One Of The Strangest Stories Of My Life… No Ifs, Ands or Butts!
60 is ….empowering the next generation of women by example
One rainy morning a few years back, I found myself in a high end London beauty salon. Lying on a very comfortable treatment bed, I tried to relax as my therapist massaged tea tree cleanser into my skin, before wiping toner across my cheeks.
Only it wasn’t those cheeks. It was the two down south. That’s right… my (ahem) buttocks!
The previous morning, the Daily Mail in London had called asking if I’d try out and report on a new, cutting edge beauty treatment known as the “bacial”.
According to their intel, there had been a whopping two hundred per cent rise in enquiries for “bacials” accredited to the new, hugely popular “belfie” trend on social media in which celebrities like Lady Gaga and the Kardashians had taken to posting pictures of their perfect behinds. That summer, bottoms were tops on everyone’s list.
Chatting with my beauty therapist, prior to my treatment, I soon discovered that when it comes to derrieres, one size does not fit all. In fact each appointment begins with a buttock “assessment” followed by a “bespoke” treatment.
Unsure of the dress code I had removed my jeans and kept my underwear on but within seconds my therapist had briskly snapped my knickers to one side to assess the damage.
Mortified, I lay there, knicker-less, while a perfect stranger scrutinised my “past its sell-by date” derriere under what was frankly a very unforgiving light.
Admittedly, I did perk up a bit when after what seemed like hours she finally announced: “You’re very fortunate as you don’t have any blemishes.” Well, that was something.
Apparently one of the most common complaints is a spotty bottom which can be caused by hormones or tight underwear. It seemed that I was in the clear in that department.
But, it wasn’t all good news…. “years of neglect” had left my buttocks looking rather “lacklustre” according to her expert opinion. My husband had never mentioned this so I figured how bad could it be?
In any case I was prescribed a 'blueberry smoothie' which lifted my spirits for a few seconds until I realised that it wasn’t a drink but a chemical peel aimed at removing dead skin cells. This would be followed by LED light therapy - a non-invasive treatment using a high-grade cold laser.
My particular bottom upgrade would set me back £330, around $434 US.
As the lasers were rolled into position, aimed at both cheeks, it occurred to me that this particular scene wouldn’t have looked out of place in a James Bond finale.
I couldn’t help but wonder what my husband would make of it all if he could see me now. Fortunately he was a few doors down sipping his latte and reading the paper, oblivious to the shenanigans ensuing up the street.
The treatment process ended with a warning: “Make sure you keep your buttocks hydrated for the next four or five days” - not a sentence you hear very often.
I had to admit, post treatment, my bum did feel firmer, the skin looked plumper, its tone better, and my formerly dehydrated cheeks felt... dare I say it, soft as a baby's bottom. The treatment had done its job. It wasn’t a cure for the dreaded cellulite that had begun to appear on the back of my thighs, I had been warned about that, it was more of an “upgrade” on my original model!
Speaking to other women who had undergone a bum facial they said they’d been motivated by seeing celebrities’ perfect butts on Twitter or Instagram and felt ashamed to bare their own less than perfect specimens in their holiday selfies!
And ladies, this is the lunacy women have to live with. Body shaming.
A lot of us worry about cellulite. It’s been the bane of our lives for years. And it’s indiscriminate. Fat or thin, rich or poor, celebrity or not… none of us, well virtually none of us, are spared!
Millions of pounds/dollars are spent every year on “treatments” claiming to rid women of what’s perceived to be “unsightly”. Those lumps and bumps that crop up on the back of our thighs and tummies. The truth is, even now in 2020, there really is no “cure” and we should change our mindset accordingly.
If we have our health we have everything and if you think about it, it’s ridiculous that a few bumpy bits on our bodies, can wreck our holidays or make us feel unattractive to our partners.
And so, I am delighted to see that certain celebrities are leading the way when it comes to bravely posting unedited images of their bodies, including cellulite, and encouraging us to do the same.
These women featured below are a lot young than us but let’s follow their example and reprogram ourselves and our daughters to see the beauty in our bodies even with a few imperfections. We’ve got this! No ifs, ands or butts!
Celebrities leading the way
Courtesy of @ddlovato
“This is my biggest fear. A photo of me in a bikini unedited. And guess what, it’s CELLULITE!!!! I’m just literally sooooo tired of being ashamed of my body, editing it (yes the other bikini pics were edited - and I hate that I did that but it’s the truth) so that others think I’m THEIR idea of what beautiful is, but it’s just not me. This is what I got. I want this new chapter in my life to be about being authentic to who I am rather than trying to meet someone else’s standards. So here’s me, unashamed, unafraid and proud to own a body that has fought through so much and will continue to amaze me when I hopefully give birth one day. It’s such a great feeling to be back in tv/film while not stressing myself with a strenuous workout schedule before 14 hour days, or depriving myself from a real birthday cake rather than opting for watermelon & whip cream with candles because I was terrified of REAL cake and was miserable on some crazy diet shit. Anyway, here’s me, RAW, REAL! And I love me. And you should love you too! Just so everyone’s clear.. I’m not stoked on my appearance BUT I am appreciative of it and sometimes that’s the best I can do. I hope to inspire someone to appreciate their body today too.”
Courtesy of @hilaryduff
“I am posting this on behalf of young girls, women, and mothers of all ages. I'm enjoying a vacation with my son after a long season of shooting and being away from him for weeks at a time over those months. Since websites and magazines love to share 'celeb flaws' - well I have them! My body has given me the greatest gift of my life: Luca, 5 years ago. I'm turning 30 in September and my body is healthy and gets me where I need to go. Ladies, let’s be proud of what we've got and stop wasting precious time in the day wishing we were different, better, and unflawed. You guys (you know who you are!) already know how to ruin a good time, and now you are body shamers as well.”
Courtesy of @ashleygraham
“I workout. I do my best to eat well. I love the skin I'm in. And I'm not ashamed of a few lumps, bumps or cellulite… and you shouldn't be either. We even decided to use unedited paparazzi shots as the campaign images for the new swimwear line.
Reminder: being authentic is beautiful.”