Oh, cellulite. How we loathe you. Yes, we -- as in, women. Women everywhere. Skinny women, plump women, athletic women, couch-surfing women. Why must you mock us?
From an early age, we are taught to despise you. A quick flip through a celebrity magazine will prove -- get caught swimming in the ocean with a few of your lumps on our rear and we will promptly be shredded to little, teensy bits by the public at large, despite the fact we may be a tiny, beautiful wisp of a thing and just got engaged three hours earlier. Even this body image expert, who knows you are no indication of fitness, who consciously understands and believes inner beauty trumps orange peel, can get down on herself about the genetically predisposed dimples. They look so cute on my friend's baby and even cuter on Jennifer Garner's cheeks. But my ass? Non, merci.
I am not alone in my plight or in my contempt for you. Approximately 90-95% of women are cursed with the uneven affliction (how many men suffer with it, you ask? Oh, well, that would be approximately, um, none.) Further proof you are unwelcome: I have yet to see a bumper sticker proclaiming "Honk if you love cellulite!" or "My honor student goes to Cellulite College" or "WWJDAC? What Would Jesus Do About Cellulite?"
In a wholly unscientific survey I conducted among women whose emails happen to be sitting in my in-box, 85% percent answered the question, "True or False: I would rather get rid of my cellulite than win $5,000" with a resounding "True!" Some even upped the odds "$10 grand, even!" A new mom said she'd be forced to flip to False if the amount reached the hundreds of thousands.
Those who were free from the Big C were instructed to not bother responding. Ever.
We women go to extremes to try and eradicate your pocky marks, despite the fact you cannot be destroyed. You're like cockroaches. All that will be left after the nuclear holocaust are bugs and you, cellulite. Even when I dropped 30 pounds in college from anorexia, there you were. It's genetic, I know, I know. Not an indicator of physical fitness or determination or intelligence or love-worthiness. Not in the slightest. And yet...women are willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to stamp you out. We want to blast you away with an AK47, suck you out with a vacuum, break you up with a metal rod, smooth you out with an extra-strong pasta-rolling machine. Liposuction, in a sad case of irony, often makes you appear even lumpier, as does weight loss (less fat in the affected area means what does remain shows through even more.) There's a somewhat shady treatment called mesotherapy which involves an injection of something called phosphatidylcholine, a purported fat-dissolver. Ms. Britney Spears has reportedly gone under the needle. The problem is, phosphawhatchamacalit can lead to bleeding ulcers. Not pretty. And with more and more spas, salons and mall storefronts offering it, who knows what is actually in those syringes?
There is, however, a new laser called the Accent which claims to be able to drastically reduce your power (and has the photos/patients to prove it -- see here and here) Manufactured by Alma Lasers -- conveniently/suspiciously headquartered in my suburban Chicago hometown -- the recently FDA-approved treatment can be used on everything from crepey crow's feet to muffin tops to orange peel-y thighs (will the food-body monikers never cease?) Unlike Botox or liposuction, this puppy is non-invasive and pretty much pain-free, with zero downtime. It's a veritable fat-melting machine, a conceptual piece of technology a wiser me might have created for my seventh grade science fair. Alas, I settled for the well-designed but grammatically incorrect "Do 7th Graders Learn Better Audio or Visually?" I made it to State.
Back to Accent. It works like this: An aesthetician or health care practitioner lubes up the affected area and begins to pass a heated wand back and forth, over and over, quick as an air hockey pro. It gets hot. Not "Help me, I'm on fire!" hot but "Yes! Liquefy that fat!" hot. Laser energy is beamed deep into the dermal and subdermal layers of the lower half, resulting in, under absolutely ideal conditions, results like this.
As for myself, I may or may not have tried the Accent. It may or may not have been an exhilarating experience -- laying face down, silky oil spread across the glutes so that the warm wand could pass easily as it went to town. If I did do it, I would have to say much of the appeal lay in the fact that I felt like I was actually doing something...taking control over an out-of-control aspect of life. Like successfully scratching an itch you've had for hours or snuffing out a raging case of hiccups. Did one 15-minute session of Accent change my skin? (If I did do it, I mean.) Maybe a little bit at first. These things take time. Is it surrendering to society's pressure to conform, to achieve 12-year-old smoothness on a grown woman's body? Perhaps. Do I plan on going back next Wednesday? Damn straight.