Oct 262011
 

I wanted to add to yesterday’s post that I have a pet theory about why this silly and biologically untenable “flat belly” has become such a vogue.

Well I have two theories, actually.

The first, less sexually interesting theory, is that it’s a corporate construct designed to make us believe incorrect things about what our bodies are supposed to look like, so that we’ll feel bad and try to change our bellies, buying all kinds of crap in the process, when actually there is nothing wrong with our bellies that a little basic knowledge can’t fix. What makes me especially like this theory is that it’s actually NOT POSSIBLE to achieve the rock-hard-fat-abdomen advertised, because that’s simply not how bodies are shaped, so we’re being led down a rabbit hole, made to crave something that is genuinely impossible. Which is a good trick, if you have a vested interest in making people spend money.

My second theory is about why THAT aesthetic in particular might resonate so powerfully. It might be that the taut abdomen is actually more like what a person near orgasm looks like. You get all this tone in your abdomen, these waves of muscles contractions that may well flatten out your belly. In the way that lipstick darkens lips as lips darken with arousal, blush flushes cheeks as cheeks flush with arousal, and mascara and eyeliner, the flat abdomen mimics arousal.

Just a pet theory.

Oh, and a third theory: youth. Because fat accumulates on younger women more on the butt and thighs and gradually moves north as they age, fat on hips and thighs is an indicator of youth and fertility. That’s actually a genuine thing at moderate levels, but it doesn’t account for the EXTREMITY of the current fashion. That, I think, is best accounted for by the corporate theory.

(PS – All of the above might be nonsense.)