schlubby man paired with an improbably hot woman (King of Queens. ‘Nuf said.). What do you think? If you were faced with a be-girdled man-belly, would you cut and run, or wait and see?

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