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shapewear-for-teenagersTeenage Girls Wearing Shapewear Goes Way Beyond Temporary Tummy-Flattening.

In recent years, Spanx and other shapewear has emerged as one of the best-hidden red carpet trends. All sorts of celebrities have admitted to wearing shapewear for women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Oprah Winfrey and Kim Kardashian. They wear them to flatter their figures when all eyes are on them and the cameras don’t stop flashing.

What are Spanx?

So, what are Spanx? Spanx and other shapewear products use Lycra with other materials to shape the body in a flattering way- flattening the stomach, theighs, and hips. Spanx and shapewear is the new must-have for women looking to improve their silhouette. But it looks like shapewear could be becoming a trend with teenage girls. Yes, shapewear for teenagers. And, that may not be such a good thing.

Teenage Girls Wearing Spanx

Older women aren’t the only ones rocking the shapewear, though shapewear was originally meant for older bodies. Miley Cyrus has worn it too, and now, so are girls as young as 13.

A group of lacrosse player, ages 13 to 17, sat down with “Good Morning America” to talk about the trend of young girls wearing Spanx and it seemed like it was no big deal to them.

In fact, Lindsey Luposello, 17, compared Spanx to training bras, saying “everyone wears them.” The team described that on and off the lacrosse field, they wear spandex shorts called “spankies” that tuck in their tummies and make them feel less self-conscious about their bodies. It’s now become a part of teenage clothing, as Melissa Wagner, 17, said that she wears them to school, pointing out that you wouldn’t want schoolmates knowing if you had a “muffin top” or not (the fat that comes out from the top of jeans).

Shapewear for Teens

Some designers have even targeted their shapewear to teenage girls clothing, like Jill Zarin, former cast member on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York.” Her line, Skweez Couture, sells shapewear in pretty colors other than the typical black and nude. Her daughter, Ally, now 19, has been wearing shapewear since age 13 and calls it “the must-have accessory” for girls from middle school through college.

Health Risks of Teenage Girls Wearing Shapewear

Dr. Orly Avitzur, medical advisor to Consumer Reports and practicing neurologist, is worried by the idea of young girls wearing Spanx. Her concerns come from the fact that the shapewear is basically squeezing and putting pressure on nerves and internal organs. The tighter the fabric, the worse the damage.

It’s not just a hunch, either. She says she’s treated 15-year-olds with all sorts of shapewear-related ailments, such as gastrointestinal problems, bladder infections and nerve damage, making it a potential danger in teenage clothing.

A spokesperson for Spanx said they’ve been unaware of any nerve damage problems.

Mental Health Risk with Spanx

Mental health and teenage body image issues is a factor too, as Dr. Ned Hallowell, child psychiatrist, points out. Being obsessed with a flat stomach, he says, sets them up for future psychological problems associated with body image issues. He says it could lead to eating disorders and not being comfortable with their bodies into adulthood. Are you concerned about your daughter's body image?

Even so, the lacrosse team illustrated the painful reality that goes with teenage girls wearing Spanx. Many would rather deal with the discomfort than be called fat, they maintained. Stephanie Wagner, 14, said that for some, the pain doesn’t matter- they just want to look good.

What do you think? Would you let your teenager wear shapewear? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Or, would you let your daughter go to further links and get plastic surgery? Some parents think so... but Plastic Surgery for Kids?

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