by ALI CUDBY
When it comes to lingerie and self-image, intimates professionals are well versed in the connection between bra fit and how a woman feels in her body. Countless articles have been written on the topic – some of them were probably written by you, the She Buzz readership!
But bras aren’t the only part of a lingerie collection that impacts women’s self-image.
Any time a woman wears a garment that makes her aware of her body in a negative way, there’s often a direct connection to negative self-talk. It can start a negative shame-spiral that rivals scarfing a large pepperoni pizza – with extra cheese.
And that’s no bueno.
Recently, there’s been an obsessive focus on “thigh-gap.” In case thigh-gap has escaped your notice, it occurs when women can stand with their feet together, yet still see sunshine from apex to knee. According to Marnie Consky, founder of Thigh Society, “Thigh gap is actually very rare, it’s not something that most women have.”
For the rest of us, there’s the less flatteringly named “chub rub.” As the moniker implies, when women’s thighs chafe from friction during normal activity, like walking in a skirt or dress, that’s chub rub.
To review – thigh gap is only biologically present in a minority of women, but is held up as a gold standard for women’s bodies by members of the media.
Well, it’s not hard to see how the thigh gap standard creates a negative self-image message for most women. The implication is thighs that rub are somehow overweight.
As Consky says, “Chafing comes down to anatomy and friction, and it’s not just plus-size women whose thighs rub. I get product requests for women as small as size 2-4.”
Thigh Society’s product is a different category from shapewear. It’s a seamless bike short that functions rather like a boxer brief designed for a woman’s unique body shape. Just like an amazing bra fitting, products that eliminate chafing can be life affirming for customers. Sharon, from St. Louis MO says of Thigh Society, “You have literally made being in the heat a comfortable possibility.”
Another aspect of thigh friction impacts the hosiery market. Too often, even boutiques that focus carefully on the importance of bras that fit miss the mark with hosiery. They don’t provide hosiery products in a range that actually fits their customer base.
Says Tim Gettler, of Glamory Hosiery, “It all comes down to three things. 1) Having sizes that are a true reflection of a woman’s body – not just saying Plus/Queen on the label. 2) Making sure you’re carrying the right sizes for your customers. Any time a customer ends up in a product that doesn’t fit, it can lead them to feel ‘too big’ for the product, which creates self-image issues. And 3) Understanding how hosiery should fit. Thigh highs – whether they are hold ups or stockings – should reach the top third of the thigh to encase and cover the areas that would otherwise rub.”
Gettler further points out that proper fit for thigh highs means women can wear them with a wider range of clothes, since they come up higher on the leg and reduce “muffin top.” With a size range that goes up to 4X and a 32-dress size, Glamory covers women whose sizing needs are unmet by most of the hosiery market.
At the end of the day, when a woman stops worrying about chafing, she frees her mental energy and any negative thoughts that detract from confidence. When clothes feel better – from bras to underwear to hosiery – YOU feel better.
Feeling better is a great foundation for going about every day as your best self.