Normally I like Oprah despite her overly touchy-feely "embrace life" attitude, simply because she helps women feel good about themselves and be more powerful. And god knows with all the things to feel bad about, like cellulite, we need all the help we can get.
So when she raved on about this new product, called Spanx Power Panties, I took note. Spanx is like control top pantyhose, only it is supposed to suck everything in on your body from just below the boobs down. And it only goes to your knees so you can wear dresses with them too.
That sounded fantastic to me. I've been trying to go to the gym again lately in an effort to lose weight and get in shape. I realized that I needed to do something drastic when I had to start lifting up my stomach roll in the shower to scrub underneath. Not good. If Spanx could help me in the interim and make me look thinner while at the same time smoothing out all my lines and bulges, it could damn-well be the miracle panty. I only wish they came in full-body sizes, so I could suck in the roll around my upper arms, too.
Oprah, who claims to now wear Spanx all the time, also claims they are comfortable, which is a big plus for me. As you may have read in previous posts, I have tried wearing thong underwear in an effort to fix panty lines, but found myself in the embarrassing situation of constantly picking my butt in public, so I stopped. As I get older I have also started to shy away from the uncomfortable fuck-me heels I so love and adore because of the shooting pains in my legs and right pinkie toe, which seems to have mutated over the years from being crammed into pointy-toe shoes. I am considering toe-tuck surgery to alleviate the problem.
Despite Oprah's Spanx-loving diatribe, I was still skeptical, however. I have never liked pantyhose. One of the pluses to moving to California is that you don't have to wear pantyhose. You do, however, have to shave your legs so it doesn't look like you are wearing pantyhose made out of shag carpeting. When dogs hump your leg because they think it is another dog, you know it is time to dust off the machete.
My experiences with pantyhose during my pre-California life have all been negative. No matter what size I get, the crotch ends up sagging at my knees, and a red mark forms around my middle where the waste-band pinches. I'll pay almost $10 for the fuckers, and they will rip to shreds in the first wearing. Not to mention that because I'm so pale, pantyhose make my legs look like I got skin grafts from Denzel Washington. So I put the Spanx - which is a distant cousin of pantyhose - on a back-burner in my mind.
Then I realized I have to go to Cancun for a work function in three weeks. I have to wear summer clothes - evil summer clothes that you can't hide anything under. And I have to wear them in front of coworkers. (Shudder)
So I gave in. I bought the Spanx, which set me back 20 hard earned bucks. I figured it was well worth it if it fended off the humiliation of having my coworkers see my rolls flapping in the Mexican breeze. I even bought a size bigger just to ensure comfort, as I didn't want anything to hinder my plan to consume mass amounts of tequila.
I was so excited at the prospect of looking thinner, I wore them to work Monday under some Capri pants. As I put them on, three holes ripped through them. No big deal, I tried to tell myself as dollar signs danced through my head. No one will know because they are underneath my clothes, right?
I pulled and I squished and I grunted and I pulled some more. I had worked up a sweat and may have even lost a pound for the aerobics it took to put these suckers on. Then it took another 10 minutes just to try to get the crotch to match up with my anatomical crotch, so I wouldn't have to walk bow-legged the rest of the day. Tired but satisfied, I put my pants on over them and was happy to see it did make me look thinner from the waist down. I bounded off to work feeling svelte and confident.
An hour later I was shifting uncomfortably in my chair. God this shit was BINDING. I felt like my stomach was being stabbed with a billion tiny little knives, and I could feel my crotch slowly sliding down toward my knees. My fat was also desperately trying to find a way out of this sausage casing, so it had begun to ooze out of the three holes that I ripped while putting the Spanx on that morning. You know how when you were a kid if you smooshed Play-Doh in your hands it would ooze out the cracks in your fingers? EXACTLY!
The physics of the Spanx was starting to break down. The thing is, all that fat has to go SOMEWHERE eventually. It can only be compressed for so long before it wants to go back to its natural state. So it starts eeking out the top of the pantyhose, causing you to have four boobs instead of two.
By noon I was looking like a creature from Star Trek, all deformed and oozing. I was also in a considerable amount of pain, and was turning purple from the built up pressure inside. I ran home at lunch and set a world's record for ripping my clothes off. I then tore the Spanx off my body, wadded them into a little ball, and threw them the fuck away. As my fat began to unfold and decompress, it looked and sounded a lot like a life raft that was inflating. But I didn't care ... it felt so good to be FREE! I could hear my body breathe a sigh of sweet relief.
I redressed and went back to work, looking fat but considerably happier. I was also wiser. I was reminded that as much as we all want there to be a miracle pill, or miracle panty, to make us look thin, some things are just too good to be true. Even if Oprah tells you otherwise.