Wait, Why Does Melissa Benoist Have To Wear Spanx To Play Supergirl?

We've been pretty vocal about how psyched we are for a female superhero to finally take the lead in a prime time series. With about seven weeks (yes we're counting) to go until Supergirl premieres on CBS, we still are.

But Melissa Benoist, who stars as Kara Zor-El, recently left us wondering whether or not the series is truly the girl power beacon it's being made out to be — or if it just plays one on television.

During an interview with Glamour, the former Glee star said wearing her Supergirl costume requires athleticism in itself. According to an excerpt from the magazine's October issue, Benoist said that her role calls for "two pairs of tights, Spanx, a harness, a corset."

"There's some mild gymnastics involved just going to the bathroom," the 26-year-old actress added.
We can personally relate — it's hard to find a gal who hasn't sucked herself into a body shaper and tried to avoid the bathroom until she can strip down completely.

The question, though, is why is a fit woman like Benoist wearing Spanx underneath her superhero ensemble? And why is the CBS costume department reshaping a body that's already in what we can only assume is peak physical form?

The fact that Benoist is being cinched into an outfit makes it hard to believe that this is actually a new kind of show that respects the powerful minds and bodies of women. Why is the woman who is supposed to be saving the planet, also being forced into a perfect little box of what is means to be beautiful and valued in society today?

Not only does it seem ridiculous to make an already athletic-looking actress into an even thinner version of herself, it also undermines the initial faith we had in the series to actually effect any meaningful change. What's next: putting Benoist in high heels to make her legs look longer while she executes a perfect judo kick?

And, while we're not firmly in the anti-Spanx camp — our feeling is, as always, do what makes you feel good — there is something undeniably icky about this particular application of waist-compressing spandex. If Benoist is wearing a body shaper, then what does that communicate about the bodies of average female earthlings? With this series, we were hoping for something better — even if it was only fiction.

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