It’s the thing that affects almost every woman, no matter her size. You know what I’m talking about — the dimples and puckers, ripples and waves that crop up when you cross your legs or on your butt in a bathing suit. Tabloids pick apart stars who dare to frolic on the beach with it, and it can be enough to make you second-guess your short shorts or bathing suit bottoms.
But why do we give cellulite this power? Sure, you can rush to Sephora and load up on all the creams with fancy names and fun labels, each promising to help reduce and even banish the bumps that appear on even the thinnest of us. Everyone has it. Why can’t we seem to embrace it?
“It’s a biologic evolution that occurs after puberty in 90-plus percent of females on earth,” says Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud, Inc. Almost everyone has a certain amount of body fat between the muscles and skin, and “collagen fibers connect the skin through the fat all the way to the lining of the underlying muscle. It’s like the strings on a parachute. The skin is the parachute top and the strings go through the fat until they hit the muscle lining.” Cellulite, then, appears as body fat tries to poke through those fibers in little pockets.
With the advent of Photoshop and airbrushing, it’s easy to smooth out photos of models and celebrities, and that creates a warped view of the “ideal body” for the rest of us. But before you rush off to grab at anything that promises fewer puckers, know this:
Those creams don’t work.
How can they get away with promising results then? “They have some kind of caffeine effect to help tighten the skin, or they tend to hydrate the skin and so the skin gets more hydrated so the appearance of cellulite is less, but that only lasts a few days so that’s only very temporary. It’s not permanent,” says Goldenberg, “The skin is a very good barrier against the environment, which is water, solids, even cream, so that’s why most of the topical stuff doesn’t work because it doesn’t get absorbed into the skin.”
Amy also adds that “people who are more physically fit — not just because they’re less fat, but because their muscle tone is better — have less of an appearance of cellulite.” Join a team, or pick up a new exercise routine. Even if you might not see changes in your body immediately, studies have proven that people who work out have higher levels of self-esteem. You might reduce your body-fat percentage, sure, but you’ll also know that your body is so much more powerful than its lumps. It’s really a win-win.
Here’s the thing, though: you’re no less attractive just because the backs of your thighs ripple when you sit down. You’re no less smart, no less funny, no less kind, or a worse friend. Cellulite can’t tell you anything about your personality or your life. The most it says is what it says about the bodies of almost every other woman on earth — that your skin is attached to your muscle in the way it should be.
And if anyone has a problem with something as superficial as a dimple on your butt, you can respectfully tell them to kiss it.
Question: Do you ever hate looking at your thighs because of cellulite?
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