Exercise can replace all new-fad gadgets to sculpt and tone your booty

We’re being encouraged to focus on our bottom lines lately and we should perhaps all be happy to note that assets are firmly on the rise.

Although I could be talking about the economy, I’m referring to the number of products focused on accentuating a woman’s buttocks. Seems I can’t turn on the television or Internet without seeing an advertisement or infomercial peddling some new-fad derrière product.

Do we really need to buy padded underwear to better fill out our jeans? This seems ironic, or better yet perverse. I would think that with the obesity rates in Canada (and especially in the United States) that people should be slimming down their trunk, not adding junk.

Likened to padded bras, Booty Pop panties offer the rump-challenged a “bootylicious” solution, supposed to increase women’s self-confidence. Unfortunate name, however, I think it is just one letter away from an adult diaper issue.

Perhaps my favourite celebrity “endorsement” was Kelly onLive with Regis and Kellysaying “I have hit an all-new low, or high . . . I am wearing padded push-up underpants.”

While I buy into the marketing that these panties are cheaper than surgery and personal trainers, there is no mention of the opportunity cost of using temporary methods to enhance one’s physique. I pity the man who meets an attractive woman, and then finds half of her lying on the floor beside the bed one day, including padded push-up bras, padded push-up underwear, fake eyelashes, hair extensions, etc.

Perhaps a better solution than buying padded underwear is buying running shoes that help you tone your glutes, hamstrings and calves.

Reebok is flogging the Easy-Tone shoe that promises to “tone up your gluteus maximus 28 per cent more, hamstrings 11 per cent more, and calves 11 per cent more” than regular shoes.

Having never worn them, I can’t comment on the feel, but the description doesn’t sound like a lot of fun: “EasyTone’s balance-ball inspired technology with moving air creates micro instability toning key leg muscles as you walk.” I don’t want “instability” added to my walk, do you?

“Created for the busy woman” the manufacturers say, the shoes come with a DVD to explain how to use them properly. If I don’t have the time or motivation to go to the gym, do I really have the time or motivation to watch a DVD about how to properly wear a running shoe?

The commercials show great looking butt and leg models dancing about, prancing, vacuuming, hula hooping, and even photocopying in the office, wearing these shoes.

They are still running shoes — how many women are going to don running shoes to the office? And if they aren’t, how big can the benefits really be?

The website advertising is quite racy, stating the product is “asstounding” and that “88 per cent of men will be speechless, 76 per cent of women jealous, and zero per cent will know the reason is on your feet.”

It doesn’t stop there; then there is the ad with a shot of cleavage that says: “Stupid butt gets all the attention now . . . make your boobs jealous.” Wow — sex sells? Perhaps I am not their target market.

Am I unsympathetic because I am not one of the booty challenged? I wear makeup and have highlighted my hair, so perhaps I am already on the slippery slope. I’m OK with a few beauty accoutrements, but there are no shortcuts to a healthy physique.

I’m wondering if next reclining couches will be branded as a hamstring exerciser. It does take quite a thrust from the “hammies” to return the seat from recline to sitting — engaging the hamstrings and glutes as much as, if not more than, specialized running shoes.

The added bonus is that no DVD would be required to explain how to use the couch, but if they made one, you’d be comfortably seated to watch it.

Forget the padded panties and shoes with explanatory DVDs. Give your head a shake and get active. Do a few dead lifts, lunges, squats, and maybe even a couple hamstring curls. If your self-confidence is the problem, focus on reinforcing yourself with positive mantras instead of padded panties.

Booty Pop’s website said it best: “The Secret is Out!” and the secret is that perhaps we have all hit an all-time low.

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