We pull, stretch, poke, prod, and criticize. We fixate on things that nobody else will ever notice. On top of that, our body love efforts are further de-railed by all the products on the markets convincing us that our body isn’t good enough as is: the fit teas and detox drinks, the lip-plumping glosses and bleaching white strips, and all those cellulite-erasing scrubs. In today’s world, it’s really hard to get comfortable — and stay comfortable — in your own skin.
How do we even begin to go about changing this body-bashing culture? It’s not a quick fix, but revisiting your own mindset is a healthy place to start.
The body you’re in is your one and only home. However, you are 100% allowed to not love everything about your body and do things to change it. Yep, you read that right. You’re allowed to try those detoxes, to get lip fillers, to use firming creams, to do what makes you feel good in your own skin (safely, of course). You know at Baby2Body we’re all about doing things to feel better, healthier, stronger, and happier.
But there’s a really fine line to walk here. It can be dangerous to get in a headspace of constantly criticizing your own body and only pointing out what you don’t like about what you see in the mirror. It’s an incredibly difficult mindset to break free of. Rather than declaring war on our own bodies, let’s vow to be peacemakers.
The best way to make peace with your body — or with anything — is to better understand it. Because understanding gets us a little bit closer to appreciating, which gets us a lot closer to celebrating our body than criticizing it. So, today, we want to talk about a body topic that is often misunderstood and it’s something we know so many women think about and stress over: cellulite.
What’s the truth about cellulite?
Here’s a bit of bad news truth about cellulite: there’s no such thing as a cellulite-erasing scrub or a DIY hack to be cellulite-free.
Here’s some good news truth about cellulite: it is no indication of your health, your fitness level, or your worth. Think about it this way: when has a bit of cellulite stopped you from picking up your baby, crushing an amazing workout, or laughing with the people you love the most?
So, why are companies and brands always trying to sell us on the latest coffee-ground scrub or magical dry-brushing routine to make cellulite disappear? Convincing you that your body isn’t enough is an easy way to sell you things—but they’re not the only ones contributing to such a negative dialogue.
This study called cellulite an “aesthetically unacceptable cosmetic problem.” Umm… yikes. It’s a ridiculous thing to say, telling nearly all women that this part of their body is “unacceptable”. Here’s some more truth: about 90% of women have cellulite.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “most women, even very fit women, have cellulite,” and while there’s not much you can really do about it, you can better understand what it is, why women, in particular, are prone to it, and why treatments can’t totally eliminate cellulite… Alright, let’s get into it.
What is cellulite, anyway?
Cellulite happens when fat under your skin’s connective tissue (which we all have and need to survive) pokes through, causing “orange peel”-like bumps. Your outermost layer of skin is called the epidermis, and the layer below it—the dermis—is made up of a network of connective tissue that’s in a honeycomb pattern. As fat cells from below push on this honeycomb web it can cause the dimples commonly associated with cellulite. The amount of cellulite you have doesn’t determine how much fat you have—it’s just a result of weak connective tissue.
Some women are more genetically prone to cellulite
Cellulite happens for loads of reasons, and some people are just genetically more prone to it because of how their skin and connective tissues are formed. Some factors can make cellulite look more prominent—hormones and age are two pretty significant ones. As your skin loses collagen over time, it gets thinner and connective tissue becomes weaker, and this makes cellulite more visible. We promise you’re not the only one in the cellulite battle. Just about all other women have it, too. According to Dr. Lionel Bissoon, because estrogen makes fat and testosterone breaks down fat, a “woman’s body is basically genetically designed to be a place for cellulite to develop.”
But… men don’t get it?
Well, they do, but not as commonly. Besides the estrogen and testosterone thing that Dr. Bissoon mentioned, what else is at play here? Basically, women naturally have flimsier connective tissue bands under the skin than men, and because they weaken more easily, they’re far easier for the fat cells push through. Male connective tissue is also formed in a crisscross pattern—much stronger than the female honeycomb pattern—that doesn’t allow fat to push through nearly as much. (Women are stronger than men in just about every other aspect though, right? #childbirth).
Cellulite “treatments” don’t work
The science is in—and it’s telling us that none of the cellulite treatments on the market really work. According to the Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, all the medical treatment methods out there don’t have enough evidence to show that they actually work, and the ones that do work produce such small results that their use is “impractical”. The American Academy of Dermatology dives into even more treatments and home remedies, and they found that not only do these methods not work, but some can be dangerous. In the effort of saving yourself time, money, and added fixation over cellulite, it’s a good idea to skip the cellulite-erasers and scrubs—they won’t do you any favors.
Don’t worry–it doesn’t negatively affect your health
As mentioned earlier, even very slim and very fit women get cellulite—so don’t point to your weight if you notice the little dimples on your butt or thighs. We’ve all got them. All shapes and sizes. They don’t suggest that you are unhealthy or unattractive, in fact, the only thing they do suggest is that you are a living, breathing human who happens to be female with a honeycomb connective tissue structure. The only thing we will say here is maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise to reduce excess body fat and encourage good blood circulation can help reduce the appearance of cellulite, which is really the closest you can get to cellulite reduction and prevention.
All of this is to say: go easy on yourself. Go easy on the cellulite. Wear the bikini, because you look great in it. Pop on your favorite cutoff shorts because they are v cute. Wear what makes you feel amazing. Focus on what your strong and incredible body is capable of doing and remember that every single inch of you is equally worthy of love, no matter what anybody or any cellulite-erasing scrubs try to tell you.