Cellulite and Self-Esteem: You Can Totally Have Both

By Genevieve Cunningham

Crushing Cellulite

Dimples are adorable. When you hear the word, you might think of a cute little kid with pigtails and two front teeth missing. But it’s not just kids that benefit from these beauty spots; dimples look good on everyone. From Arianna Grande to Jennifer Garner to Harry Styles to Mario Lopez, dimples add a little something to overall appearance. They add a touch of cuteness. A little bit of permanent youthfulness. What’s not to love about that?

Unfortunately, most of us are dealing with a very different version of dimples. Dimples that we would give almost anything to get rid of. Dimples that make us self-conscious and depressed. Dimples that are … cellulite.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, cellulite is defined as “deposits of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissue that give a puckered and dimpled appearance to the skin’s surface.” Sounds a bit complicated, right? It’s not -- it’s just the appearance of fat cells showing on the outside. But we don’t really need a formal definition to understand cellulite. We know. We’ve seen it, and most of the time, we’ve seen it on ourselves with feelings of disgust close behind.

It’s possible that the appearance -- or even the mere thought -- of cellulite drums up feelings of dread. Dread for swimsuit season. Dread for shorts. Dread for anything that shows the skin. It’s an insecurity that goes far beyond gender, race, and age. Cellulite is gross, right? This is what we know. But what if those feelings are all wrong? Must we really be ashamed of our cellulite? Or is it actually normal?

We Are Not Alone

According to an article in Scientific American, a whopping 90 percent of women and 10 percent of men have at least some cellulite. That’s a huge number. It encompasses, quite literally, almost every single woman on the planet and plenty of men. And yet we all walk around ashamed of these tiny dimples in the skin. It’s true that it shows up more prominently in people with a higher body fat percentage, but the appearance of cellulite doesn’t necessarily suggest that a person is obese or even unhealthy in their bodyweight. Cellulite can show up in anyone -- even children. It’s a complicated phenomenon.

Feeling Good About Yourself

Luckily, if you don’t like your cellulite, there are things you can do to reduce its appearance. But first, let’s talk about some things that absolutely don’t work. Don’t fall for that cream, lotion, or magic pill that promises perfectly smooth skin. It won’t work.

Although cellulite may never completely disappear, these little tips might make you feel better about wearing shorts in the heat.

  • Lose weight - Cellulite is more likely to show up when more fat is present. If your bodyweight is not healthy, losing a little bit of weight might lessen the cellulite’s appearance (and boost overall health too!).
  • Exercise - Not only does it lead to weight loss, but exercise improves circulation and helps firm up the skin. The less jiggle in the skin, the less the cellulite sticks out.
  • Drink water - Hydration definitely plays a role in how the skin looks. Staying properly hydrated encourages healthy skin and can help to shrink the fat cells just underneath the surface.

Of course, there’s one more thing you can do, and it’s a big one. You can pull a total Demi Lovato and just embrace it. The actress/singer showed her cellulite to the world through social media, and you know what? She looks absolutely stunning. Show your own body a little love and give up the impossible fight to completely eliminate cellulite. As long as you’re healthy, what difference does a little bit of completely natural dimpling really make? You may never get precious, perfect dimples to give your face a natural lift, but you don’t have to let any other dimples on your body bring you down either. Give up the goal of perfection and embrace the skin you’re in -- cellulite and all.

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