Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Girdles and guys: A debate's taking shape

My jaw nearly dropped while reading a recent article posted on the Web site of The Wall Street Journal. The Journal's story was on body-shaping undergarments gaining gradual acceptance among younger men.

In other words, it's about girdles and guys, and their pursuit of svelte results. (Sound familiar, ladies?)

But the operative word for me wasn't "girdle"; it was the "younger" part that got my attention.

Men's use of girdles is hardly new but seems to be making a comeback, even in a progressively fitness-conscious age. It is my hope that body-shaping garments for men, while they can enhance the male figure, do not become crutches for those who avoid working out.

For that matter, why not combine the girdle with the six-pack exoskeleton from the modern "Batman" films? That should yield a formidable superhero look. Or, how about an artificially slimmed-down waist going with an overly stuffed (with socks? toilet paper?) sweatshirt a la Hans and Franz from "Saturday Night Live?"

In any case, the girdle can be used as a means to achieve an ideal facet of body image, but it has its limits in real life. Regardless of age, the fundamental of improving your physical conditioning lends itself to not just improved body image, but self-confidence. But the younger you are -- I'm sorry -- the less of an excuse there is for choosing body-shaping wear as a primary option over exercise.

StylePointer's bottom line: You might be able to hide the paunch, but if you're not exercising, your endurance will be exposed when it matters most.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Male athletes have been wearing panty girdles or (if you're so insecure insecure in your masculinity that a name might burst your bubble) compression shorts for decades. As a matter of fact, there are quite a few NFL players whose college coach suggested they wear a certain style of Playtex panty girdle (after first carefully removing the crotch) as they were made better then any of the sport apparel mfgrs girdles and keep firm hold of the athletes upper leg, gluts, lower back and abs better then any other garments made.