Recently, we have been noticing the prominence of viral shapewear hitting our screens. It seems like every other post on social media is an advert for shapewear in some way or another - our feeds have been flooded with adverts for compression, stomach-smoothing, slimming and roll-reversing products. This may just seem like a harmless trend, but does it hint at a darker truth and lessen acceptance of our bodies?
Body shapes are trends – they go in and out of fashion just as clothes do. From the 90s heroin chic to the hourglass silhouette, we see how quickly the ideal body type can change. Shapewear is designed to mould you into current society’s idea of perfection, totally disregarding the fact that our bodies all look different! This trend is often peddled by celebrities – like Kim Kardashian or Victoria Beckham – who have made their livings from having aspirational body types.
These trends show that we are still obsessed with chasing perfection and that can be damaging for our mental health. Shapewear promotes an ideal body image and many of us feel inadequate when we don’t meet these standards. Research by the Mental Health Foundation shows that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress, and higher levels of disordered eating.
At Y.O.U, we much prefer body positivity and body neutrality. These movements promote personal acceptance and celebration of your body. This is why we’re trying to be inclusive with our women’s sizing range which runs from UK 6-22 and our men’s from S to 3XL. We’ve also introduced designs such as our mid-rise bikini and more supportive bra in response to customer feedback about wanting more coverage and support – it is much easier to be confident when you feel comfortable and supported! All our products are made with 100% GOTS-certified cotton for a second-skin feel (without flattening and compressing like Shapewear does).
We are also ethical marketers, meaning that we don’t touch-up or airbrush photos of our models. We do this because we believe it is important to see all body types reflected in media. We hope that this will help everyone on the road to accepting their bodies just how they are! We’re committed to showing an inclusive and diverse range of people in our photography, and promise never to airbrush our images. We had models from ages 18 to 80, and sizes 8 to 18 in our last photoshoot and we’re always working to show how our undies look on the amazing people who model for us – could you be next? This is a fun and empowering opportunity to inspire body confidence and there’s a free set of matching underwear of your choice up for grabs. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.