There is only one really good thing about being a man, and that is we don’t give a damn what we look like or that our IQs generally hover about the 30 mark (just high enough to invent, and repeatedly pry open beer bottlecaps). For a few brief years in high school we look OK, but then we begin to let ourselves go and get increasingly larger until 20 years later we look like some form of ginormous walking burrito wrapped in a polo shirt and cargo pants. Unlike women, we simply don’t care what we look like. No matter what the mirror says, no matter how fat or old I get, I can still convince myself that I’m one happnin’ dude, and my lethargic 250 pounds is human catnip to the female of the species. The true path to happiness is self-delusion and I, like most other men, conveniently have that in spades. This is why the cosmetic industry cannot sell us anti-wrinkle cream … we know wrinkle cream doesn’t work and is simply the world’s most expensive chip dip when we run out of salsa. We men wear our wrinkles, thinning hair and expanding waistlines with an unwarranted and idiotic pride. (And for the record, I do not consider myself to be fat; my wife and kids politely refer to me as “robust.”)

Now, someone is trying to convince me that this is not so … They are implying that I don’t look all that hot, that I’ve let myself go and my girth has become some sort of fashion faux pas. That person is the Georgia gal who cut the feet off a pair of panty hose, named them Spanx, and made a bazillion dollars. She has convinced women that by pulling on a cut-off pair of panty hose up to their armpits and letting their ankles dangle in the breeze that they will never have to diet again. She really didn’t invent anything new; they used to call these things girdles. They just aren’t made of high-tensile steel, hemp rope and industrial pipe strapping anymore. For a short time during the ‘60s women liberated themselves of them. Now someone is trying to convince me that my wondrously aging male body needs to be compressed like a seam of coal in the Kentucky wilderness.

This woman has brazenly trespassed onto the hallowed ground of the male ego and invented “Spanx for Men.” Now guys, can you actually say “Hey Dude, I’m wearing Spanx, how does it make my ass look” with a straight face? If you can, you have issues larger than I can help you with. Spanx now comes in a wide variety of styles, one a comfy, crotch-hugging, compression thong. Can you imagine, a “compression fit” thong? That particular product may not even be removable; once you put it on it’s embedded there forever. These things should have a warning label on them – Contents Under Pressure: when released contents may cause severe eye irritation.

The new “Spanx for Men” claims to do a few things:

  1. It “firms the chest.” Yeah, I guess if I compressed my chest to half its size it would tend to firm up a tad.
  2. It “flattens the stomach.” Why, for God’s sake, would I want to do that? I have to fit food and beer in there; a decent-sized gut is like having extra trunk space in a car.
  3. It “improves posture.” Apparently it contains whalebone and PVC piping to help me to stay upright when I black out from lack of blood circulation.
  4. It “supports the lower back.” So does my couch and I much prefer wearing my couch.
  5. “No bulk under clothes”: Well, I suppose if don’t get into my clothes, there won’t be any bulk under them, but I don’t see how that helps.

Spanx are “high stretch with ultimate shaping.” I assume this to mean – now I can reach the top shelf without groaning, and my ass looks fantastic while doing so. Well, I’m sorry but a man’s ass doesn’t have a shape and there is nothing “ultimate” about it; just ask my wife. A mans ass sole function is to attach his legs to his torso, that’s all.

Spanx are “ergonomic.” WTF? Ergonomic means designed for maximum comfort. How does “compressing me into a smaller person” make me more comfortable? I follow the natural laws of the universe and, like it, I am constantly expanding. The laws of physics should not be fucked with.

Spanx has “36-gauge stitching.” That’s several more gauges than my shotgun, so we are talkin’ some serious stitching here.

Spanx has “Invisible Flat Lock Side Seams.” Nothing says comfort like Flat Lock.

Spanx has “natural cotton fiber for breathability” Yes, breathing is important and I do it constantly, and I don’t wish to stop due to a garment that is part Boa Constrictor.

Spanx also has “moisture control.” Apparently when your body is compressed to 450 times atomospheric pressure you sweat a lot and need moisture control.

On the Spanx website they use the same marketing device that has fooled women for centuries; they are selling a product for dumpy 50-year-olds using super-hot 21-year-old models. Well men, don’t fall for this old advertising trick. I spotted the 21-year-old male model on the website right off and rather than thinking I will ever look like this dude, I immediately developed an intense and deep hatred for him. Why? … Because he doesn’t need a fucking compression shirt! Every model on that website is a model, for chrissake! And models are not overweight to begin with! Everything on that model is right where it should be. I’m lucky if all my parts are in the same room at the same time. At night I can remove about six of my body parts and put them on my night stand, it resembles that “Body Farm” place in Tennessee. The models all have six packs; I have a keg. They flex lean, mean muscles. When I flex, it means something is breaking. They all have a body mass of zero, I have a massive body … Hell, I have shoes that weigh more then these guys. Why don’t they use guys who look like me on the website? I’ll tell you why, cuz when you compress 250 pounds of fat, bone and blubber inside a rubberized T-shirt, you don’t look like the models on the website or George Clooney, you look like a desperate, pathetic fat guy exploding out of a shirt that is 10 sizes too small.

Let’s assume for a minute that these Spanx things can really do their job and turn my ginormous Size 70 Peterbilt ass into a Size 3 petite. Now the whole point of stuffing yourself into a high-tech fabric sausage casing is to look good for the opposite sex, is it not? The end result, for most men, would hopefully be a rendezvous in the boudoir with an attractive partner, sans clothing. Tell me Einstein, what happens when you’ve finally made it back to the bedroom with some comely lass, who is ready to rumble, and you finally strip away the last vestiges of lard support? When the lady in question sees the human equivalent of the Aswan Dam break, and observes a raging wall of blubber billow forth and expand to its original unencumbered size, will she still make eyes at you and say, “Oh, dahling, bring that Chunka Chunka of burning love over here to mama? I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing for most women the magic fades a bit when a Harry the Hunk endomorphs into Mac the Manatee.

So men, don’t let them Spanx you. Be who you are in all your fat, aging, pre-diabetes, delusional wonderfulness. I, for one, am not going to take this insult to my lush physique lying down, (actually I am lying down, but I digress.) I have invented a new product for men as well. It’s something men will love and revel in …

It’s a shirt made of cheese and I’m going to outsell that Spanx lady by a billion dollars!


Editor’s note: The wonderful illustration was done by the author.

Trevor Stone Irvin

Trevor Stone Irvin

Illustrator and Designer living in the Candler Park area...At one time I worked at the Atlanta Constitution and then for CNN at the all seemed too much like real work so I went freelance...which my father defined as "being unemployed for a real long time".