• External Contributor

Tummy control holds us back, not in

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

It’s not often I long for the days of low rise jeans, but every time I go to lunch with stretchy high-waisted bottoms on, I wish for a comeback of whale tails and studded belts on top of jeans (but never through the belt loops). I will unhappily admit that tummy controlled waistbands can create a nice silhouette and are often quite flattering, but wearing them while sitting down for longer than an hour or having any size of meal larger than a single oyster is a crime against our organs.

Photo by Sanaan Mazhar from Pexels

Tummy control is suppressive, repressive, and oppressive. And yes, I did just look up the definitions of all of those words one minute ago to check. Here’s what Grammarist has to say:

To oppress means to keep someone down by unjust force or authority.

Easy. My stomach, and arguably my organs, are oppressed by the unjust force of the too tight fabric.

To repress is to hold back, or to put down by force.

Once again, my stomach is being held back by said fabric. My body is being physically repressed by the tight hold.

Suppress means to put an end to, to inhibit, and to keep from being revealed.

This one is obvious. The apparent unsightly shape of my naturally curved lower-stomach (which is caused by a uterus by the way, and, for many women, will not go away no matter how lean they are) is kept from being revealed.

There have been days I have been in physical pain after sitting and eating while in tight-topped pants. And I don’t even shop based on control tops, they are just everpresent in my go-to athleisure wardrobe. And yes, I had a bit of fun with my definitions above, and yes, I know how many other people in the world are more oppressed, repressed, and suppressed than me, a 27 year old white woman living in a capital city in Australia with too-tight leggings on. But when we zoom out a little, this style of clothing was created so women look smaller at the expense of our comfort. And that is a symptom of a wider issue that tells women that their thinness is more important than anything, including their comfort. And that is a contributing factor of the oppression, repression, and suppression of women worldwide.