Really, Oprah started it all  – she encouraged women to embrace modern day shapewear, she shouted from the rooftops about how much she loved shapewear, how amazing it was and how it changed everything for her.  I love ya Oprah…but it seems you forgot to mention all of the problems that came with the Holy Grail shapewear products you were promoting in the day.

As a result of being let down for years and by ineffective shapewear products, women have completely lost their confidence in shapewear, and I don’t blame them a bit. As soon as women hear that I’m a shapewear designer, the conversation immediately kicks into gear.  As soon as I say this:

“If your shapewear rolls down the second you move – it has failed to do the one and only job it was meant to do.”

…the floodgates open and I hear stories that go from making me laugh out loud to making me want to cry.

Recently HookedUp® Shapewear attended an amazing event called The Curvy Con.  It’s a conference for plus size women, founded by entrepreneurs Chastity Garner of Garner Style and CeCe Olisa, of ceceolisa.com, featuring plus size celebrities, designers, bloggers, influencers, brands and real women from all across the country.

This was our second year attending and we absolutely love it – it’s such an great opportunity to speak with our customers and hear what they have to say about our products, our competitors and the industry in general…and the ladies of The Curvy Con NEVER disappoint, they are real and raw and tell it like it is when it comes to the perils of shapewear in the plus world.

The women told me how rolling, digging, pinching shapewear ruined weddings, made for agonizing workdays, turned fun date nights into nightmares – even caused a few “accidents,” if you know what I mean.  In the end the result was all the same – women swearing off shapewear forever with their products going straight into the trash.After Curvy Con I sat down and made a list of everything the women told me and four common themes emerged:

1) Women feel duped.

When someone selling you a shapewear product tells you flat out “this product will never roll down,” consumers want to believe it.  Sadly, when they get these products home and try them on, they are let down nearly 100% of the time.  Women are so over it – they’ve been burned so many times by poorly designed products and empty promises that they have all but given up.

2) Bad shapewear ruins everything.

When women buy shapewear, hoping it will smooth and shape their body, they’re probably not thinking it has the potential to destroy a night out, but unfortunately, it’s true. Time after time, I hear the same stories from women telling me about moments in their lives that were absolutely ruined by aggravating, uncomfortable, ill fitting, painful, lumpy, bumpy, rolling shapewear.  Why on earth is this happening?  It shouldn’t be.  Period.

3) Bad shapewear makes you feel bad about yourself.

Think about it – every woman wants to look good, and when they hear celebrities gush about the incredible results of their favorite shapewear brands, they believe what they’re saying and feel like they can’t lose.

Sadly, for real women, reality kicks in the moment they put the shapewear on, and see none of the results that were professed on Instagram. Women immediately blame themselves and think it must be them, their body, their shape.  Well, take it from me – a shapewear designer and industry insider – shapewear that doesn’t work has nothing to do with YOU. The problem is ineffective design BUT, big companies will never tell you that, and unfortunately the result self blame. 

4) Women are tired of wasting their money.

Who wants to spend money on something that doesn’t work?  NO ONE.  Recently I bought an electric razor for my almost-teenage daughter – I’ll spare you the gory details of me shaving her legs in a Target parking lot before her soccer try outs because she looked like a Wooly Mammoth – the point is, the razor didn’t work – it literally didn’t take one hair off of her legs.  I immediately marched back into the store and returned it because I was NOT about to waste $19.99.  Maybe I’m a little more militant than the average consumer because I design solution and function based products that absolutely MUST perform the way I say they do, but women are beginning to feel the same way about shapewear, and the industry is feeling a steady decline.  Luckily, slowly but surely, women are discovering the incredible benefits of HookedUp® shapewear, and while our company continues to grow, countless shapewear brands fade into obscurity.

The plain, simple truth is that women want what they want – they deserve it, they know it and they don’t want to settle any more.  Amen.

I interacted with so many amazing women at The Curvy Con, but one in particular I will never forget.  She hugged me, looked up and said “Lord -bless this child for bringing HookedUp® Shapewear into the world.”  We both laughed but I slept like a baby that night because I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment for achieving a goal I set out to accomplish years ago – to make products that work the way they’re supposed to, helping women boost their confidence so they can go into the world and accomplish anything.

xo Tara