Goodness, Girddles, and Spanx

So, I’ve been watching Mad Men lately, specifically re-watching the first season.  I’ve always adored the aesthetic and style of the characters, specifically the women’s costuming and hair.  From the feathered hats, to the crinoline skirts, it’s romantic and sexy.  One of the special features for this season highlighted the efforts that went into the costuming, even putting the actresses into girddles, garters, and hose.  No wonder Joanie looks so remarkably comfortable in all of those snug dresses-it’s a girddle!

I’m sure I’m not the only straight girl on earth to gawk at women in shows and movies.  It’s not a sexual feeling in that “wow, I want her” sort of way.  It’s really a “wow, I want to look like her” vibe.  When the subject is Charlize Theron in an open back dress, it feels unachievable.    When it’s a chick with a big fanny that’s been squeezed into place, and you know she’s got foundation garments keeping every curve, lump, bump, muffin top and back roll in place-that’s a realistic goal!

Which brings me to this morning, and Spanx.  Or, in my case, knock-off Spanx from Walgreens, but you get the point.

I had to go on a local television spot this morning, and knowing that I was going to be on TV, where viewers watch (and judge) guests (regardless of whether or not they’re there to be judged) I broke out the Spanx.  As a bit of background, I’m not a small girl-much smaller than I’ve been in the past.  But I think that some of us former fat chicks are even more sensitive about our weight and appearance in some ways.   Let’s just say I’m glad I live in the era of Spanx.

I’ll spare you the details of the snapping and rolling that occurs when a Spanx wearer has to go to the powder room, but after fighting to get my Spanx back up after one such incident, I did that over-the-shoulder-look-at-my-butt check and saw that pants that were too tight without Spanx were actually loose with Spanx.  It’s an amazing thing.  Sure, I feel like a nude-toned cased sausage, but I look good.  Lifted, consolidated, seamless.

And that got me to thinking about Joan and her mad men era sisters…what was it like to live in the era of girddles?  Romantic?  Miserable?  I take it since we’ve moved on, it must not have been worth it.  At least not to the feminists of the ’60s.  Furthermore, what did women of the 60’s think about corsets and the harsh undergarments that their grandmothers wore?

Now, I wonder-what will our grand-daughters of the future think about Spanx?  About our nylon/lycra/spandex booty transforming undergarments?  I imagine, one day 50 years from now, a twenty-something will look back on us, thinking,  “How glamorous they looked in their Spanx“.