The light bulb. Penicillin. The airplane. Each is one of the greatest inventions known to man. But, to many women, the hands-down greatest invention of all time is Spanx.

Spanx is a beloved brand of undergarments. Founded in 2000, Spanx manufactures a variety of pantyhose and other body-shaping undergarments for women. Some pairs slim, other pairs shape; the possibilities with Spanx are truly endless.

Every woman has owned at least one pair of Spanx in her lifetime. And why shouldn't she?! Even Hollywood A-listers swoon over the body-shaping attire. Many opt for them on the red carpet to keep everything tucked into their designer dresses.

Will Spanx be the official undergarment of the 2012 Oscars?

Oscar-nominee and star of The Help Octavia Spencer told Ellen that she always reinforces her red carpet attire with Spanx. Sometimes, she wears multiple pairs at once! I was not a Girl Scout, but I try to be very, very prepared, she told Ellen DeGeneres Wednesday. I triple-Spank. Which is not good. Spanx really, really work, but you don't need to overdo it. 

It's wonderful because it gives you the illusion of an hourglass with the sand kind of spread out, she added. 

Spencer and fellow Oscar-nominee Melissa McCarthy both love their Spanx, but, come the after-party, sometimes they feel a bit constricted.

I could not party that night because I was being pinched in places that I didn't know it was possible, Spencer told DeGeneres. I said, 'Oh my God, Melissa, I'm about to die. My Spanx are killing me. She said, 'I just went to the bathroom and took mine off.'  

Bérénice Bejo told The Associated Press that she will probably not wear Spanx this year. You mean Spank or no Spank? she asked. I don't think so, because of the dress I'll have, I don't think I'll wear too much. Will Bejo wear a dress that is too revealing for Spanx? Maybe.

Will the Oscar lads be wearing Spanx this year as well?

In 2010, Spanx started making undergarments for men. The line for men are designed to enhance pectorals and minimize guts. Though actor George Clooney likes to take a more outdoorsy approach. What I do, because I get chilly, I like to wear long johns. The full one with the trap door in the back, Clooney joked at the Golden Globes.

Other celebrities who have gushed about their adoration for the body-shaping undergarments might make an appearance at this year's Oscars.

Oprah named Spanx one of her Favorite Things during her talk show run and the popularity of the brand skyrocketed.  I love Spanx. I've given up panties. I wear Spanx every single day! said Winfrey.

Katherine Heigl admitted that she wore Spanx to the 2008 Oscars as well as under her wedding dress. Gwyneth Paltrow told StyleBistro that all the Hollywood girls wear them. There are these great things called Spanx, and they just squeeze you in. It's terrific! That's how all the Hollywood girls do it! At the 2007 Golden Globe Awards, Emily Blunt said, I'm wearing a full body SPANX - I love it!

Though she has not admitted to wearing them, Kim Kardashian has been photographed multiple times with her Spanx peeking out from under a dress. Other curvy starlets who have worn them include Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Beyonce and Katy Perry.

Want to get yourself some Spanx? A current coupon from is offering 20 percent off your order plus free shipping, with the code EMPTWENTY. This offer expires March 31, 2012.