Why I'll Never Wear A Dress Without Shapewear Again
I've heard people talk about Spanx. I've also read articles explaining that shapewear is the key to slimming and perfect looks we see on the red carpet, yet I still wasn't moved to purchase a pair. But, a little pink sequin dress from Zara changed that. When I opened the brown box and took the dress out, I thought, "There's no way I can fit into this." I gave it a try sans shapewear and saw my belly poking out. Since I was going to an event where the invite requested we wear pink and I hadn't ordered a backup, I went to Amazon and ordered Robert Matthew Women's Shapewear High-Waist Shapers.
The black shorts came the next day. I tried them on with my dress, and the rest is history. Shapewear changed the entire fit of the dress and gave me the confidence to wear it to a beauty launch party (where I got many compliments). Mission accomplished.
I am now a shapewear stan.
Shapewear isn't an item you only wear for special occasions. You can wear it daily to help smooth places you might not be fond of. For me, that's my stomach. Thanks to my fibroids, I seem to always have a bit of bulge which I'm learning to love and accept. If you're a first time shapewear-wearer, buying online might present a challenge. I was lucky my choice fit perfectly. I looked at a lot of reviews to try to make sure I was purchasing the right size, which was extremely helpful.
Here, I've added items you can buy online and in-store at local retailers like Nordstrom, Macy's, and Neiman Marcus. I have always had good experiences being fitted for bras at these stores, so I'd imagine shapewear would be similar.
*This list is specially curated by the xoNecole team and some links are affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an affiliate link, xoNecole might earn a small commission.
Best Shapewear Options For Women
HoneyLove SuperPower Brief
Having a brief that can be worn with everything from denim to dresses will help you get the most bang for your buck. HoneyLove says their shapewear won't move even if you're bending or reaching which is important for comfort. What I also like about this brand is their sizing goes up to a 3x.
Robert Matthew Brilliance High-Waist Shaper Panty
This was the brand I went for at the 11th hour, and it came through. One thing I will note is that it didn't stay put, which wasn't really an issue for me since my dress was so short. But, if I were wearing a midi dress, I probably would have found the rolling of the fabric on my thighs to be a bit annoying, but for $20 and not having to leave my house, that issue was minor.
Yummie Cooling FX® High Waist Shaping Thong
Sometimes briefs just won't cut it, and you have to wear a thong no matter how uncomfortable they are. Made with Lightweight NILIT® Breeze material, this body-shaping thong will keep you cool, too.
Leonisa Power Body Shaper with Thighs Slimmer and Side Zippers
A jumpsuit option is versatile and would be worth splurging on. Leonisa's shaper sculpts the waist, butt, and thighs. I'd imagine you're wondering how on earth would you be able to take a restroom break in this, well they thought of everything because the suit has side zippers. Talk about a high achiever.
Secret Fit Shaping Panty
I couldn't leave the mamas-to-be off this list. This Motherhood Maternity find has over three hundred reviews and a 4.5-star rating. Reviewers said they help prevent their thighs from rubbing together and "it smoothed out some problem areas and was supportive."
TC Shapewear Sheer Bodybriefer Strapless Shaping Bodysuit
The strapless dress always presents the issue finding the right bra to hold the girls up and keep them in. Well, this strapless shaper does double duty, by giving the bust a push-up and support with underwire while smoothing the waist, tummy, and back.
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Bianca Lambert is a proud Atlanta native soaking up the Los Angeles sun. She is the founder of Mae B: a stationery company for women of color and a digital content creator on a mission to elevate the voices of women of color everywhere.
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What Are Intrusive Thoughts & How Do We Manage Them?
TW: some depictions of intrusive thoughts may be disturbing for readers.
Have you ever caught your mind drifting off to entertain the most disturbing scenarios imaginable? Maybe you can’t stop thinking of all the ways a loved one could pass away or worrying that you left every candle lit in your apartment to which you’d return to a home in ruins. If distressing ruminations like these have crossed your mind, you may be experiencing an intrusive thought.
What Are Intrusive Thoughts?
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted or distressing thoughts, images, or impulses that pop into your mind without your control or consent. These thoughts can be repetitive, unsettling, or even violent in nature, and can cause anxiety and frustration for those who experience them.
“Generally they're unwanted thoughts that come up in our head that interrupt what we're doing or thinking, and can feel very foreign,” says Adia Gooden, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist and host of the Unconditionally Worthy podcast. “It’s any thought that intrudes or interrupts what you are doing. They can be distressing and upsetting for us because it feels like we are not in control of them, and they're coming up out of nowhere and aren’t in line with how you normally think.”
