By MaryJo Kosisher-Demski
The past few weeks have been hellish for me. As I’ve sat and forlornly watched yet another football season draw agonizingly to a close, two things have repeatedly jumped to the front of my mind. My two favorite teams really need to do a whole lot better next season, and too many guys, both on and off the football field, should be wearing shapewear.
You’re probably giggling now. Who can forget that infamous “Seinfeld” episode featuring Kramer, George’s father, and “The Bro”? But, if you stop for a moment and think, you’ll realize that men’s shapewear may not be such a bad idea. If you’ve watched even one college or pro football game on TV, you’ve likely seen some 300-pound-plus giants in spandex pants with rolls of flesh in desperate need of compression. And let’s face it – few non-athletes out there have the physiques of Super Bowl-bound quarterbacks. They have their fair share of hurdles to overcome to attain at least the appearance of having a toned body. Their problems can include: “man boobs“ (or moobs), a “beer belly,” “love handles,” or a nonexistent tush.
Believe it or not, the writers for “Seinfeld” weren’t the first ones to throw out the idea of intimate apparel for men. In the early nineteenth century, fashionable dandies in several West European countries were known to wear body-sculpting corsets like their female counterparts, and it’s likely this fashion trend actually began as early as two centuries before that (only to then go on hiatus). In today’s body-conscious world, men can opt to wear male bras or compression t-shirts that strategically flatten male breasts that have developed from genetic bad luck, medical conditions, drug regimens, or plain-old obesity. Journeying further south, the mirdle and waist-cinching boxers/briefs help push those oh-so-affectionately-named “beer bellies” firmly into place and hide the handles created when there’s no love lost. One has to wonder whether the improved control of “muscle” and fat by these pieces of shapewear couldn’t improve the speed and agility of a few offensive or defensive linemen. After all, are there any women out there who would ever consider going for a run without donning a good bra?
Aside from the “mansierres,” compression t-shirts, and mirdles designed to reduce various parts of the male anatomy, there are also undies out there designed to enhance certain parts with which men find themselves unhappy. For example, there are butt-boosting boxers for those gentlemen who sport absolutely no derrieres. Some are designed to actually lift the rear end; others provide significant padding. The latter, which add where Mother Nature subtracted, can fill out those jeans, and help prevent you from being featured on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (e.g., pants tumbling down from jumps on trampolines, attempts to use pogo sticks, or haphazard wedding dances) and becoming the butt of one of Tom Bergeron’s jokes. Pro football players certainly won’t be wearing such items on the field but, who knows? Perhaps they may soon try them off the field in their attempts to turn the heads of some foxy cheerleaders.
Of course, though I must be careful, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that rear ends aren’t the only spots where some men have been turning to intimate apparel to provide some “enhancement.” Front-padded athletic supporters, boxers, and briefs are available for those guys who might be feeling a bit shortchanged.
You might think that most men would strongly oppose the thought of wearing a mirdle, but with the prevalence of tighter-fitting shirts and sleeker ready-to-wear silhouettes, many have warmed to the idea of compensating for an overabundance of Mother Nature’s gifts. Fortunately, we live in an era when men don’t need to rely on control-top pantyhose as “Broadway Joe” memorably hawked a generation ago.
No doubt about it – shapewear is the fastest, easiest way to create a sleeker-looking man, both on and off the football field. Some clever marketing guru might just run with this thought and create a line of men’s shapewear devoted specifically to football players of all ages, levels, and abilities. Now, if only someone had some good ideas for improving the performance of my two favorite teams …CC Image courtesy of Tobyotter on Flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/78428166@N00/ / CC BY 2.0 CC Image courtesy of Steve Snodgrass on Flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/stevensnodgrass/ / CC BY 2.0