Monday, April 08, 2013

Monday-night lifestyle section

-Beauty writing tends to fall into one of two categories: ethereal, fantasy-land discussions of which pricey creams which women with already-perfect skin use to make their pores ever-more-invisible; and critical, generally feminist analysis of the beauty industry, body-image issues, and so forth. And I've been known to read and enjoy both. But what gets lost is the reality of beautification rituals, which tend to be, well, gross. Refinery29 brings a dose of honesty with its post on "Gross Beauty Problems." Granted, one might call these health problems, albeit minor ones, but a small quibble. I like the idea.

-Hadley Freeman, one of my favorites, one of my favorites, tragically got The Cellulite Question wrong. She advises this whole body-scrubbing routine that she claims eliminates cellulite (and that the cynic in me thinks sounds like an advertisement, what with both magical products coming from the same company), and only then arrives at the only logical conclusion: nobody cares, so don't worry about it. The problem with the whole cellulite thing is, the beauty industry (guess which kind of beauty-writing I do!) wants us to think it's 1) a problem, and 2) unusual. To which I'd have to say, go to some kind of athletic event (by which I mean the everyday kind, nothing where the athletes are all secretly taking who-knows-what), and look - in a not-lascivious way - at the upper thighs of the women. Thin, athletic women - not all, but oh, I will hazard a guess, most - have cellulite. "Cellulite" is not even a thing, but a gratuitous pseudo-medicalization of what might otherwise be deemed "the upper thighs of most post-pubescent female humans."

-Remember when Mark Bittman toured Spain with Gwyneth Paltrow? There's now a post on Bittman's blog, but not by Bittman, calling Paltrow's latest contribution to our culture, a now-notorious cookbook that tells you to eat flakes of gold rather than corn or whatever, snooty and dangerous. No reference to the Bittman-Paltrow connection, nor to the fact that Gwyneth's seemingly random dismissal of whole food groups is something Bittman himself has endorsed. The post, a response to responses to the cookbook, although (perhaps ?) not to the cookbook itself, makes the point that Paltrow is out-of-touch with the common (wo)man and not a nutritionist. Duly noted.

-In New York today, I managed to swing by the Union Square Greenmarket, and lo and behold, spring vegetables have arrived! Green garlic! Arugula! Meanwhile, here in farm country, the markets don't start up until May. Many of the farms themselves, however, are more or less in this area. Which would be the cause of all kinds of grievances, if I hadn't gone and bought all the green garlic.

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