That cellulite is a normal part of the human condition is entirely true. As is underarm hair, body odour and snaggly teeth. We, in reverse order, have orthodontists, deodorants and razors to deal with those latter – should we or should we not have something to deal with the first?
True, our answer will differ if we’ve something that does actually deal with cellulite rather than an endless series of things that don’t but people can be persuaded to buy. Or at least potentially we might reach a different answer. Our answer about the desirability of coffee enemas or chemotherapy for cancer is, after all, different.
And yet, yet, what’s a cosmetics company supposed to do?
Cosmetics giant Avon USA has apologized for an anti-cellulite product after the ad campaign was accused of “shaming women”. Actor Jameela Jamil had criticized the ad, which features a seated woman in shorts and tank top with the caption “dimples are cute on your face (not on your thighs),” on Saturday afternoon on Twitter. “And yet EVERYONE has dimples on their thighs, I do, you do, and the CLOWNS at @Avon_UK certainly do. Stop shaming women about age, gravity and cellulite. They’re inevitable, completely normal things. To make us fear them and try to ‘fix’ them, is to literally set us up for failure.”
Sure, cellulite is normal. Some number of women who have it desire not to. Creams and potions to get rid of it exist at some unknown but not high level of effectiveness. Even an ineffective remedy though, there’s still that potential pleasure at trying to do something about it – akin to the lottery argument, sure, people lose money but there’s the pleasure of thinking you might win.
So, given all of this what is Avon supposed to do? Not sell anti-cellulite cream? Sell it but not advertise it? The way we tell people off for advertising razors? Or dentistry?