C is for the worst C-word of all.
Cellulite, wherefore art thou? And by “wherefore” I definitely mean “why,” not the commonly mistaken “where,” especially because no one has trouble locating this enemy of our ass, ever.
So tell me, cellulite, why? We eat right, we exercise, we have decent genes, yet there you are, the dreaded “surface of the moon” quivering into view in the dressing room mirror. “Vanity lighting,” my pun-intended ass.
Be they man or woman, we’re not here to talk about Olympian athletes and other super-humans with coconut shells for butt cheeks. This is about everyday mortals. You know, the ones who make the world go around. It’s true that women biologically carry more body fat than men, but some men aren’t off the cellulite hook either. The ass is nothing if not two fat-storage pillows, inflated to varying degrees on men and women alike.
Given exactly the wrong kind of lighting, fat rears its many lumpy little heads beneath what previously, in other lighting, appeared to be smooth skin. In a certain light, the ripply enemy seems to lurk deep enough under the surface so that as long as we’re motionless like a frozen popsicle, we present unmarred outlines. But we must be sure not to let this fleeting miracle go to our head, because as we know, if something mashes up against our pillowy parts, or we dare enjoy a leg massage, the orange-peel horror squeezes right to the top.
There’s a long line of ineffective torture devices claiming to eradicate our outline-ruining foe, from spiky skin brushes to dispensers of electric pulses. But this is frivolous cruelty, giving us the false hope that the spongy balls in our saddlebags are destructible. They are not. If cockroaches and cellulite went head to head as the stubbornest mofos to survive, cockroaches would run cockroach-screaming at the sight of cellulite’s pits and bumps taking shape under changing sources of light.
You know what else gives us false hope? Babies. First, their ass dimples are gush-over cute and we might momentarily forget that ours are not. Second, baby ass-dimples go away. Ours do not. We are not babies. We are doomed.
This is why our only option is to become experts at lighting principles. Depending on the factors of source, direction and intensity, lighting is either cellulite’s or our bestie. A course in color theory might not be a bad idea either, so that we’d not only learn about shadows and highlights, but which colors cancel out which other colors. We’re basically going for real-life Photoshop manipulation with our live skin.
For example, we already know we can hide many a flaw under a tan. Not some damaging sunburn, but a gradual, layer-by-layer pigment-build that starts off beige and ends up the color of a fine cigar. This puts us slightly ahead in the cellulite game because we’ve lowered visual contrast. Cellulite shadows have a harder time standing out against skin that isn’t pale.
Next, we need to understand the inverse-square law as it applies to light, which states, quantity or strength is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source. That’s right. So, the farther we move from a lamp, the less light falls on our bare bum, but even less than we might think, because the amount of the decrease, um, increases. If that explanation is not helpful, blame cellulite, because cellulite is anything but helpful. Counterintuitively, the light decrease is not a good thing (unless we’ve disappeared into pitch black).
The important part is, the lowest lighting is often the unkindest. It goes back to those sneaky shadows.
Shining bright, direct light onto an object eliminates shadows, which in turn eliminates bump-defining shading, therefore creating the appearance of popsicle-smoothness.
Take a sandy beach with footprints. During high noon, when the sun is closest to the earth and directly above, the footprints look shallow and barely noticeable, whereas under the late day sun, they cast long shadows and look like ominous black pits. Our bottoms in bikinis on the beach pretty much work the same way as the sand prints.
Where lighting fails, many of us have perfected the Dance of the Seven Butts after intimate situations. That’s when we “playfully” back away naked from our partner, and don’t turn around until the last possible second, then use a couple of pillows to alternate like the feathers of a Can Can girl over our afflicted parts.
We should probably also make sure everyone who sees us in our underwear needs corrective lenses — and then hide their contacts. Blurred vision is kind and softens unsightly details.
Finally, if you are of that elusive breed who is impervious to such rude skin-texture invasion, bless you, prance those peach-like buttocks of yours bare and free.
~ Part of the A to Z Challenge ~
A post a day except Sunday for the month of April to cover topics beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Events always real, names always changed.
Cathartic Monkeyism returns in May.
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