New Teen Trend Could Do More Harm Than Good: Spanx

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Most of us know what Spanx are. Whether you have worn Spanx, seen them in in stores, or even just heard about them, you know what they are. Spanx seems to have become a growing trend among adult women, for a variety of reasons. Of course, there are opponents to Spanx, who claim that Spanx is just one of the many ways that adult women can ignore their real bodies. Some argue that Spanx is a way to prevent women from becoming truly empowered and comfortable in their own bodies. Whether you agree with those opinions or not, there has been a new development in the body shaping industry that seems (to me) to be rather concerning.

One of the hottest new trends emerging in the country is Spankies; they are brightly colored patterned shorts that work almost exactly like Spanx. The difference? Spankies, and other related brands of shapewear, are marketed towards teenage girls. There are several reasons why many people have become wary of Spankies. However, the main issue that has been raised is what Spankies says to teenage girls regarding body image.

Former Real Housewife of New York Jill Zarin has been marketing her own Spankies-like brand known as Skweez. While the title is bad enough, what she says about her line of shapewear is even worse. According to Zarin, “Nobody wants to see anybody’s body parts rippling. It’s just not attractive… What I think Shapewear does is that is normalizes the girls’ body figures and it evens everybody out.”

Most teenage girls will go through an awkward stage in their life – it’s part of growing up. As we grow up, we have to learn to adjust to our bodies as they change as well. As a teen, many girls will most likely go through awkward times with their body. However, I do not think that Spankies, Skweez, or any other type of shapewear line for teens is the answer. In their teenage years, at a time when girls can be extremely vulnerable to criticism, the last thing we need to do is teach them that their bodies aren’t quite “right.” Teen shapewear sends a negative message when its goal, as Zarin states, is to make a girl’s body “normal.” The most important thing that we need to be teaching teenage girls is that they need to love and accept their body. There are an endless number of body shapes and sizes out there – no two girls will be the same. So why are we trying to normalize them? What is a normal body?

It is important that we teach young girls that they can’t run away from their bodies just because they don’t like the way their body looks. If a young girl feels that she is too overweight, then teach her exercise and healthy eating. If a young girl feels that she doesn’t have the right “assets,” teach her to love the other wonderful things about her body. Starting young girls on a path of wearing shapewear can only damage them in the long run. Instead of teaching them to run away from the problems that they face with their body, we need to teach them to love their body for what it is and to work on their body in a healthy manner.

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