how celebrities and influencers drove our modern obsession with shapewear

<classe étendue="légende">Social media has helped make these products more accessible.  </span> <span class="attribution"><une classe="lien " href="" rel="nofollow noopener" cible="_Vide" data-ylk="slk:Alvago/ Shutterstock">Alvago/Shutterstock</a></span>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTYzOQ–/ -~B/aD0zMzA7dz00OTY7YXBwaWQ9eXRhY2h5b24-/” data-src=” YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTYzOQ–/–~B/aD0zMzA7dz00OTY7YXBwaWQ9eXRhY2h5b24-/”/></div>
<p>Throughout history, women have been pressured to have certain body shapes, often leading them to use extreme methods to achieve them.  So you would think that with a greater emphasis on body positivity in recent years, the days of wearing corsets and other restrictive undergarments would be behind us.  In fact, the global shapewear industry is booming – sales of these products are expected to reach <a href=US$3.7 billion (£2.9 billion) by 2028.

While the corsets can go back to 16th century, it was in the 18th century that the hourglass shape became fashionable. The corsets also had come to represent elite status and physical fragility, symbol of femininity.

Different body ideals have come into fashion since, largely shaped by popular celebrities or even famous images and artworks. For instance Aphroditethe Greek goddess of beauty, was frequently depicted in curvaceous body paintings and sculptures.

Quarter life, a series from The Conversation

This article is part of Quarter Life, a series about issues affecting those of us in our 20s and 30s. From the challenges of starting a career and taking care of our mental health, to the excitement of starting a family, adopting a pet or simply making friends as adults. The articles in this series explore questions and provide answers as we navigate this turbulent time in life.

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While hourglass figures were popular throughout the 1950s due to celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, the 1960s saw a shift towards a slimmer physique – thanks in part to the celebrity model Twiggy. This skinny and waif lookremained in style well into the 1990s, again thanks to the continued popularity of supermodels like Kate Moss.

The 2010s saw an evolution towards a “curvy” silhouette, where a small waist and fuller hips became ideal again. Just like in previous decades, this change has been driven by celebrities, including Rihanna, Beyonce and – in particular – Kim Kardashian.

Social Media Trends

While social media has helped give space to celebrate a more diverse range body forms, there is always a continuous pressure to conform to an ideal which may not be entirely natural. This is why shapewear remains popular – even though the way these garments are perceived and worn have changed significantly since the 18th century.

Before American Society Spanx underwear brand launched shaping leggings and briefs in 2000, shapewear was usually reserved only for special occasions. But thanks to celebrity endorsements and Instagram influencersshapewear (including Spanx) is now everyday wear, used to help improve appearance and achieve the ideal figure. Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham both launched their own lines of affordable shapewear.

We have now reached the point where young women are wearing shapewear like outerwear instead of hiding it like an undergarment. Search the best shapewear clothes now even get ahead of the search for the best way to losing weight.

A photo of the Skims shapewear website, next to a phone displaying the company's logo.

Waist trainers in particular are a prime example of the power of social media and celebrity endorsements to drive sales and change perceptions. For example, a selfie 2015 posted by Kim Kardashian in a corset created a surge in sales. Other celebrities such as Nicki Minaj and Kylie Jenner have also posted about wear sneakers at the waist.

In the past, women knew about the latest fashion trends only through designers or magazines, which featured illustrations of the fashionable silhouettes. But with social media, users are constantly exposed to images – whether they are ordinary people or extremely photographed models and celebrities. So it’s hard to escape idealized body shapes – and what you can buy to achieve them.

Social media has a huge influence on the consumption of fashion products. With an estimate 3.2 billion users across the globe, this creates huge potential for brands to expose consumers to fashion products on a daily basis. Trends that were driven by fashion magazines are now firmly rooted in the hands of influencers. And with even everyday people flaunting idealized figures and sharing their experiences with using shapewear products, products can seem more relevant than for previous generations.

Despite some influencers talk up shapewear as a way to celebrate the female form, its relationship to old notions of perfection and its endorsement by tiny-waisted celebrities raises questions about whether body acceptance is what these products are really trying to sell. But these clothes are unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon – with celebrities such as Billie Eilish and Lizzo continue to popularize them.


There are increase in questions about the potential benefits and risks of using shapewear. Although waist trainers may temporarily reduce waist sizesize quickly returns to normal size after discontinuing use.

Many studies also show that use corsets and waist trainers in the long term can cause problems – digestive problems even organ damage to the extremes. Some women who wear shapewear for 8 to 10 hours a day for Several months also reported tingling, acid reflux, organ compression and breathing problems.

Manufacturing technical innovationssuch as making these products more breathable and flexible, possibly can offer a plus natural cut it is less harmful. But to Ensure the securityonly wear the right size shapewear for your body and avoid wearing it every day.

This article is republished from The conversation under Creative Commons license. Read it original article.

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Naomi Braithwaite does not work for, consult, own stock or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond her academic appointment.

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