Belly laughs


Have you heard? Apparently Brad Pitt wears Spanx.

Yup, I knew he was just too good to be true. I mean, he’s almost 50 and he looks like that?

Umpteen kids, a demanding wife (Angie and I don’t exactly BBM every day, but that’s what I’m guessing), and life has to take its toll eventually (listen up, George Clooney; your days are also numbered).

But back to Brad and his boep corset. Because that’s what Spanx is, after all. Women wear one to contain their muffin tops, and now men can also use one to shape their figures. And if Brad’s doing it, who am I to disapprove? Imitation is, after all, the best form of flattery.

Age is a bit of an ordeal. When things start going pear-shaped around the middle, the reminder of the years ticking past is anything but subtle. It’s literally in your face, so big eventually you fear someone could plant a flag on it and declare it new territory. And your belly really shouldn’t be big enough to have its own constitution.

I’ve always been skinny. When I was young my brother-in-law’s nickname for me was “wire car” – and, oh, how I pine for those days.

Not that I’m exactly obese. It’s just that now, shortly before my 40th, there are a few pairs of trousers that suddenly don’t fit me anymore. And it’s never happened before. Never.

Only last year they fitted perfectly, but that was then. Let’s just say I’m no longer a no-hoper for a job as Father Christmas this year . . .

But back to Spanx. I have many questions. Firstly: how tightly does it extend across your belly? Is it uncomfortable? And is it difficult to get into or is it nice and stretchy which has become myfavourite new material option, trousers with a little give . . .

Secondly, I see on the website you also get Spanx underpants. I don’t understand why you’d want to shrink that part of your anatomy, but perhaps I’m being a little slow. Perhaps Spanx does exactly the opposite in that neck of the woods.

Of course this isn’t the first range of clothing to make up for one’s inadequacies.  Underpants with flattering fillers have long been available online – they’re much like the shoulder pads women power dressers used to wear in the ’80s.

Which makes me wonder – that old photo of soccer star David Beckham in the white underpants made by the Swedish manufacturer H&M: how do we know if those were Goldenballs’ own, well, assets? (PS: the nickname comes from the fact he’s a brilliant footballer.)

Perhaps Brad started his Spanx journey with online purchases of underwear? Not that I’m particularly interested in his affairs. It’s just that this piece of gossip about him piqued my interest.

I do foresee one problem, however: you can’t really wear Spanx with your Speedo. So do you just give up swimming after 40? Or do you sign up for that open-water scuba course, secure in the knowledge a wetsuit will disguise any trace of Spanx?

I wonder if I should try BBMing Angie, she should know if Brad wears Spanx .

- Wicus Pretorius

* Wicus Pretorius is deputy editor at Huisgenoot and turning 40 this year.

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