This post was originally called “What women think men think about cellulite” and then “What women think about other women’s cellulite.” but then I bit the bullet and actually asked some dudes what they really think about the whole thing.
It kind of blew my mind… no joke.
There is a wild epidemic of paranoia around cellulite. I would love to delve into the history of why we’ve demonized cellulite and how we have somehow managed to equate having cellulite with being obese or being ugly. But honestly it’s not even worth repeating, because here we are, questioning our beauty. Because despite how gorgeous we know we are, this naturally occurring cellulite somehow makes us feel flawed.
The scary truth is someone is making millions of dollars perpetuating the lie that cellulite is a disease and that with some miracle cream or treatment, we can cure ourselves.
Wait – do you mean these tiny almost imperceptible bumps on my leg. Really? a disease?
Cellulite is not a disease or a ‘problem’. It is not a flaw. It doesn’t hurt or cause us any physical problems. Despite what the media claims, it is also not linked to any physical abnormalities. Cellulite is a normal function of the female body. It is a cosmetic bi-product of how we naturally store fat. 80-90% of women have some cellulite. Thin, chubby, healthy, vegan, meat eaters, cheese eaters, celebrities, body builders, models, sub-Saharan African women, Asian women, Americans, Canadians, everyone. If you’re reading this blog right now, there is a decent chance you have cellulite.
Go to a mirror and check it out. It’s not that weird. And if you imagine yourself without it, you actually don’t look that different.
You’re not flawed. You’re awesome and happen to have some cellulite.
Here’s the science.
“Cellulite is caused by fibrous connective cords that tether the skin to the underlying muscle, with the fat lying between. As the fat cells accumulate, they push up against the skin, while the long, tough cords are pulling down. This creates an uneven surface or dimpling.” – Mayo Clinic
The science has no positive or negative conclusions about the thing. It’s just how we are structurally put together. Marketing companies have convinced us that it’s due poor circulation, too much sugar, toxins, animal foods, storing ‘negative energy’, poor diet or any other number of things they plan on fixing with creams, laser treatments, diets and unnatural supplements.
Dr. Molly Wanner, from Harvard Medical School, recently did an in-depth study of cellulite treatments and the evidence supporting them. She came to a very clear conclusion.
“The best of the currently available treatments have, at most, shown mild improvements in the appearance of cellulite, most of which are not maintained over time.”
It is enraging that we as women are so dissatisfied with our bodies that we are willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on treatments that are painful and time consuming. Imagine if we spent that time on something proven to improve our happiness, like meditation. And spent those thousands of dollars on something that we knew could improve our bodies, like a yoga retreat in the Bahamas or a Vitamix.
Why have we hyper-focused on cellulite as our missing link between beauty, fulfillment and happiness?
I think this is where we look around and see the HUGE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. men.
Not real men, but hypothetical “men”.
And I (and probably you) get caught right in the middle of this battle. I have struggled for years against my final flaw: cellulite. I admit it. I know, I know… I have a gorgeous curvy body, but I also have cellulite on my butt. I have always assumed that having less lumpy skin on my bum would make me more attractive. But to who? Honestly – it never really bothered me.
But we are scared shitless to have cellulite because we think that men will think it’s gross.
And so I did what any woman who has no shame and a panel of men willing to answer questions honestly would do: I asked them what they thought of this whole conundrum. And the results were not what I expected.
It’s not gross, but it’s not beautiful
This is a harsh truth. I am not going to give you a sugar coated “it’s your body and your body is the epitome of beauty” talk. The guys I talked to said they think girls take cellulite way too seriously and they’ve never looked at a girl with cellulite and thought “that’s gross”. But on the other hand, they’ve never seen cellulite that’s made a girl more attractive than without. Just sayin’ – blame society or the media or whatever, it’s just the way we see it.
It never has been or will be a deal breaker
No one has ever gotten to third base and seen a bit of cellulite that made them walk the other way. If a guy does for some wild reason notice while you’re getting down and dirty that you’ve got a few dimples, there is no way that it would be a deal breaker. Guys apparently keep a short list of deal breakers (which will be another blog post) but cellulite would never be on it. More likely to be on their list of deal breakers, is your obsession with your looks and flaws. That’s unattractive!
Consider the context
Cellulite doesn’t really come out of hiding unless you’re scantily clothed and sitting in a brightly lit room in an unflattering position. More than likely, this is after the deed has been done. Sometimes it can be months before you find yourself eating breakfast in your panties propped up on an ottoman or something. This situation might not come up until months into a relationship. At that point, your glowing personality and banging bedrooms skills make your slightly dimply skin an endearing characteristic and confirmation that you are indeed human and not a walking/talking sex goddess.
They don’t really notice
This is where I had my aha moment.
You see, my boyfriend is one of the people willing to indulge my inappropriate questions and let me babble for hours about my hypotheses on hand jobs and butt plugs. It’s not nearly as exciting as it sounds. After a long and really interesting conversation about cellulite, I broke down and told him about some of the really personal struggles I’ve had with the whole thing since my teens, and after 20 minutes of my heart opening rant he said… “oh, I never noticed you had cellulite…”
Really?… I can’t blame him for being aloof or not being observant. Because he is hyper aware of the world and bodies around him. He just literally never noticed. And that’s all the confirmation that I needed to stop over-thinking things.
If you’re with a guy who does care, walk.
If you find yourself with a man who says he thinks cellulite is unattractive or a deal breaker, grab your panties and leave. This is a good sign that he has more experience with porn, celebrity magazines and blow up dolls than with a real woman. Any man who has loved and slept with a few women, knows that everyone has a little cellulite and it doesn’t have any effect on how great you are in the sack or in a relationship.
It’s a weirdly engrained fear we have of looking cellulite-y. It might be hard to let go, but for the love of god- try! Because (in the words of another blogger) “we spend our emotional and financial resources chasing an impossible ideal. It’s time to get the hell over it. We have FAR far far better things to do with our time and energy and money than ‘fight’ cellulite.”Amber Rogers of GoKaleo
image source: villanouslove