Modern shapewear is coming into its 20th anniversary on February 15th. It was born into an era that had a very specific vision of the perfect woman. Ultimately, it was an era that featured body-con dresses, low-rise jeans, and more. Everything worn in this era had to be tighter, smoother, and more sexual than ever before. If you weren’t able to meet this aesthetic, shapewear promised to be your solution.
Now, over a decade beyond its original introduction, the world might have changed, but these problems still exist. While a lot of the ‘body positivity’ movement has made a lot of strides in a full-scale effort to love ourselves more, even a lot of confident people still struggle with self-esteem issues when they look at themselves in the mirror. Ever since it’s inception, this type of shapewear has been advertised and marketed to be a quick fix for anyone that doesn’t want to deal with ill-fitting clothing or issues with having bulges.
However, before we get more into it, we will be going over what shapewear is and what it consists of. Are you wondering what shapewear is? Or how to start waist training? The fact is, anything that alters or changes your body shape is considered to be shapewear. In fact, Precious Lee actually considers shoulder pads and traditional bras to be shapewear. After all, what’s the difference between having these things change the shape of your shoulders and boobs? The standards of beauty are extremely ridiculous.
That being said, being comfortable physically doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t entirely comfortable both mentally and emotionally. For a lot of people, it’s not very easy to do when it comes to using shapewear. Kim Kardashian actually calls her shapewear brand “solution wear” which really makes you wonder whether it’s even possible to be body positive and wear shapewear at the same time. After all, why is it a problem in the first place?
Do you have a silky dress that is constantly clinging to your stomach? If so, it might feel freer. However, have you ever spent an entire day without wearing a bra? It can be an amazing feeling. While it certainly depends on the moment and what you are wearing, but it can be rewarding. While you might not necessarily feel less beautiful without it, you can find things like strapless bras making a strapless dress much more comfortable.
While it is certainly a thought that is ambitious to allow women to wear whatever they feel like and whenever they feel like it, what does it actually look like when in practice? Can consumers even purchase and wear shapewear without continuing to perpetuate the same unrealistic expectations and standards in the beauty industry, to begin with?
There is truly no wrong way to have a body, you might have a difficult time maintaining this type of belief. After all, the world is seemingly consistently reminding you that you need to change something or find ‘solutions’ to fixing your body.
The solution to this issue is likely to be revealing what we have been working on hiding all along.