The Truth About the Stigma of Cellulite

When I started researching for this article, I typed “cellulite” into my search bar just to see what would come up. At least ten things popped up underneath: cellulite cream, cellulite cup, cellulite massager, cellulite laser treatment, cellulite workout; the list went on and on. It was obvious that women have been throwing everything but the kitchen sink at these dimples in their bodies. But why? When were we conditioned to be so repulsed by cellulite? What message was the mainstream media sending that made women so insecure that they were willing to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to hide it?

I remember the first time I noticed that I had cellulite. I had always been an active kid. I played travel sports up until I graduated high school, and even in college I enjoyed working out. My diet wasn’t exactly stellar (pasta is my kryptonite), but I knew what was good for me, what wasn’t, and that everything should be had in moderation. I was an average weight for my height; I was a healthy kid! Despite knowing all of these things, somehow seeing cellulite on my body was an immediate sign of failure. In my mind, it was synonymous with “fat”, “unhealthy”, and “ugly.” I was horrified. I started frantically googling, “how to get rid of cellulite” and was dismayed when I discovered that there wasn’t anything I could do to just make it disappear. I called my mom in a panic, thinking I would never be able to wear shorts again. But after I calmed down, I decided to do some actual research that helped to put my panic into perspective.

The first and most important thing that I learned, and something that is frequently forgotten about in the era of Victoria’s Secret models and photoshop, is that cellulite is actually a common occurrence. In fact, 90% of women have cellulite, according to Scientific American. That’s not just a lot of us, that’s most of us! Another thing I learned is that having cellulite doesn’t mean that you are unhealthy because “women of all shapes and sizes can have cellulite” (Girls Gone Strong). While the appearance of cellulite can be affected by diet and exercise, it is also greatly affected by your genes and hormones. Basically, there are some factors of cellulite that you just can’t control. I did also learn that while there are a million creams and massages and lasers under the sun that claim to make cellulite disappear, there is no proven permanent treatment for cellulite. While some of these things do work by addressing things like collagen strength and fat cell build-up, reviewing treatments for cellulite isn’t the point of this article. The point is that having cellulite is okay! It does not mean that you are unhealthy or ugly. It is a natural part of the human body. You’re beauty isn’t defined by a few dimples in your skin. So go ahead and wear your short skirts and daisy dukes, because you are beautiful, cellulite or no cellulite!

Avenger’s star and all around badass Scarlett Johansson has cellulite. Does that stop her from looking hot as hell in a bikini? Nope!


Image Credit: Feature, 1, 2