We posted earlier today about how the Spanx creator was now the world’s youngest-ever female billionaire.
We referred to her a feminist role model, actually because she decided to build a business empire and gone out and done just that. But a number of people commented that she was not a feminist role model, because of the Spanx product itself:
babybug329: I don’t know about her being a feminist…because in my opinion feminists are all about freeing women, and “supportive” undergarments have a restrictive quality about them.
hotteayummy: Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and put her under the “not feminist” list. Just because one becomes the first-female-something doesn’t mean that she should be looked up to by feminists. I’m sure most feminists would rather support someone who tells women that they don’t have to fit into this literal mold of what the female body should look like than support someone who makes a quick buck on preying on women’s insecurities.
daydreams_nightmares: Yeah, a feminist that makes her money selling women products to make them look skinny.
eatdrinkandbemaryy: how is she a feminist role model when she sells a product that makes women skinnier and more appealing to men?
This topic came up in a 2010 photoshoot of feminists (shown above), where it turned out that many of the women in the photoshoot were wearing Spanx! Here’s what one participant wrote about it:
Not to reduce feminism to what is essentially a piece of pantyhose, but you can wear Spanx because you think your body is inadequate for not meeting the thinness ideal or because you think the fashion industry is inadequate at accommodating all sizes and shapes. Just because there are a lot of women who fall into the former camp doesn’t mean that all women wearing Spanx are doing so for anti-feminist reasons.
But even if they are, it’s only natural. If faced with the prospect of appearing before millions of strangers, who wouldn’t want to present their best self? “We beat ourselves up as being bad feminists if we get insecure about our bodies when we would tell any other woman that she’s reacting to external influences telling her to feel that way,” says [Shelby Knox, a women’s rights activist].
It’s an interesting debate… and we’d love to hear where you guys net out!
Are Spanx an anti-feminist product? Can feminists wear Spanx without feeling guilty?