Journal article

From the corset to Spanx: shapewear as a marketplace icon

MC Zanette, D Scaraboto

Consumption Markets & Culture | Taylor & Francis | Published : 2019


This article presents the marketplace icon of shapewear—clothing that changes the shape of the human body by compressing or enhancing it. The trajectory of shapewear from the highly structured corset of the sixteenth century to the elastic Spanx of the 2000s evidences how this marketplace icon has come into being. Shapewear has materialized many evolving forms of beauty standards and gender roles as it participates in body-centered market assemblages. Market actors, such as manufacturers, designers, media, celebrities, activists, physicians, and consumers, translate shapewear to materialize intentions in the female body, shaping it accordingly. Whether promoting female autonomy or oppression..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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