Body shapers have become a standard option when searching for a new outfit, with the option of built-in tummy control or a completely separate undergarment. Women have no shortage of options for pieces that are specifically designed to make them appear slimmer and sleeker and to conceal their actual size behind layers of fabric and compression. Name brands are plentiful on the mainstream market, and yoga apparel manufacturers are quickly increasing their body shapers available as well.
This item sparked a lot of controversy in the yoga world because many would argue that it doesn’t promote an ideal of self-love or self-compassion. Adherents to the traditional yogic philosophy feel that these two elements are crucial to living well daily. Others argue that body shaper actually makes their practice more comfortable.
Before you can really evaluate which side of the argument you fall on, it’s important to understand how a body shaper works to change your figure.
- One of the primary ways that a body shaper helps to conceal your trouble areas is through smoothing them out. It is particularly true of the undergarments designed for women that stretch from the lower thigh all the way to the top of the abdomen. An extra layer of fabric between your skin and your clothing can help to smooth out lumps, bumps, and wrinkles, which would typically make you appear larger.
- Second, it is an unavoidable fact that shapewear will also be tighter than a standard article of clothing. It is designed to take loose skin and hold it close to your body, similar to a pair of compression pants or shorts designed for working out rigorously. Keeping your body held more tightly together definitely serves to make your overall figure appear slimmer.
- Many of the apparel options that come with built-in shapewear will have a higher waist than the typical cuts of clothing. It is to ensure that the additional compression covers all trouble areas, especially every portion of your stomach. Higher coverage also allows yogis to wear only one item, as the shapewear no longer requires the use of an undergarment as well as the pants themselves. That is why high-waisted leggings have been such a prevalent fashion trend. They easily incorporate body shapewear into your clothing without advertising that you’re using fashion to appear smaller than you may really be.
- Keep in mind that your shapewear should still allow you to breathe and move easily. Overly restrictive items can make it difficult for you to move not only through your practice but throughout your daily activities. Your clothing should never feel harmful or painful, regardless of how slim it may make you appear to be.
Shapewear can dramatically alter the appearance of your body shape, sometimes up to an entire size. However, each piece will use different tools and fabrics in the construction of the clothing. Feeling good about your body in the clothes you wear can definitely be an act of self-love and self-compassion, but make sure that your body shaper fits you appropriately first.