After Oprah named Spanx one of her favorite things, the market for shapewear tripled to $750 million at the end of last year. Women are nuts for Spanx despite the things we've known all along: They are embarrassing if you find yourself wearing them while caught with a man you want to get with; men think they're insane; and they are impossible to pee in because they're so difficult to remove. Though they have a "double gusset" opening, there are no guarantees. The Wall Street Journal tells the story of Amanda Davis, who won a "tell us your shapewear nightmares" contest:
As she ran to the bathroom at her school, she debated, "Do I squeeze out of the Spanx or do I try to pee through the crotchless thingy?" After soaking herself, she had to skip class and go home to change.
The Journal investigates why women put themselves through this.
"It's like this competitive thing we have with other women," says Mary Pantier, a 40-year-old yoga instructor in Erie, Colo., who accidentally flashed her Spanx, worn under her workout ensemble, while in a downward-dog pose in class.
Ms. Pantier's husband, Hank, 35, doesn't get it. "If you stuff five pounds into a two-pound container, it doesn't make the five pounds smaller. It just makes it stranger-looking and uncomfortable," says Mr. Pantier, who has told his wife she feels "like a tire" in Spanx.
But at least it's a nice firm tire instead of a flubby spare tire.
Of course, your Spanx horror stories are welcome in the comments.