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Opinion: Do powerful women need to tame their unsightly bulges?
Adele wore four pairs of Spanx to the 2012 Grammys. She had to take off two pairs before her performance.
June 8th, 2012
07:53 PM ET

Opinion: Do powerful women need to tame their unsightly bulges?

Editor's note: Orit Avishai is an assistant professor of sociology at Fordham University. She is the author of "Managing the Lactating Body: The Breast-Feeding Project and Privileged Motherhood."

(CNN) - Adele, who won big at the 2012 Grammys, once told Karl Lagerfeld off when he said that she was talented and pretty but a little too fat. Maybe his words got to her.

The British pop star made news this week when she admitted to wearing four pairs of Spanx under a dress that wowed the audiences at the Grammys. Apparently, this was an improvement over her original dress that featured a built-in corset and in which she passed out when she tried it on.

Spanx is a line of undergarments that offers solutions for women of all sizes and shapes. You can target bulging stomachs, jiggling upper arms, aging breasts and any other body part that may need some enhancement. No longer an item of fantasy play or a secret amongst plus-sized women, Spanx products have become prized accessories flaunted by the Kardashians, Oprah and suburban moms.

Spanx's selling point is that it helps smart, successful women of all ages to build their confidence by, well, looking good. But playing with fire might be a more adequate metaphor when we consider that less than half a century ago, women denounced Spanx-like garments as symbols of oppressive beauty standards.

Read Orit Avishai's full column

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Filed under: Gender • What we think • Women
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Sahil

    Enjoyed this very much. You are a hoot. Litter duty ha! Blizzard, give me a banana split bzrizald yep a banana split just mushed up in ice cream. Yum! I love me some DQ. I love me some ice cream. So does sweetie his biggest weekend. Discovered somebody's been making some late night frosty runs to Wendy's. (Found out by saying "yes, we've eaten pretty well this week". He replies "yes, except for my runs to Wendy's.")I thought wet curtains (or towels) would be wrinkled? I know that I put some clothes in the dryer and watch really close and grab them let the dryer do the ironing if I time it just right and they don't sit and get wrinkled again. Spanx that's funny. The wind equally cold funny too. Love, Paula

    July 2, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jorge

    WOW, even as a man I think this article would be totally bewildering if it didn't point out the wild contrast of human profundity. On the one hand it points out two women of incredible talent, relevance and artistic merit who happen to be overweight, on the other hand it dedicates most of it's text to the media importance and social tyranny of...Spanx? (Perhaps, a little victory for some covertly misogynistic, limp-wristed fashion designer, somewhere).

    June 12, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |