Spanx may make panty lines invisible, but can't smooth over feminist critique

Courtesy of Christian BC

This delicious article in the Boston Globe had me pumping my feminist fist in the air! In a report on the Combined Jewish Philanthropies Women’s Philanthropy’s annual Pomegranate event held at Congregation Mishkan Tefilah in Chestnut Hill, MA, Beth Teitell reported that there were no "visible panty lines," or "VPLs."

Speaking at the event was Spanx chief executive Laurie Ann Goldman. Teitell reports:

Goldman, 48, also had no VPLs, as she calls them — or any lines, for that matter. “I’m wearing four Spanx,’’ she said: An “On Top and In Control’’ shirt; the back-fat-banishing “Bra-llelujah!’’, a “Skinny Britches Thong,’’ and “Tight-End Tights.’’ Her jacket was Dior; her skirt, heels, and handbag were Chanel. “But I’m most proud of my Spanx.’’

The evening progressed with praise and testimonials. “From bat mitzvahs to weddings, your products accompany us to all of our important life events,’’ said Laurie Gershkowitz, a cochair of the event. Another attendee told Goldman, "You’re my hero.’’

The evening’s one bumpy moment came during the Q&A, when Sarah Perry, of Newton, floated the idea that Spanx thrived by preying on women’s body issues. “I understand your question,’’ Goldman said. But the products are “really about feeling comfortable in your own skin.’’

Even if it needs to be sucked into submission.

A JWA Board member and "Jewess with Attitude," Sarah Perry raised an important question for feminists who realize that the Spanx issue has a few wrinkles.

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Has anyone tried Jill ZarinÌ¢‰â‰ã¢s new line of shapewear Skweez Couture It is the best one I have found so far. I absolutely LOVE it. and shes Jewish too!

I agree with Ms Goldman. SPANX is not the "bad guy" any more than a Lexus in the "bad guy". Both are great products that make us look good and feel fabulous. Could we get by on less? OF COURSE! But if you can afford something that makes you feel good about yourself, who is anyone else to judge? It's about choices, and I choose my SPANX!

How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "Spanx may make panty lines invisible, but can't smooth over feminist critique." 15 April 2011. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 28, 2023) <>.

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