Related on TestTube:
How Does Exercise Make Muscles Get Bigger?
What's the Best Excursive?
According to the website Shape, shapewear makes you look skinnier by changing the contours of the body: It straightens your posture to make you look slimmer and Marianne Gimble, the co-founder of a leading shapewear manufacturer, was quoted saying that it "moves fat around." She says, "Fat can move into spaces where muscle is compressed, such as the abs. It can also be moved directionally, towards more desirable places." In addition to sounding painful, it also sounds like pretty blatant pseudo-science. In an article in the Huffington Post, several doctors warn that these types of products can squeeze the wearer's internal organs including their colon, stomach, and intestines. This can lead to digestion problems and heartburn.
Fashions like shapewear--and doctor's reactions to them--have been around for a long time: As far back as 200 years ago, doctors were warning women about the potential dangers of these fashions. German physician Samuel Thomas Von Sömmerring wrote a pamphlet in 1803 warning women of the health hazards of corsets, which were de rigueur at the time. Sömmerring warned that corsets compress the ribs and internal organs and could cause a wide-range of maladies like tuberculosis and even cancer.
As women started wearing tight girdles to force their bodies into the fashionable silhouettes of the day, corset-wearing women started to report suffering from "Sommerring's Syndrome", which was actually a hiatal hernia, which is what happens when a bit of the stomach pokes up through the diaphragm. Another huge problem with shape wear is that they constrict the wearer's lungs, making it difficult for them to breathe. Shortness of breath led to fainting. If that isn't scary enough, bariatric physician Jyotindra Shah told the Huffington Post that lack of oxygen could lead to metabolic problems, which, in turn, could actually lead to weight gain!
The good news is that shapewear doesn't seem to have any lasting effects (nor does it cause tuberculosis and cancer, as Sömmerring warmed). Dr. Orly Avitzur, a neurologist who treated shapewear-wearing teen girls says to, "Think of corsets and shapewear like high heeled shoes--a pair of fantastic stilettos. Restrict these undergarments to special events, but then take them off immediately."
The Science of Shape Wear (Shape.com)
"It's the biggest hoax in fashion history. Some might even call shapewear controversial-from its potential health implications to dates being misled by "toned" bodies that are really squeezed into figure-flattering undergarments."
Spanx And Other Shapewear Are Literally Squeezing Your Organs (Huffington Post)
"I hate Spanx because even though they look so good under your clothes, sometimes mid-wedding I'll be like, 'I feel so nauseous,'" actress Jennifer Coolidge once said. "They're so tight, who knows what you're cutting off?"
The Effects of the Corset (NIH.gov)
This Illustration appeared as a foldout in a little book, Über die Wirkungen der Schnürbrüste (On the Effects of the Corset), written by Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring.1 The essay was published in 1793 and republished in an expanded edition in 1803. Translated into several languages, it became a best-seller."