Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Europe, you baffle me

French cellulite ads, NSFW, depending how Francophilic your office is, after the jump (or, for the time being, by clicking on the post).




This is an ad for the machine you stand on, that vibrates, magically toning your rear without you having to move a muscle.


This is an ad for a vacuum cleaner that removes cellulite from hard-to-reach areas. Or a giant razor. Or some kind of fetish object I'd need Dan Savage to explain.

5 comments:

Phoebe said...

hey! funny enough my name is phoebe. i came across this page trying to find my blog that i haven't touched in years. i think its great you moved to europe. my goal is to go to england. i am going in august to visit and a couple other places. have fun

Daniel Goldberg said...

If Europe baffles you, imagine how those of us lacking language/professional skills in any particular region of Europe might fare. I just came back from 5 weeks in Europe (Germany and Netherlands) and am still trying to figure out where the hell Deutsche Bahn got a good reputation from.

And why Germany has such a large minority of Turkish and Central Asian peoples but still produces some of the blander food I've ever eaten (but not bad, otherwise).

Phoebe said...

Daniel Goldberg,

Where in Germany and the Netherlands? Agreed about bland food in both.

As for the post title, I wasn't trying to win any contests. I know my culture-clash experience in Paris is about as slight as can be. Coming from NY and knowing French, half the time it's just as if I got out at a new-to-me subway stop, as opposed to crossed the Atlantic.

What I was getting at was that I don't get the pan-Western-European fascination with getting rid of cellulite. From pharmacy displays, I get the sense that this is women's number-one beauty concern. It strikes me as an odd fixation, both considering how visible it's likely to be (as opposed to anything related to the face, or overall shape) and how futile it is to try to get rid of what is nothing more than the natural way women's upper thighs look past the age of 15. Having gone running enough among crowds of women in short shorts, I can attest that this is true even of thin women who exercise. But perhaps they're working out to get rid of cellulite, and women who don't have it don't bother? Having taken the Metro in Paris on 90-plus-degree days, I can attest that it's even true of thin women who don't exercise. Wrinkle creams may be just as futile, but at least I understand why women would care enough about those results to throw money away on something that only might work.

And if, as the whole Frenchwomen-mystique suggests, this is all about intimate settings - 'my lover will leave me if I have cellulite!' - once again, I'd imagine it would just be known that all women have it, and that if attention is going to be paid to appearance, well-chosen makeup and clothes, along with staying fit generally, are not only achievable goals but ones men might actually (consciously or subconsciously) notice.

Daniel Goldberg said...

Phoebe,

We mostly stayed in Bielefeld, a city in the Rhine-Westphalia region right on the Teutoburg Forest (quite pretty, actually). We traveled a bit in the same region, to Koln, etc. In the Netherlands we stayed mostly in Amsterdam and Utrecht.

Did not mean to make a contest out of the post title; only to underscore how baffling Europe can be even for those who have the language/cultural/professional knowledge and insight you do.

Phoebe said...

Oh, Cologne is great! But it has the worst coffee of any place I've ever been, ever. Consistently awful, in nice places, casual ones, wherever, with the exception of Starbucks, which was mediocre as usual, but which by contrast seemed fantastic. This doesn't seem to be the case elsewhere in Germany.