For decades, women have used body-enhancing undergarments to cinch their waists, slim their thighs, lift their breasts, with new product developments surfacing all the time. Now, finally, men are getting in on the action in a big way. Spanx, the brand that cranks out millions of stretchy body shapers for ladies, launched a line for dudes earlier this year. The undergarments are said to banish love handles, flatten the tummy, and bulk up a punier man’s chest. The brand has recently added to the line, with a selection of briefs and boxer briefs that’ll enhance a gentleman’s figure below the belt. Though it once seemed ludicrous, male shapewear is proving to be both marketable and profitable, and becoming more popular than you’d think. And it’s not just American dudes who are body-obsessed. London-based department store Marks & Spencer currently has a new collection of men’s tees and tanks called Bodymax, and will add a “bum-lift” pant and a frontal enhancement brief on October 15. The line’s stretch fabric lifts and shapes, promising a 20 percent visual lift of the bum, while an interior shelf claims to deliver a 38% visual enhancement of a front area. The pieces will range in price from $16-$24. There is already a waiting list. Dave Binns, Head of Buying for Marks & Spencer’s men’s underwear explains the phenomenon this way: “Women have been wearing and enjoying the benefits of shapewear for many years now and we saw such a positive response from men when we launched our Bodymax shaping vests earlier this year. Pants are the next natural addition to this range—these pants provide a real confidence boost for men and we think they will prove popular with our customers.” Mike Tracy, a men’s sales associate at Bloomingdale’s in New York sees the male shapewear category as a rapidly growing trend and says they can’t keep men’s Spanx in stock. He explains that while all ages purchase the shapewear brands, the main demographic that’s buying are 30- to 50-year-old men trying to get a boost under their clothing. “I think men are a little late to the game, just like men’s fashion is always a little bit later than women’s, but [male shapewear] is an easy, quick little fix and it’s cheaper than going to the gym.” Article by Yahoo! Shine * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I think shapewear (for everyone) is dishonest in general, but boxerbrief shapewear just doesn’t make sense to me. Unless you’re a man who wears REALLY tight pants on a regular basis, the only way someone is going to see your underwear is if they want you to take them off. And right there, the naked truth that lies beneath will be discovered. I’ll tell you a personal secret about shapewear: I was probably about 22 when I got my first push-up bra, after always being against it. I ended up getting it from Victoria’s Secret (have you noticed that ALL the prettiest bras have padding in them now?! UGH!) To be honest, as soon as I put the damn thing on, I suddenly became insecure – after having a lovely 22-year boob relationship. I started doubting myself – what should I look like? Two years later, I still have the bra – but I only wear it if I haven’t done my laundry. It doesn’t make me feel comfortable knowing that I’m showing something that isn’t real. More importantly, it makes me feel like I’m not being true to myself. I’m not sure if any other ladies have ever felt this way, but I’d love to hear it! Maybe I’m too neurotic about this kind of stuff – but I wonder if guys who wear these kinds of undergarments will feel something similar. Does anyone feel a little conflicted when they stuff themselves into a girdle-like garment? To be fair, there is also underwear that enhances women’s behinds as well – ever hear of Booty Pop? It exists, for real. I saw it in a magazine and I couldn’t believe it. I feel like shapewear is going to turn people into walking false advertisements. But regardless of what you wear, it’s what’s inside that counts – and if people feel that shapewear is a must and it doesn’t make them feel any different about themselves, no harm done I guess. But then – why wear it?