Body shapers are a multi-million pound industry, with companies increasingly working towards manufacturing them.
Body shapers are considered as an easy and convenient way to look “slim and beautiful”. While not helping you lose weight in a healthy way, tummy-tuckers give the appearance of reduced belly fat, fat from the posterior regions of the body, and minimized body bumps.
The designs differ in the sense that some of the shape-wears are open and are worn like a belt by stretching and fixing it slowly with a tap. Some tummy tuckers are closed and need to be worn from your top or from the feet and brought till the waist. There are panty-style body shapers which are made to suppress the lower abdomen cramps, as well as bumps. These body shapers or tummy tuckers are easy to wash as they are made up of flexible and polyester material.
Shapewear and corsets enjoy a huge popularity in the West and are rapidly gaining appeal among women in India. They are perfect for wearing under almost any outfit, ranging from trousers and tops, to shorts and tanks, to dresses and skirts. Maternity shapewear is fine for women to wear daily if they are comfortable. It can help women with varicose veins, which can be uncomfortable when standing. It is also said to provide support to lift the uterus off the cervix and ease pain, in case the pelvis gets misaligned. However, one must check with their doctor before opting for this.
Body tuckers are tight and this can lead to blood clots which can travel to the lungs, heart and the brain. Squeezing the body too much into a tight garment places either direct pressure on to a nerve, or squeezes internal organs. The tighter the fabric, or the more uncomfortable it is, the larger the damage. Health issues including bladder infections, gastrointestinal problems and nerve damage can cause numbness and burning in the thighs (meralgia paresthetica). The stomach, intestine, and colon can become compressed making the effects of acid reflux worse, and giving heartburn. It can “provoke erosive esophagitis,” (severe injury to the esophagus due to acid erosion).
The diaphragm becomes restricted and abdomen flares on inhalation, causing shallow breathing. Bowels can get compressed, causing problems for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or functional bowel disorders, causing episodes of incontinence. Shapewear can suppress the urge to go to the bathroom, which may in turn cause stress incontinence.
Varicose veins can develop for those who are “genetically” prone to it. Another symptom can be “lymph congestion,” or swollen ankles. For those who depend on shapewear to give them better posture, back muscles could suffer: not enough air can circulate due to the tightness of the shapewear. Hence, a lot of it moisture gets trapped, in turn providing a perfect breeding ground for germs that can lead to yeast and bacterial infections. Regular usage can lead to development of folliculitis, which causes red puss-filled bumps along hair follicles. Shapewear can cause hyperventilation and panic attacks.
Shapewear DOs –
Shapewear comes with its issues, most of them are temporary while others are not. All the information provided is not to discourage anyone to try it, instead to enhance your understanding on the ways you can keep yourself healthy while still using a shapewear (it’s totally your choice).
WHL TIP: While helpful in some cases, shape-wears generally promote unhealthy body image, and can be damaging. It is always best to consult a physiotherapist before opting to wear shape wear regularly.