Mirdle, Anyone?

Men are turning to a traditionally feminine tactic to look thin. Photo Credit: thesun.co.uk

By Lauren Smith
Publicity Director/Lifestyles Editor

It’s approaching that time of year again; sleeveless shirts and shorts are long gone, replaced by sweaters and cozier, more forgiving attire. Which is why we probably don’t think twice about another helping of sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, or that massive slice of pumpkin pie at Christmas. Let’s face it, the holidays mean lots of tempting food and not a lot of self control. So, recently when a new trend emerged geared towards the male set, many were probably thinking, “Just in time for the holidays!” That is if you’re fine with wearing the male equivalent of slimming underwear.

For all those men who have trouble practicing portion control and an active lifestyle through the winter months, meet the mirdle. It’s the newest trend in a long list of quick fixes for the confidence deprived and weak-willed. What the mirdle is, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is the man girdle. There are several variations on it, including ones that just look like a regular tank  to those that closely resemble it’s female counterpart—a pair of underwear that come up to your chest. For all-over control there’s the mirdle that essentially a reinforced wrestling uniform that will smooth unsightly flab under clothing.

One of the most surprising finds with the popularity and sales (they’re selling like hotcakes) of the mirdle is that there’s actually a market for them. Stereotypically, men were always the ones who were not supposed to care about love handles, muffin tops, and man breasts.

No one can be entirely sure who can claim credit for the original mirdle, but an article from the Associated Press claims a department store in London has original credit. What’s slightly disturbing is contained in the headline, “promises to do for guys’ chests what Spanx did for female thighs.”

Mirdle is actually a generic name for the product; companies all over the world are scrambling to come up with their own incarnation. Even the gold standard of girdles for women, Spanx, has reportedly been considering a line for men.

So is the mirdle the answer to men’s problem areas, or just another gimmick? According to one report, featured on Good Morning America, an editor from an ABC affiliate tried out the mirdle to satisfactory results. He reported that the tank-style version he wore was comfortable, inconspicuous, and took his 36-inch waist down to 34-inches.

The secret of the mirdle’s slimming power is it’s blend of spandex, polyester and cotton. Many reviewers likened it wearing a tee shirt that was about two sizes too small, but not uncomfortable. It’s like the athletic apparel, Under Armour, only for the slightly less toned, less athletic male.

What’s misleading about the mirdle’s marketing, like most advertisements for products of a similar nature, are the images of the mirdle modeled by muscular, well-toned men, who quite frankly, have no business wearing one. The mirdle may take two inches off your waistline, but it doesn’t come with washboard abs and 16-inch biceps. What’s also misleading about the mirdle is that although it will make you look better in your clothes, it won’t unclog your arteries or keep you from developing diabetes. Although the mirdle never makes any claims that it could do any of those things, too often in society people are more focused on how healthy they appear on the surface, but could care less about what’s going on inside their bodies. While it’s great that the mirdle may boost people’s self confidence and make them feel better about themselves, it may also only encourage them to continue the unhealthy habits they are already practicing. As long as people believe they have some magic trick or potion that’s going to provide them with the results they want with a minimum amount of work, they give up trying to do things for themselves the right way.

While the holidays are a time when you should be able to indulge a little and enjoy all the good things that come along with them, it’s always good to remember that too much of anything is not a good thing. If men are relying on the mirdle to keep their waistline in check throughout the holidays, they’ll need to consider who’s going to do that when it’s bathing suit season.