Friday, March 23, 2012

Cellulite as natural disaster

A man writes to Prudie to complain that his wife has cellulite. This is, apologies to Kate Harding, a bit like writing in to complain that your husband has a penis. Sure, there are honest-to-goodness men without penises - in the transgender community, for example - but for the vast majority of those whose sexual orientation points to the dudes, it comes with the territory.

And it really is about the same with women and cellulite. Not exactly the same - we're not about to reach the point that an absence of cellulite is going to be a deal-breaker for many lovers-of-women - but much the same insofar as being attracted to women is virtually a guarantee that cellulite will make an appearance. A little, a lot, but probably not none at all. If you think you're seeing none at all, consider possibilities such as: the room is kind of dark, your vision poor.

Conversely, the only way to be sure you won't see cellulite in the bedroom is to partner off with men or very young women. So young, in fact, that they couldn't really be called "women," and probably shouldn't be in your bedroom in the first place. Thus the use of "women's" fashion models who are either prepubescent girls or, the latest innovation, delicate-featured men. There basically aren't 18-and-ups who come looking pre-airbrushed in this way.

And it kind of makes sense how cellulite would come to be an obsession - there tends to be more of it the older and heavier a woman is, and that which indicates youth and slimness tends to be sought-after. Except, well, with breasts - there, more also indicates older, heavier, and yet outside the realm of high fashion, is generally considered a desirable trait. So who knows.

Anyway, it's news to me that Americans care that much about cellulite. Bad news, because as with the War on Contraception, the War on Cellulite is about pretending that something so common among adult women as to be almost definitive of being an adult woman is in fact this horribly shameful secret... giving men the false impression that they ought to seek out a woman whose medicine cabinet contains only Tylenol, and whose thighs are from every angle bump-free.

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