Having trouble fitting into your jeans? Spanx, maker of undergarments and shapewear, will soon provide a new denim alternative for women looking to show off their shape without the bulkiness of regular jeans. But there may be some health risks.
Starting July 25, Spanx will offer two unique styles of jeans. One is called the Signature; it is high-waisted with a wide waistband and a side zipper. The second style is called the Slim-X. It is a traditional five-pocket jean with a lower waist, but high enough to tuck in your shirt. Both styles come in skinny, boot cut, or straight leg. According to Jezebel, a representative for the brand said that the jeans have “patent-pending hidden shaping features that create a perky rear and all-around slimming fit.”
But although the denim alternatives seem to offer a lot of perks, the bad news is that these body-shaping jeans could potentially cause gastrointestinal problems and yeast infections, among other yet unknown health problems. Doctors say that body shapers can worsen heart burn and acid reflux; make it difficult to breathe; and cause infections.
Dr. Karen Erickson, a chiropractor, found that wearing Spanx can stifle your desire to use the bathroom. "It's like when people eat a huge meal and then unbuckle their jeans,” she told the The Huffington Post. The tightness could result in discomfort in your tummy in the form of bloating and gas.
Bodyware can also cause meralgia paresthetica, which occurs when the peripheral nerve in your thigh is compressed, cause tingling, numbness, and pain in your legs. "It's like putting these giant rubber bands around your upper thighs and tightening them when you sit," Erickson said.
Spanx were founded by Sarah Blakely, who became the youngest self-made millionaire in 2012, according to her website. So far, the company has grown worldwide, and its products are a popular accessory in many women's closets. Many celebrities, such as Kim and Khloe Kardashian, use Spanx to present flawless bodies. Even Oprah has some Spanx in her closet. Is it worth risking the discomfort? That is up to you to decide. If you do choose to buy the new denim Spanx, make sure you get the right size and wear them moderately.
"Everyone I know owns shapewear — it's kind of a miracle," Erickson said. "But I think we want to be mindful to not wear it on a day-in and day-out basis."