I bought June’s issue of Marie Claire for some light airplane reading. Must admit I was lured in by SJP and promises of inside dish on Sex & the City 2. (So excited for May 27!) I was satisfied withafter 16 years of being hopelessly devoted to women’s magazines, I guess I should be comfortable with the patronizing tones that proliferate the glossy lines. Nonetheless, I’m usually caught off guard by one article that makes me do a double-take and mutter outloud, “What the hell?!”
Case in point: this issue’s story entitled, “Freeze Your Fat Away.” Sounds like a bad “advertorial” section, right? No, no, it’s actually a first person piece written by a woman on a mission to eradicate her “secret fat: a stubborn slab across my lower abdomen that no amount of running would remedy.” I assume she means that area just above her pubic hair and under her belly button. An area of fat that can become more cumbersome after pregnancy (the writer notes she has two kids), but that also serves a purpose—to surround and protect the female reproductive organs. Most women, (unless you’re Jackie Warner) have what the writer calls her “band of blubber” and “roll of shame.”
The writer truly felt this that it affected her self-esteem to sport a belly pooch months after her last pregnancy. She says that it became emotionally draining to accept this one, stubborn annoyance on her otherwise fit physique. (Boo hoo.) She wonders if she’s being vain or insecure to go running to a dermatologist’s office for a noninvasive, in-office procedure to do away with it. In the end, she has an epiphany: “Who cares?”
I’m all about experimenting with various types of cardio, weight training, yoga, pilates, whatever to be fitter and more satisfied with your appearance. But a getting zapped by a “fat freezing” machine that runs $1,000 per session for two or more treatments? Really? Yea, yea, MC and the like often feature handbags, stilettos, models and apparently cosmetic procedures that are “aspirational.” But for most women in America, expensive, in-office cryolipolysis (which supposedly works by “extracting heat and cooling the skin so the fat in cells crystallizes, then is slowly eliminated over two months”) is hardly an affordable or practical option.
Tell me: What happened to just doing some good, old fashioned spot-targeting crunches? According to the Mayo Clinic, with enough exercise and proper nutrition, you can reduce the appearance of fat on your lower stomach. Well, the writer asserts that she’s an avid runner and had done her homework at the gym, but was still cringing at her vacation photos. Still, is running off to get her fat frozen her only option? Furthermore, I want to know how the average 18-35 year-old MC reader will benefit from this “skinny J Brand jeans”-wearing writer’s tale? I highly doubt she will benefit whatsoever. She’ll probably just sigh, grab her lower abdominal “bagel” and think to herself, “Wow, I wish I had $1,500 to spend on freezing my fat.” Ugh. That makes me really sad.
What do you think… Do stories like these actually intrigue, inspire or help you in any way? Or do they make you say, “What the hell”?
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