The line at the grocery store is not the most body-affirming space. One is forced to stand between rows upon rows of delectable chocolate and racks upon racks of magazines sporting half-naked, unrealistically-thin women promoting every kind of weight-loss and diet imaginable on the same covers as recipes for gazillion-calorie desserts.
And then there are the tabloids.
Ahh, the same tabloids which once brought us regular updates on Batboy and George Bush Sr.’s secret meeting with communist aliens has now engaged in a new sensationalist sport: Cellulite voyeurism. With summer upon us, be prepared to see more and more covers devoted to spotting the slightest dimple of cottage cheese lattice bemoaned by women everywhere across the thighs of your favorite celebrities.
Even teenagers aren’t immune from the tabloid’s game of sadistic schadenfreude. In The Enquirer edition pictured, England’s 19-year-old Princess Beatrice is critiqued, examined, and criticized for having a “bumpy bum.” Helpful circles and arrows point out the flaws of celebrities ranging from the young Mischa Barton (“She’s only 22!”) to middle-aged Ellen DeGeneres and model mom Cindy Crawford to near-geriatric celebs like 53-year-old Janice Dickinson. Entertainment Wise even has an online “Guess the Celebrity Cellulite!” game.
The tabloids purposefully put these otherwise accomplished and talented women under the spongy microscope to shame and humiliate them all the while appealing to hordes of readers who derive some sort of personal satisfaction from seeing the flaws of their favorite celebs exposed. But I can’t help but think the sleazoids’ efforts are self-defeating: Instead of humiliating these women, they only reinforce the fact that cellulite is the great equalizer amongst women of all shapes, sizes, ages and socio-economic backgrounds.
Rock-hard dancers get cellulite. Twenty-two year old celebrities get cellulite. Middle-aged moms get cellulite. Heck, even 14-year-old girls get cellulite. There are ways you can reduce your amount of dimpling, like avoiding diet pills and crash dieting. Smoking, excessive caffeine intake and some medications, like birth control, can also lead to the dreaded orange peel, as well as insufficient water intake and a poor diet. But as our dimpled celebrities show, cellulite just might be in your genetic cards. Genetics and heredity are the two main causes of cellulite and even the healthiest of diets and an ability to slide into a size-zero aren’t guarantees against spongy thighs or cratered abdomens. If you want to know how much cellulite you will have, take a look at your mother.
If you’re hoping for a miracle in a jar (hello Dove), think again. According to Alan Kling, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, such snake oils are just “pure hype.” The dermatolic surgeon, who specializes in liposuction surgery, cautions people to remember “that the beauty industry can make claims based on anecdotal evidence that have no scientific or medical backing whatsoever.” (WebMD story here)
So the next time you’re in line at the grocery and see a celebrity with her cottage cheese hanging out, relax and know that she – and you – are in good company.