What Causes Intrusive Thoughts?
Certain trauma or stress can contribute to the development of intrusive thoughts, so having a challenging experience from the past or current life situations may trigger them to form. “An intrusive thought could come in the form of a flashback, image, or a thought about something that's happened to you,” Dr. Gooden tells xoNecole. “When it gets to the point where you feel like you can't function or make clear decisions, that's when intrusive thoughts become really challenging.”
While some of the 1 billion videos found under the #intrusivethoughts hashtag on TikTok would lead you to believe that these thoughts are nothing more than casual displays of our imagination going untamed. Intrusive thoughts are more than sticking your hand in a soap dispenser, wanting to cut all your hair off at 3 a.m., or having a random impulse to eat fake bread in public.
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America reports that approximately six million individuals, equating to roughly two percent of the American population, encounter intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are often linked with obsessive-compulsive disorders, but they can also manifest in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or anxiety.
Examples of Common Intrusive Thoughts
Because of the explicit nature of intrusive thoughts, they tend to cause shame and internal conflict in those who experience them. Although these thoughts can differ from person to person, these ideation can consist of:
- Violent or aggressive thoughts towards oneself or others, such as harming or killing someone;
- Sexual thoughts that are unwanted or inappropriate;
- Repetitive thoughts, such as a song or a phrase that keeps repeating in your mind;
- Contamination or germ-related thoughts or the fear of contamination and getting sick;
- Religious or blasphemous thoughts, such as questioning one's faith or having thoughts that go against religious beliefs;
- Doubts or uncertainty about one's own actions or decisions, such as fear of making a mistake or fear of not doing something right.
Intrusive Thoughts and OCD
That’s why Dr. Gooden encourages everyone to understand the difference between our fleeting thoughts and impulses and true, intrusive thoughts. “What level of distress does it cause and is it something you would never consider,” she says. “If you're finding that these thoughts are getting in the way of you living your life and that you're controlled by the thoughts, those are some signs that it would be good to get some support in navigating it.”
She also emphasizes the importance of understanding that while we may not always have control over our thoughts, we can control our behavior. “On TikTok, people are sort of blaming intrusive thoughts on their behavior, and our behavior is always a choice,” she says. “If we are in our right mind and we're not having a psychotic episode, our behavior is our choice — we are not obligated to follow any given thought that we have.”
Are Intrusive Thoughts Normal?
With intrusive thoughts, it’s natural to question whether these thoughts are “normal” to have. However, these thoughts are not meant to define who you are as a person but simply indicate that you have a functioning human mind with automated thoughts that you, or any of us, can’t control. These thoughts may come, but they don’t have to be acted upon, nor do they define who you are.
“I've worked with clients in the past who say, ‘Why am I thinking these things? What's wrong with me?’ But if you're not acting on the thought, then it's probably not a huge issue,” Dr. Gooden says. “If you are thinking a harmful thought towards yourself or someone else and you are making plans to act on that thought, then yes, we need to do something about it.”
How To Manage Intrusive Thoughts
If you are struggling with managing unwanted thoughts, Dr. Aida suggests taking these tips to help manage your mindset when they occur:
- "Recognize that it's a thought and thoughts are just thoughts. We often put a little bit too much weight on our thoughts, and that can create a lot of distress. But remember that thoughts are not facts."
- "Having a thought that's disturbing or upsetting doesn't make you a bad person, and it doesn't mean that you are suffering from a mental illness."
- "Sometimes the best thing you can do is say, 'Huh, that was an interesting thought. I'm going to let that go. That thought is not helpful for me right now."
- "Ask yourself: is this helpful? Is it helpful for me to buy into this thought and believe this thought? Asking that question can be really helpful because we are not at the mercy of our thoughts. If it's not helpful, you can let it go."
Intrusive thoughts can feel bizarre and foreign when they come up, but they aren't inherently "bad." Our minds can sometimes be filled with random and inappropriate thoughts, but that's what our stream of consciousness does: it thinks. Fortunately, we can release those thoughts at any moment; you don't have to follow through with them.
And ultimately, not every TikTok diagnosis is one that we should label ourselves with.
"It's important for people to acknowledge what they're experiencing but not run too quickly to diagnose themselves with some mental illness or disorder," Dr. Gooden advises. "It ends with confusion, and we miss the opportunity to understand the people who really do have that mental health challenge."
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