It’s about damn time for comfortable, size-inclusive, gender-affirming undergarments.
Shapewear brand Yitty announced on March 30 that they would be expanding their collection of size-inclusive items to include chest binders and tucking thongs.
Yitty, created by the artist who uses the name Lizzo, was designed to elevate body euphoria for people often excluded by major brands. “I was tired of seeing this sad, restrictive shapewear that literally no one wanted to wear,” Lizzo said in 2022, following the launch of her new company. “I decided to take on the challenge of allowing women to feel unapologetically good about themselves again.”
Yitty is personal to Lizzo — it was her childhood nickname. The four-time Grammy-winning artist is very outspoken about the importance of self-confidence. She uses her platform to promote performers with larger bodies who often face adverse challenges due to industry fatphobia.
Lizzo launched Yitty in response to clothing companies she saw continually failing plus-size customers. Often, brands design their clothing around a specific body type, then size it up to include plus sizes. This strategy results in clothing that does not fit larger bodies comfortably. Yitty shapewear is created intentionally for all bodies.
“When we say we support everybody, we mean it,” Lizzo says. “We believe in radical self-love for people of all gender identities — including the trans, non-binary, gender-fluid and gender non-conforming communities that have been chronically underserved.” The statement followed a brief preview of Yitty’s newest line, Your Skin, which will be available in late summer 2023.
Designers at Yitty have been working on the line of binders and tucking thongs for the last two years. They had trans and non-binary people test the products and provide feedback. Lizzo’s focus on body diversity has many LGBTQ+ people excited for the official release, as trans and non-binary affirming clothing often prioritize small bodies.
Fans are happy to see such a prominent public figure bringing attention to trans issues. “I’m just excited about more mainstream access and visibility for gender-affirming garments,” Lizzo fan Erin Cowan says. “Also, I love Lizzo as an artist. It’s exciting to see her brand actively representing and honoring queer and trans people in the LGBTQ+ community.”
Body positivity is essential to the trans community. A 2015 survey out of Penn Medicine showed that trans college students were four times more likely than cis counterparts to be diagnosed with an eating disorder. In a world where androgynous and thin can feel like synonyms, it’s more important than ever for LGBTQ+ people to have access to shapewear that can help them feel comfortable and at home in their bodies.
“I’m a fat, trans guy. This stuff is always on my mind,” says Seattle-based Elisha. “The main issue I had with binders is that if you have curves on your torso, it will fold and bunch there. I never touched tank-top style binders because I knew they’d gather at my waist and make me feel bad about that,” he adds. “It just didn’t feel like it was made for someone with curves. Ironic, since its whole function is to minimize curves.”
Lizzo’s new line of binders and tucking thongs is the next step in her mission. “My movement is my movement. When all the dust has settled on the groundbreaking-ness, I’m going to still be doing this. I’m not going to suddenly change,” she says.
Many people in the trans community are excited about the Your Skin line. “Even if the garments themselves aren’t perfect, just the act of consciously making them with larger people in mind will hopefully contribute to a shift in how we think about androgyny, masculinity, and body shape,” Elisha says.
Body positivity can be a struggle for anyone, but it is an especially pertinent issue for the trans community. Yitty’s new line is helping bring more attention and body diversity to undergarments so many trans people rely on to feel confident and happy in their skin.