Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Suck it up

Not really, but more in the "can you believe it?" sense.

Just ran across a feature item on a news site that indicated that Spanx, the folks who make slimming garments (these were called "girdles" and such when I was a kid) are now rolling out a line of shape wear that ladies can wear to the gym.

Take a minute to digest that.

Now, the main reason we exercise, in any form, is to look and feel good.  So this Spanx line makes you look good WHEN YOU GO TO DO SOMETHING THAT'S DESIGNED TO MAKE YOU LOOK AND FEEL GOOD?

So why exercise?

Then there were associated articles about the percentage of women who wear makeup when they visit the gym.  It's a lot higher than I would have expected.

This is all an interesting coincidence, as my wife and I took a good walk last night to a local frozen yogurt store, reasoning that we would walk better and further if given the proper incentive.  As luck would have it, we pass by a large workout facility on our way to and from this place, and a few of the folks who've just concluded their workout came to the yogurt place for a frozen treat.  And we both noticed that the men who emerged from this gym were largely dressed, well, to work out.  But the women, for the most part, were well coordinated, with tops, shorts and socks, if not shoes, that match or at least go together.

Harkens back to the dawn of the aerobics era, when I used to play racquetball with a friend on a weekly basis, and we'd see what we both considered the "meat market" at our gym, as there were two large aerobics classes that met on our racquetball night, so you'd see all of the color coordinated leotards, tights, leg warmers and Reebok aerobic shoes, as well as hair and makeup done just right.

To work out.

Spanx also makes a line of items for men.  In addition to the brief, which presumably sucks in a man's gut (and good luck with that), they also apparently make an undershirt that compresses a man's chest and abdominal area.

Hmm.

Now, don't get me wrong.  Bravo to Spanx for identifying these markets and bringing products out that meet certain needs, and for being capitalist enough to make things that people want to buy.

But I think it says something about people that there is demand for any of this.

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