body issues

NPR Wonders If Spandex Enables Us to Be Fatter

Unattractive? Perhaps. Comfortable? Definitely.
Unattractive? Perhaps. Comfortable? Definitely. Photo: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images

The popularity of Spandex-infused clothes in the U.S. has been attributed to the population’s increasing need for stretchy waistbands, reports NPR as part of their ongoing series on obesity in America, called “Living Large.” While some market researchers say that rising obesity rates account for ballooning sales of jeggings and other Spandex-y garments, other people think it might be the other way around, since stretchy clothes enable people to keep squeezing into them regardless of weight. NPR reports:

Nancy Lee, a size 14, says spandex has changed her life. “I actually specifically look for it when I look for clothes, because for years I didn’t wear jeans until my kids said, ‘Mom, get the spandex jeans.’ And I put them on, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I can wear jeans again!’”

A skinny person disapproves of this mindset:

Brett Godwin, a size 4, says spandex is overused. “I think that spandex is made to accommodate people who are overweight. I’ve seen some terrible sights. They are overweight, and they would put on the tightest spandex things they can find, and they just look absolutely awful.”

We’d like to add that no matter how much you weigh, things that stretch are more comfortable than things that don’t.