Tell a FriendLeigh AnneLeigh Anne Jasheway ~ Queen of Stress

The Shape Iím In

I tried on some "body-shapers" last week. I thought maybe they would succeed where diet, exercise, and clicking my heels together three times and repeating "I look like a supermodel" over and over had failed.

To be honest, I donít have the body I did when I was younger. Iím not sure who does, but if you find her, tell her Iíd appreciate its return, no questions asked.

When weíre young our constantly-changing bodies donít bother us at all. Our two year old body looks very unlike the one we were born with, but do we throw a tantrum? No, we save tantrums for when mom tries to force feed us strained broccoli (cut it out, mom, Iím a middle-aged woman, for Godís sake!). At fifteen, weíre proud we no longer dwell in the body we had at twelve. (I admit I spent most of tenth grade flashing everyone at school so theyíd know I was the proud owner of boobs. Perhaps this explains my straight "A" average.)

But when we hit twenty or twenty-five, thereís a little voice that says, "Okay, this is it. I ím keeping this body." Yeah, right,

The purpose of todayís "body-shapers" is to somehow mold and restrain your current body into the one you had back in your twenties. Is it any wonder that these garments often have words like wonder or miracle in their names?

My adventures in body-shaping all took place because of a little romantic dinner my husband and I had planned for weeks. To which I had decided to wear my favorite little black dress. Unfortunately, my little black dress disagreed, and I ended up wearing an ankle-length skirt with an elastic waist and a turtleneck. My spouse, champ that he is, said my earlobes looked sexy.

So the next day I headed for the mall to check out the new high-tech body-altering undergarments. Unlike the rubber, elastic and steel contraptions most of our mothers wore, todayís body-shapers are way more expensive. But, if they lived up to their promises, theyíd be well worth it. There are supposedly body shapers that can lift your derriere, slim your waistline, narrow your hips, make your thighs look taut, and help you remember phone numbers. Okay, Iím lying about the last one. But wouldnít it be great if that was Victoriaís Secret?

I have to admit that most of them really did make me look thinner. They also made my complexion rosier. Probably because my circulation was cut off at my waist. Not to mention the fact that I could no longer get air to my lungs more than one molecule at a time.

But I pressed on in my search for a miracle. I was standing there with the third one on, taking shallow uneven breaths, when suddenly one of the laws of physics popped into my oxygen-deprived brain. "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." It occurred to me then, that if twenty pounds of my stomach and hips are being held in by an undergarment, twenty pounds must be coming out somewhere else in the universe. Iíd like to believe that my twenty pounds would show up on someone who could really use it, Calista or Courtney or someone, but I know better. So I examined myself closely in the mirror. Aha! There it was. My hips and stomach were now hanging out under my arms. I could plainly see my belly button down near my elbow. I tried to turn around and see if there was more of me spilling over the garment in back, but I spun too quickly and nearly blinded myself with my flapping hips.

I quickly removed the body shaper. If you call seventeen and a half minutes quickly. For a while there, I thought I was going to have to ask the saleswoman to call the paramedics. Forget straight jackets, Iíd have loved to have seen Houdini get out of one of these things! On the upside, however, I think I burned about 3,000 calories.

Free at last, my hips sprang back to their original position, thank heavens. And I decided to leave the body-shapers to people who donít believe in physics and donít need much oxygen. I headed, instead, to the dress department and bought myself a new little black dress. Okay, a medium black dress. It makes me look fabulous and I donít have to worry about putting someoneís eye out.

 
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