We're always lamenting the old King of Queens conundrum — you know, the overweight, schlubby television husband paired with a hot, lithe wife. Instead of impossible standards of beauty being loosened for women, now men are supposed to live up to societal ideals as well. The dowdy husband can be a schlub-no-more with a "mirdle," a man girdle. According to the Wall Street Journal, "A growing number of labels are launching elasticized 'shapewear,' 'bodywear,' 'support boxers' and other beer-belly-constricting undergarments for men." Spanx, the most heralded brand of women's "shapewear," is even considering a men's line, says the Journal. Jeff Lewis, an events coordinator in Phoenix, told the paper that trying shapewear for the first time "took an inch-and-a-half off my waist...It gave me an instant ego boost."
Nevertheless, this doesn't seem like a trend that's going to go super mainstream anytime soon. According to the WSJ, after Daniel Hernandez got compliments about his slim waist, he showed off his mirdle and faced ridicule from his friends. "One guy was, like, 'Oh, what, are you, grandma now?'" And for real, wearing a girdle when you're stripping down to get it on would be equally, if not more, embarrassing for men as it is for women. Remember the scene in Bridget Jones when Hugh Grant's character lifts up her skirt to find those enormous knickers? Getting all hot and heavy and revealing a mirdle would probably be much, much worse.
Men Go for It By Any Name Besides Girdle [Wall Street Journal]