November 10, 2004

Kung-fu Grip

We interrupt the political turmoil to bring you this important announcement about:


Specifically, control-top pantyhose. More specifically, Victoria's Secret Control and Shaping Pantyhose; or, as I like to refer to them--the butt lifters of DOOM!

For those of you who are not interested in a prolonged discussion of the back end of the female anatomy and its susceptibility to being molded by spandex, please leave now.

Okay, are we alone? Good. I, like most women, keep a pair of control top pantyhose on hand for those occasions when I don't want the look of a form-fitting outfit to be ruined by anatomical imperfections. I don't wear them all the time because, hey, pantyhose suck, but they are sometimes necessary. So, I was in my local VS and decided that since winter was nigh and I had ripped my last pair of hose I'd grab a new one. This being Victoria's Secret there were at least 47 varieties of lifting, shaping, squashing, molding and flattening pantyhose available, and I ended up randomly choosing one based on the picture on the outside. Pantyhose objective achieved. There was much rejoicing. Huzzah.

I didn't realize that these were not your run-of-the-mill tummy tucking and thigh smoothing hose until I broke them out on Sunday. As I struggled mightily to get the hose ON my body without poking a fingernail through them, I realized that something was amiss--there was a strangely tight-feeling band located across my butt. I checked myself in the mirror and noted a two inch wide spandex band running across the back of the pantyhose. What strange device was this? From its current location, it was producing a double-butt effect that was bizarre, to say the least. Butt to the top, butt to the bottom, line of elastic bisecting the two: red butt, blue butt, in a way. Then I realized the spandexical elastical doohickey was meant to reside UNDER the cheekal area, in order to lift and separate. Oh goodie. Now I could have Shelf Booty! With kung fu grip! After another five minutes of struggling, realigning and tucking, everything was in its proper place and I was thanking the deodorant gods that I had chosen the Heavy Duty variety of Secret Solid.

I cannot do justice to the feeling of wearing butt-lift pantyhose except to say that it is roughly akin to walking around with someone constantly pinching your ass. The accompanying feeling of paranoia is also refreshing, as is the constant mental focus on the State of The Ass. And let's not even talk about bathroom visits and their aftermath.

Look, Victoria's Secret, if I want my booty lifted I'll do Pilates. And while we're at it, can we talk about why pantyhose aren't ever made for shortwaisted women (like me)? The ability to tuck the top of my hose into my bra is not one I'm celebrating. Sigh. Back to long skirts and knee-highs it is.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at November 10, 2004 09:18 AM

the couple of times I've tried "control top" pantyhose, I've wound up going home early, with a mysterious stomachache, that was alleviated as soon as I removed the dam' things.

I've decided that anatomical imperfections are fine. If someone doesn't like looking at the fact that I have a tiny little potbelly or that my buttock isn't quite as perky as your average MTV vixen, well, that's THEIR problem.

oh, and was "red butt, blue butt" a reference to "One Fish, Two Fish..." or to the recent presidential election?

Posted by: ricki at November 10, 2004 10:30 AM

Ricki -

Oooh, it could be either. Pick whichever one you prefer.

Posted by: BAW at November 10, 2004 11:58 AM

I share the whole 'pantyhose into the bra' sentiment. What good is a control top when you wind up with a roll of excess pantyhose around your waist? Am I supposed to tuck the pantyhose under my bra so it doesn't roll down my rib cage & settle around my waist slowly transforming me into the michelin man?

Posted by: Jenno at November 10, 2004 05:52 PM

That's freaking hilarious. Remember thigh highs? I wore those back in the day. Mainly to reduce sweat. Save tights (including fishnets), I gave up stockings years back. Too much pressure. Literally.

Posted by: Belle at November 11, 2004 09:01 AM

Thanks for the laugh. After leaving the corporate world several years ago, I've decided the benefit of not wearing pantyhose outweighs the loss of income!

Posted by: Earth Girl at November 11, 2004 11:02 AM

Where are the photos?

Posted by: John Hudock at November 11, 2004 03:30 PM

My wife passed this along to most of the women she knows; and judging from the e-mail she's gotten in response, much merriment has ensued.

Posted by: Will Duquette at November 12, 2004 11:35 PM

I can so sympathize with everything you said. A while back I discovered that thigh-highs did something similar to me--pushing all my sins and imperfections up and out until I looked like Mrs. Wiggins, the dippy secretary from that old Carol Burnett Show sketch.

On the short-waisted front, I can recommend (although they're hard to find) buying pantyhose that are to be worn with "low-rise" pants. On normal people (which is to say, us) the low-rise pantyhose waist sits at--your actual waist! What a concept. (Oddly, VS is one of the few brands I could find still making low-rise pantyhose.) Anyway, thanks for the laugh. Nice to know we're not alone in pantyhose hell. And long skirts and knee-highs rule.

Posted by: Jenn at November 13, 2004 07:38 PM