Spanx for menIt's been a tough week for men's body image. On Monday, the BBC reported that the fastest growing cosmetic surgery is male breast reduction and today brings news that Spanx for Men has made the surreal trajectory from Steve Carell joke material to ready-for-purchase underwear. That's right, Spanx for Men are officially available, leaving us to wonder which force of nature will win out: men's legendary dedication to comfort, or their growing need for taut abs?
The brainchild of brand-founder Sara Blakely, Spanx shapewear has long been a wardrobe staple for ladies looking to smooth away tummy bulges, firm up buttocks, or, well, just make it into that pair of "skinny" jeans. In a release about the new line, Blakely pitches the new Lycra-heavy undershirts to men as "your favorite T-shirt without your least favorite part…love handles." According to the Spanx website, this favorite new shirt can also firm chests, flatten stomachs, improve postures, and provide support for lower backs.
But will they take off? According to Blakely (and Yummie Tummie, which came out with a similar product last year) there is a strong market demand:
"The men in my life (and in Hollywood) have been asking me to make Spanx for men for years, so I was inspired to create comfortable and powerful undershirts that provide instant gratification without gimmicks."
Now, while we love the effects of Spanx as much as the next lady, we wonder in exactly which context a tummy-flattening, man-boob-lifting, temporarily slimming bodycasing would not be considered a "gimmick." Still, if combined with a decent diet and regular attempts at exercise, we can't begrudge men the extra confidence that might come from having those abs appear tightened. As long as we don't have to see them. Or take them off. Or see them getting taken off.