Hollywood's Greatest Villain:

There is one villain that is terrifying celebrities this season. What is the foe that filmdom's famous feverishly fear? Is it Beowulf's ectoplasmic enemy Grendel? Is it the airgun-toting pale-skinned psychopath seen in "No Country for Old Men?" Or Johnny Depp as a blade-brandishing cannibal sweetly singing for the holidays in "Sweeney Todd?" None of these cinematic enemies pose any true threat to Tinseltown's titans. If the heroes in those films don't dispatch them, then at least the movies' end credits will. No, we are talking about a nemesis that seems infinite and omnipotent. We are talking about...cellulite.


In 2007, the net was abuzz over paparazzi pics of actress and underwear spokesmodel Jennifer Love Hewitt. The images show Love Hewitt's hips dimpled with the dermatological divots known as cellulite. For those genetically prone, fatty tissue in the thighs and buttocks is tethered by fibrous bands that create the bumpy appearance. Unlike previous episodes where potentially unflattering photos have been ignored by their superstar subjects, the ghost whispering actress chose to shout, urging society to re-examine our perspective on women's bodies. But an equally important question was not been addressed: Why wasn't her condition treated in the first place?


A simple online search will reveal any number of hyped treatments for cellulite. Supposedly the full bore of technology has been harnessed to defeat this enemy. Mechanical interventions like endermologie purport to flatten the bumps. Lasers combined with radiofrequency blasts promise to reduce the rolls. Studies of mesotherapy in particular show minimal transient benefit after several sessions. Makers of topical non-prescription lotions actually have the audacity to use the term "cure" in their marketing.


Apparently, Love Hewitt is not the only celeb dealing cellulite.
Rasputia, seen here in "Norbit," also battles bulges.

From supplements to laser treatments to mesotherapy, stars who share Love Hewitt's heartbreak of cellulite could certainly financially afford an intervention. TV actors like Mischa Barton, film femmes like Sharon Stone, tabloid royalty like Britney all share an incentive to eradicate the thigh bumps and regain cobble-free contours. The reason these photos exist at all? Because none of the above treatments have been proven to make a significant impact. If it was as simple as buying a cellulite banishing balm, the celeb photogs would not have so much material to publish.


So keep checking back here for updates. If a breakthrough occurs in the battle against Hollywood's most hated foe, we'll let you know.

Runners up, Hollywood's Greatest Villain:

Paparazzi and HDTV

True enemies of any skin challenged celeb.


© 1996-2008 Vail Reese M.D.

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