The Invasion of the Body Shapers


Another cold Saturday morning in NYC.  Of course as I’m drinking my coffee and trying to persuade myself it’s worth it to venture outside, I’m watching the usual slew of infomercials. 

There’s an interesting dynamic going on there.  Cooking shows on half the channels,compete with infomercials for weight loss equipment insisting that “in just a few minutes of doing 100%” using (whatever)you can have the hard body of your dreams, followed by various body shapers. Basically it breaks down into (1)eat, eat! (2)work it off, and (3)abandon hope all you who enter here. I already know how to cook and eat, and the urge to exercise only afflicts me occasionally.

I decided to give the body-shapers a try, but wanted to try a lower cost version first. After spending 30 minutes in Target picking one out (I’m sure the store clerks wondered if I had some kind of fetish) I chose a likely suspect and took it home.  I’ve worn camisoles for years, so I thought putting the thing on would be simple–arms through the straps and pull down….nope. The cami wouldn’t unroll so I could pull it down.  I took it off, and noticed the instructions printed on the manufacturers tag(which most people throw away immediately, assuming the garment had the tag on there when you bought it).  Surprise! The instructions said to roll the camisole up, put it over my head, and down to my waist, then just pull it up from there and slip your arms into the straps.  The manufacturers evidently didn’t realize that as you unroll the camisole from your waist there’s an obstacle (well technically, two)in the way.[Sidenote:  I also recalled that one of the TV body shapers mentioned that to put on their product you should “just step into it and pull it up from the bottom”.  Well, not over mine you don’t.] 

After much tugging and pulling I managed to get the thing over my bra in the front, but there was another problem.  The camisole managed to get under my bra in the back and refused to budge.  Maybe the cami was mis-labled and it was as an exercise device in disguise, but I’d seriously broken a sweat by then.  Okay, down goes the cami again.  Pull it up in the back first, then up the front, and into the straps.  Mission accomplished….The cami rolled up–by itself–from the bottom until it sat like a giant elastic lace rubber band. I refused to give up. I’ve come this far, and I would see how much better, and smoother I would look in my dress with this thing on!  I wrestled the cami into submission, and for the few seconds it stayed down, I looked really good. So I finished dressing and went out, feeling the cami return to the rubber band position as I walked down the street.  When I finally came home later that night, I realized that taking the thing off wouldn’t be any easier.  Arms through the straps, but the rolled-up cami refused to budge.  It wouldn’t pull up–the bra again, and go down.  I tried to pull it up enough to ease one arm out, but that made it even tighter.  With visions of paramedics having to come to my apartment with the Jaws of Life to help me, and explaining the them that I had dislocated my shoulder trying to take off a cami, I did something I’d only seen in cartoons.  I reached for my scissors and cut the stupid thing off me. 

Maybe I’ll go take the plastic off one of the videos in my exercise DVD collection…..


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