Spanx is getting a body positive makeover
For years, women all over the world have depended on Spanx to “perfect” their bodies — compressing them, smoothing them, hiding curves in some places and accentuating curves in other places. (Think that “enormous panties” scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary.) But now, women everywhere are feeling less and less like they need to hide themselves, and instead, embracing the “just as we are” body revolution. So what does that mean for a brand like Spanx?
“Compression is just so 15 years ago,” Jacqui Stafford, a fashion editor and celebrity stylist, told the New York Times. “Women today just don’t want to be squeezed into something uncomfortable. And they’re more comfortable with real bodies.”
Spanx has made many women feel more comfortable in their own skin, and we applaud them for that. But the unfortunate truth is that the brand’s products were only a band-aid for women’s body insecurities and not a real body-positive solution. So now that more women are going Spanx-free, the company is finding a new approach to hawking their products — and not one that includes “thinly-veiled fat shaming,” as the NYT puts it.
Beginning this month, the NYT notes that boxes of Spanx will include inspirational messages, like “Don’t take yourself or the ‘rules’ too seriously.” Additionally with Spanx’s two latest lines, Everyday Shaping Panties and Undie-tectable, the company has ditched their extreme compression gear and made their products seem more focused on hiding pantylines rather than slimming proportions.
Their rebranding is also extending to the Spanx blog. In a recent post, Spanx founder Sara Blakely, focused on the other uses for Spanx, that have little to do with body reshaping. She wrote, “During a recent photo shoot for an entrepreneurial piece in an Australian magazine, I got the dreaded request: ‘We want her wearing a white dress for the cover.’ Yikes! After the coldest winter ever, the thought of white was less than exciting. No matter a woman’s shape or size, we all have the same struggle . . . what to wear under white? Then again, that is how SPANX started . . . with a smoothing undergarment we could wear everyday under white or light colored pants/dresses.”
The post downplayed the reshaping message, and instead focused on practicality.
“We aim to support you and care about you,” Sara writes in her blog. At the very end of her post she leaves us with this message—the same one that will appear in Spanx packaging. It’s a call to action to embrace our bodies and shun the rules (fashion rules, perhaps?).
From a business perspective, Spanx is moving in a new direction as well. The brand’s new chief executive, Jan Singer, joined the company in July, and has since been trying to stress comfort and move away from shrinking and extreme compressing, according to New York Times.
“We kept offering reduction, and we heard stories of women coming home at midnight on Saturday and throwing their Spanx out in the garbage,” Singer told NYT. “But the whole world’s changed. Now women think: I don’t need to change my shape so much. I just want to be comfortable.”
We are all for this move away from the “ideal body” and towards self-love. We love our bodies just how they are. And it’s exciting to see more brands like Spanx recognize just how powerful this body positivity movement really is.