Be Wary of the Newfound Health Risks of Spanx

by BUST Magazine

Here’s a crazy stat for you: The 44-year-old founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, is the youngest self-made lady billionaire in history.

The business of whittling down women’s waists has been a big deal for a long time, so maybe it’s not too surprising that the person who started the modern restrictive undergarment craze is swimming in moola.

But what are Spanx and other body shapers really costing you?

New reports tell scary tales of compressed organs, squashed bowels, and numbness and tingling in the legs, all caused by squeezing your tuchus into too-tight spandex. Dr. Leah Rothman, a physician at One Medical Group in San Francisco, says, “Wearing super-tight clothing or anything that restricts your abdomen for long periods of time might make you prone to abdominal discomfort, bloating, and gas.”

The airtight atmosphere also creates an ideal breeding ground for some pretty gnarly stuff. “Tight garments like Spanx can also trap moisture and anything else under it, which may predispose you to both yeast and bacterial infections,” Dr. Rothman adds.

To ease the stress on your body, she suggests not wearing such garments for long periods of time. Alternatively, you might consider skipping the shapewear altogether and proudly putting a little jiggle in your wiggle.

By Laura Hooper Beck 

Illustration by Katie Copeland

This article originally appeared in the print version of our June/July 2015 issueSubscribe here.  


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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