With summer fast approaching, I have had more and more conversations with people who are dreading swimsuit season. One of the top fears I hear is about cellulite–everyone wants to know how to make it disappear and everyone is scared of others knowing they have it. Cellulite is a tough topic because we have been told for so long that it is something to be ashamed of. Something we need to get rid of. We’re told that having it means we are ugly or unhealthy. Well guess what? None of that is true.
First, let’s look at why cellulite happens. Take a look at this picture:
The reason women tend to have cellulite more often than men is because of the way collagen bonds differ in our bodies. While men have this criss-cross pattern, women have a vertical bond, meaning that fat deposits under the skin (which, by the way, we all need to survive–no fat means you’re dead) are more likely to show through the skin. So, while some men do have cellulite, it is much more common in women because of the way these bonds are set up.
Now that we know the why, let’s get to the thing that really bugs me about people telling women that cellulite is bad. Cellulite is a secondary sexual characteristic for women–you know what else is a secondary sexual characteristic? BREASTS. Cellulite and breasts are on the exact same level when it comes to biological sexual maturity. So why is one considered an enviable thing to have and the other something to be ashamed of?Well it’s the same reason we’re told we need lash extensions, tans, and diet pills: profit for large corporations. Companies can’t profit if you love yourself. If you are content with the cute little dimples on your thighs then what are they going to sell you?
The thought that cellulite is a problem that needs to be gotten rid of is insulting and just plain untrue. When you google cellulite, all you will see is page after page telling you how to get rid of it. Google breasts? Not exactly the same outcome. Today I want you to think about how silly the thought of buying a cream to shrink your chest size would be. What if the first thing on a google search for breasts led you to a mayo clinic page telling you possible treatments to get rid of your “lumpy” chest? The thought is laughable–and it’s exactly as laughable as the creams and web searches telling you that your cellulite makes you “less than”. If you have cellulite, you are mature. You are a beautiful woman whose body has grown with her in life and that should be celebrated. And if you don’t have cellulite? You’re also a mature and beautiful woman who should celebrate the intricacies of her body. Having (or not having) breasts or cellulite or wider hips–none of it makes you more or less of a friend, mother, daughter, or person. It just makes you YOU.
So today I want to invite you to find that thing about your body that you usually try to hide or that makes you feel less beautiful or valuable than others. I want you to spend a few minutes trying to see the beauty in that part of you because, the truth is, that beauty is there whether you see it or not.