Sunday, 4 November 2012
Apologies long-suffering body, but I need to stuff you into a LBD this party season.
As said dress is just a tube of lycra, I need to cheat and give the optical delusion - sorry illusion - that I have a washboard stomach and abs of steel.
When the reality is that greed, a twin pregnancy and C-section have given me a pouch that only a marsupial could love.
Useful for storing wet wipes and shopping lists, it is rather unsightly in an unforgiving clingy dress.
I need a cover up.
Shapewear is designed to create a sleek silhouette and suppress the fat bits, giving you a curvaceous hourglass figure, even when you are more Toby jugs.
Who needs lipo when you have M&S?
I blame it on Gok Wan. Forcing us chubsters into these restrictive garments of torture.
"It's all about the circulation, girlfriend!"
In my quest for a bump free profile, I have squeezed into various silly ‘miracle’ undergarments over the years, with inventive names, like waist clinchers, thigh trimmers and belly busters.
Items so small that they could house The Borrowers, but with magic tardis-esque qualities, they can expand - and boy, do they need to stretch!
Guts and garters
The Ann Summers sales assistant is fondling my body like she's sculpting Morph.
She tucks my boobs into the corset in the manner of a gent folding his handkerchief into a top pocket.
But they simply pop out again like cheeky bald jack in the boxes.
The sleazy red and black lace number is more Harlot than Scarlet O'Hara. I look like Bill Sykes' serving wench, or a reader's wife.
"We have a matching garter," the assistant pipes up, excitedly.
When I was a teen I would wear a swimming costume to hold me in.
This was especially useful when an emergency swim arose.
For my wedding I splurged on an all-in-one body suit, but it squished my breasts down and I resembled a portly teenage boy with moobs and a penchant for cross dressing.
In my bridal wisdom I decided to wear a Wonderbra under my gown, and ended up in an episode of 'Carry on up the Aisle'
I thought my Dad, upon giving me away, would utter some profound words of sentiment like, "Bye bye little girl."
But, inappropriate as ever, he simply nudged my husband-to-be, and proclaimed loudly:
"She could take somebody's eyes out with those."
A bum note
A word of caution: I hoped to be less of a flat bottomed girl by trying on some Wonderpants, a la Kim Kardashian.
But my arse looked enormous and I resembled a Kenny Everett character.
What will we accentuate next? Fanny boosters? (I'm not American, I mean the UK fanny) The female equivalent of a codpiece designed to make your lady bits more pronounced?
Weight restrictions apply
If you have the guts (and I really do) to put shapewear on, then there is an order to be observed.
1. Climb in. You may need to contort your body to step into Barbie sized knickers. A nearby bedside cabinet, or husband. can be useful for securing your balance
2. Slide the garment on. Well, yank it up your body in stages, grabbing valuable breaths while you can. Be careful to avoid chafing
4. Lift your flab into position, smoothing down the folds of skin, like you are preparing a nice plait in the Great British Bake off
5. Check concave reflection, and breathe - oh you can't
I’ve been known to wear several items of shape wear simultaneously, like a dressing up box of obesity.
But unless the garments go up to the neck and roll over the head like a giant condom, the fat has got to spill out somewhere.
Love handles, back blubber, muffin tops - only in my case, the whole pie shop could roll out.
I am reminded of the Olympic Absolutely Fabuluous special where Patsy had to be resuscitated, due to miniscule control pants.
Next, consider rest breaks and conjugals.
The first could maybe be solved by fitting a catheter, or by simply pissing your big pants after a few Diamond Whites.
The second, a passion killer. By the time you have wrestled your way out, flapping around like a chunky caterpillar trying to burst out of its cocoon, your partner is flat out.
Or, just simply take advantage of items with gusset poppers.
Which have probably already pinged open (taking the odd pube with them) allowing easy access for all your needs.
Some people pay a lot for that kind of thing.
Of course, you may simply confuse your partner. You left the house a size 10.
Unlike the romantic scene in Shakespeare in Love - when Joseph Fiennes unravels Gwyneth Paltrow's breast restraining bandages, to reveal the woman within - by the time you tug of war your way out of shapewear, the flaccid fat plops out, like a string of Punch and Judy sausages.
Suddenly you're a size 14 again.
If you fall into a drunken sleep wearing the items, you may wake up feeling claustrophobic, presuming somebody has mummified you by accident.
Skin and bone
Forget today’s gently enhanced Bridget Jones Spanx.
I’m after Thatcher pants; maximum control.
It's going to need NASA technology and the scaffolding of The Shard to hoist this man made structure - The Lard - north.
I want Victorian style corsetry, made with something's bones. Laced up to the point that I need an inhaler.
So what's a rib here or there?
Or a 1950s Playtex girdle with pointy nipples, to make me more Betty Draper than Betty's hotpot
If you really can't face control wear ,then please do not attempt any of the following quick fix alternatives at home.
My naked body was once wrapped in cling film, as I sat in a sauna trying to lose the inches.
However, a group of Japanese businessmen entered at the exact moment I fled, hyperventilating, towards the emergency exit. Due to poor visibility and panic squealing, they thought they were being chased by a wild boar.
I'm not sure who screamed the most.
Circa 1997, I had a bright idea to Sellotape my fat to my body, under a tight dress. Fortunately, I decided against the Gaffa Tape.
In the sweaty dark club, my taped thighs were so restrained, clubbers thought I was trending the latest robotic dance craze.
Or that I had just been rogered by Dirk Diggler in the loos.
The restrictive tape gave me palpitations. The bouncers were convinced I was on drugs.
And when I staggered to the toilet, a bar maid - who found me frantically ripping tape off my red, fleshy body, like a carnivore tearing strips of a juicy carcus - decided I was trying to smuggle illegal substances into the club.
This year, I have other methods for avoiding shapewear.
I am considering visiting A&E for an all over body cast, like that guy in Splash!
Or, I could get the opposite of an inflatable Sumo/It's a knockout suit: a thin costume. Kate Moss would do.