Some people call them ‘Agaciro’ translated as dignity, others ‘Tantine’ or auntie, and many other names depending on their circle of friends, female body parts shapewear such as hips and buttocks lifters have increasingly gained market in Rwanda as years go by. Whether in Rwanda or elsewhere, there are various products on the market said to enhance the shape of some body parts, ranging from lotions to different undergarments. The concept of shapewear can be traced back to ancient Greece around 1600 BC during which women wrapped special belts (often made of metal or leather) to constrict the stomach. These ancient pieces, known as girdles, were worn by women to forcibly reduce their waists and emphasize more of their chests. The modern girdle was invented for smoother curves around the hips, reaching as far down as the thighs. Courtesy photos. In the 1900s, shapewear began to tackle more than just the waist. The modern girdle was invented for smoother curves around the hips, reaching as far down as the thighs. Now, there are dozens of shaping garments and even hybrids that combine different types of shapewear into one seamless piece. Valentine Uwimana, a vendor at Cliik for Flik shop in Chic Building, said that she has quite a number of clients for buttock and hips enhancement underwear, especially young ladies and young married women. “This is because they need to feel confident with a nice body shape depending on what they are wearing as well as the current trend of thick bodies. Some want hips, others want buttock lifters or both.” However, she said she can’t wear them because one tends to get addicted to wearing these panties and feels “weird” when not wearing them. She pointed out that most customers are brides who want to fit perfectly in their wedding dresses, something that is common to other sellers. Two attendants at Ella Lingerie Ltd who interacted with The New Times on condition of anonymity said, “If the clientele wasn’t there, we might as well have closed (as a figure of speech).” According to them, it is easier for young females to buy these products there because it is an all-women shop and they are seamless beneath clothes, one can’t tell whether one is wearing them or not. “They (buttocks and hips enhancers) are in high demand during the months of June to December mainly because it is a wedding season and people want to look nice in their dresses,” one explained. According to them, shapewears are good to boost someone’s confidence in their outfits and conceal their insecurities, “that’s why we prefer to call them Agaciro.” However, Bellancille Mukankundiye, a seller of undergarments and nightgowns in Chic building, said she doesn’t have many clients for the body shapewear and if there is anyone who wants them, they ask low-key. She said that a week or two can go without selling any of these specific products. This indicates that the number of clients and the prices of shapewear depend on the shop’s location and whether it sells only lingerie or mixed garments.