No one wants to hear that there’s no solution to the problem that vexes them. And while we might be loathe to admit it, we don’t want to find out that the solutions that do exist are time-consuming and difficult. Take our bodies, for example: Most of us want whatever our personal vision of a perfect physique is, and we want it yesterday. We want our cellulite to improve instantly. But easy fixes to our beauty wishes are like magic tricks—you’re willingly suspending your skepticism in order to believe in something better than reality. If you looked harder, you’d see the deception every time.
This is why it’s so easy to sell people—and unfortunately women in particular—expensive salves and bizarre contraptions designed to cure not just aesthetic problems, but insecurities too. We don’t buy cellulite cream because vaguely lumpy looking skin is really that big of a problem. We buy it because we hope that if our cellulite disappears, self-confidence will replace it. Once your butt looks smooth, you’ll be able to wear that bikini you bought two years ago that always makes you feel too bloated. You’ll finally feel comfortable wearing shorts, against all odds and after years of misplaced insecurity about your thighs. You know how it works.
Excerpted from Popular Science