For years, shapewear has been the go-to secret weapon for women wanting to look extra gorgeous for special events. But, before A-listers like Kim K and Chrissy Teigen were raving about their shapewear on Instagram, most women used to keep their shaping panties hidden away at the back of their drawers like a naughty secret.
Perhaps this is because, for years, shapewear had a lot of shame or embarrassment attached to it. Remember Bridget Jones’ humiliation at being caught out in her “stomach-holding-in-pants”? But, attitudes towards shapewear have definitely changed. Conversations about women’s bodies are beginning to open up and become more inclusive every second. Nowadays, it’s hardly news if a lady chooses to wear a body shaper under her dress or not.
However, as with anything that has been slightly taboo or unspoken, shapewear has now accumulated its own folklore in the form of common myths and misconceptions. And these myths can often paint shaping garments as inaccessible, uncomfortable, or problematic pieces of clothing, scaring off countless women from ever trying them.
Well, not on our watch! We’ve compiled some of the most common shapewear myths floating around, and we’re going to get straight to the truth of the matter!
“Shapewear squeezes your organs”
Whilst many misconceptions have popped up in the last few years or so, this myth, in particular, is as old as the hills themselves. As shapewear works by applying compression to help smooth out the body's natural curves, some people are afraid that this constant pressure will crush their torso and displace their organs. This sounds scary, but it is, in fact, completely untrue.
This myth probably came about due to the comparison between shaping garments of today, such as shaping panties, and the control wear of the past, such as corsets. Whilst corsets often did historically cause horrific damage to women's physiques, modern-day shapers are totally harmless.
Nowadays, shapewear garments are made from stretch fabrics that allow the body a full range of movement for exercise, breathing, and proper digestion whilst still hugging the figure to perfection. The only reason for your body shaper being uncomfortable or too restrictive is if you’re wearing a size too small, which is easily fixed by upping your size.
“For best results, wear a size smaller”
The notion that shapewear will work better if you drop a size is not only untrue, but it will also cause a heck of a lot of discomfort. We suppose this myth stems from the idea that shapewear which is a bit on the small side will provide an even more intense level of compression to shape your body.
However, not only will this be majorly uncomfortable and will most likely stop you from being able to sit down, eat, or drink properly, but intentionally squeezing into small shapewear doesn’t actually work. If anything, your shaping garments will likely cut into your curves, creating awkward lumps and bumps along your silhouette. Your shapewear should feel skin-tight but not restrictive, and it should gently smooth out your figure to leave your curves looking fabulous!
Ultimately, this myth completely misses the point about shapewear. The purpose of shaping clothes is not to make your body as small as possible through incredibly uncomfortable means. It’s about enhancing what’s underneath to reinforce your body confidence!
“Only wear shapewear for special occasions”
Perhaps this myth originates from the popularity of shaping underwear amongst celebs on the red carpet, leaving us to unconsciously link the shapewear with fancy gowns and luxurious events. But you shouldn’t have to wait for a wedding or birthday party to pull out your favourite shaping undies!
With the vast selection of shapewear on the market, there is literally a shaping garment for every type of occasion. From your classic shaping boyshorts to your body shaper camisole, you can pop your favourite shaping garment on under any outfit. Nowadays, you can buy shapewear that keeps you feeling breezy and perfectly contoured for all your day-to-day activities. Why not pop your fave fit on whilst you’re working up a sweat at the gym or even when you’re winding down in bed?
“Wearing shaping garment can help you lose weight”
This is one of the false myths that really grinds our gears. Simply put, no shapewear cannot help you lose weight. What it does do is smooth and contour your figure to enhance and shape your silhouette. This one always gets to us because it suggests shapewear is a solution to having a full figure, which in turn indicates that being curvy is something negative that must be fixed.
Here at Conturve, we firmly believe that every single body type is beautiful and that women of all ages, shapes, and sizes should love the skin they're in. There is no such thing as the "right size", and you shouldn't feel as though you have to make yourself smaller or lighter to be drop-dead gorgeous. However, if you do struggle with self-love and body positivity, shapewear is here to help.
Many curvy women find that the streamlined finish that shapewear gives them can provide them with an added boost of self-confidence they need to love their natural beauty and fearlessly flaunt figure-flattering looks.
Of course, losing weight is fine as long as you have a positive and healthy mindset from the start. Don't punish yourself for eating unhealthy foods and only exercise when you can and want to. And, most importantly, don't place all your value on that number on the scale; it does not determine who you are.
“Only plus size women wear shapewear”
This myth stems from a similar narrative as the previous one, supporting the notion that shapewear exists as a fix-all solution to having a larger figure or a rounder bum. However, as we've established, shapewear is not about hiding your figure or making it appear smaller. It's about enhancing your natural beauty and bringing some well-deserved love and attention to your silhouette.
Shapewear is all-inclusive, designed for all ages, weights, and body shapes. So whether you're looking for a pair of shaping shorts to go under your favourite party dress or some comfy and supportive leggings to lounge about the house in, there is a shapewear fit out there for you!
“Shapewear isn't body positive”
We know that shapewear has had a bit of a chequered past when it comes to body positivity. Many control wear brands have not always promoted our values of self-love and body confidence. But, times they are a-changing.
Nowadays, anything that you choose to wear that feels good for you is an example of body positivity. A lot of body-positive speakers forget that feeling completely comfortable in your body is not an instantaneous thing. As much as we'd all love to forget about all of our insecurities and body hang-ups at the drop of a hat, sometimes that is just not possible. But, this is where shapewear comes in.
Shapewear is designed to flatter your figure and accentuate your natural curves. Just as makeup enhances natural beauty, so do shaping garments. Shapewear can be the little nudge some women need to put on those skin-tight jeans or that skimpy little dress, and walk around without thinking twice about whether or not their tummy sticks out or thighs are a little wobbly. And, anything that makes women fall deeper in love with their bodies can't not be body positive!
We're so passionate about how excellent shaping clothing is for women's confidence that we even wrote a whole blog about shapewear and where it fits into the body positivity movement!
There we are - the top myths and misconceptions about the shapewear world. We hope we’ve cleared things up for you!
But above all, we hope you’ve been left with a better understanding of what shapewear is and how it can work for you, no matter what size, shape, or body type you are. Before you head on over to the Conturve site to treat yourself to some lovely shape-hugging goodies, why not check out our Beginner's Guide to Shapewear to answer any other body shaper questions you might have!
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