Danes at SAGWhen a glowing Claire Danes gave her acceptance speech for "Homeland" at the SAG Awards Sunday, she quickly joined a club that already counts Oprah Winfrey, Tina Fey, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus among its swelling ranks: the I Wear SPANX and I'm Proud Club, that is.
"As a brand spanking—or SPANX-ing new mom…" Danes said at the podium, looking stunningly fit in a clingy black Givenchy gown less than six weeks after giving birth to son Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy. She was wearing the Slimmer & Shine High-Waisted Body Tunic, SPANX told Yahoo! Shine. And the star's admission provoked some knowing giggling in the audience, plus a collective sigh of relief among normal, jiggly, SPANX-dependent women everywhere.
It was the just latest in a long line of other celeb endorsements of the beloved modern girdle. Katy Perry told Us Weekly in November that she felt fat without her SPANX, adding, "I almost always wear them." Adele caused some empathic gasps after the 2012 Grammy's, when she copped to wearing "three or four" pairs instead of a corset under her dress. Kim Kardashian has Tweeted that the tummy tighteners are her "best friend." Tina Fey, Gwyneth Paltrow and even Heidi Klum have admitted wearing them. And Oprah, ahead of (or on top of) the curve, made SPANX one of her favorite things of 2000, and has repeated her praise over the years, announcing in 2006, "I've given up panties. I wear SPANX." That statement alone, according to a SPANX business timeline, sparked the sale of 20,000 pairs of Power Panties in a single day.
“Last night’s shout-out from Claire Danes was huge," company founder Sara Blakely told Yahoo! Shine. "To be included in an acceptance speech during a major award show was a SPANX first!”
The constant stream of free publicity has made Blakely the youngest women ever to make the Forbes billionaire list.
Blakely, now 42, was 29 when she invested $5,000 worth of savings into her idea of cutting the feet off of control-top panty hose so she could have something to decent to wear under a pair of tight cream-colored pants. She cold called hosiery mills until she found a taker who would make her product, and it quickly took off from there, going from something peddled out of her Atlanta apartment to an iconic must-have brand that rakes in $250,000 million in annual sales.
But take heart, oh envious ones, as SPANX has given all women a gift to cherish: the satisfaction of knowing that celebs can have squishy bellies, too.
"No one loves a woman who is too perfect," says longtime celebrity tabloid journalist Suzanne Ely, noting that the trend of copping to SPANX love is a way for stars to be shrewd about their image. "So to say, 'Hey, I have cellulite and I'm not ashamed to admit it,' is a way of connecting with their fans and indirectly saying, 'I'm just like you.' ''