Cellulite makes everybody uneasy - from the woman who worries about her orange peel thighs to the British or American 'obesity expert' intent on proving that fat is fat, cellulite is nothing more than a figment of foolish women's imagination, and what any woman with lumpy thighs should do is get down to a good old calorie-controlled diet to shed it. Even staunch feminists who write hard-hitting polemics about the coercion of women by the beauty industry get het up about cellulite. It is, they insist, something invented by fashion magazines to make women feel bad about themselves.
Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of women with the problem bemoan their fate at having contracted a "nonexistent" condition and hope that if only they spend a little more money or endure a little more discomfort from one of the high-tech treatments - being pricked with multi-injector syringes or subjected to brutal pummeling for instance - it will make her legs smooth, sleek and svelte.
I've seen medical papers from all over Europe and America on cellulite, its cause and its development as well as proposed solutions to this lumpy bumpy flesh which can mar the thighs of even the leanest women. As of this moment literally hundreds of medical references to cellulite exist, some of them going back a hundred and fifty years.
Next time someone tries to tell you you are imagining pea d'orange thighs smile knowingly and ignore them.
None of the theories, analyses and descriptions of elaborate chemical treatments for cellulite have the full answer. In part this is because cellulite is a difficult condition to study in vivo - within the body of a woman who has it - since this means performing a biopsy of the tissue which is a painful medical process. In part it is because cellulite is a many-facetted syndrome with no single cause and no single effective treatment.