Cellulite makes me snarky.
In case you need further evidence that The Foodtriarchy is alive and well (here to help us all feel a little bit less great about ourselves with each new candle that adorns our birthday cakes) let me point to cellulite.
Oh, and a brief reminder of what I mean by "The Foodtriarchy":
The Foodtriarchy: noun a system of our society in which the government, big food, diet culture (and diet culture masquerading as health), photoshopped images, and picture perfect food/bodies/lives are heralded as the "right" way and the "good" way. A system in which our inalienable rights to trust the internal cues of our bodies and deepest soul’s desires are discarded in favor of external cues from a patriarchal food system and media monster.
An innocent search of "cellulite" reveals the following (in mere seconds!):
Kinda seems like we all hate cellulite and REALLY want to get rid of it, right?
You know what no one was worried about getting rid of only 85 years ago, prior to 1933?
Cellulite. (Because it didn't exist.)
To be clear, what we CALL cellulite existed in 1933 and before, but no one was calling it cellulite. I don't know, maybe women back then were really worried about the subcutaneous fat and fibrous tissue residing just below the epidermis and dermis (within the hypodermis) that causes those little dimples and ripples and bumps. But no one was calling it cellulite, and we weren't collectively obsessed with obliterating it in order to wear shorts or bathing suits or show our bodies.
It was in France in 1933 that cellulite was first used in mainstream publication. Women were no longer wearing corsets and mainly taking care of the home and the children; it was wartime, and women were being SEEN. In the workforce. Outside the home. Making a difference. VOTING. Having a say. Growing autonomy. Prior to this, especially taking into consideration the United State's puritanical origins, women's bodies were mostly hidden beneath layers of clothing. High necks and long skirts were traded in for boat necks and short skirts, and since France was (and continues to be) at the forefront of fashion: cellulite was a REAL problem.
Body freedom was here for women, and so along with it came a new way to elicit body shame. Sure, the Gibson girls had taken out ribs in order to attain the ultimate beauty ideal, but the French article, written by a gent named Dr. Debec in 1933, defined cellulite as a combination of “water, residues, toxins, fat, which form a mixture against which one is badly armed.” This was a problem that seemed impossible to get rid of, and it was attributed to tight dresses, poorly fitted belts, overeating, or glandular issues. Oh, and of course, this condition afflicted women only.
It took until 1968 for cellulite to become a mainstream American problem when Vogue published an article headlined: “Cellulite: The Fat You Could Not Lose Before," but fear not: now you can!
Girl, all ya gotta do is exercise, diet, roll yourself with rolling pins, and hate yourself into perfection!
Personally, most of my cellulite hovers on my legs; sometimes I see it on my calves, too, when I curl up on the couch, and it 100% of the time exists on the backs of my thighs, right below my butt. Probably on my butt, too. Oh, and when I do down dog in shorts, I see little dimples on the fronts of my thighs.
Y'all. I definitely used to hate my cellulite.
Didn't matter how much I starved myself or exercised: there was ALWAYS cellulite. And it was the devil. (Or so the Foodtriarchy had led me to believe.)
Try this cream.
Drink more liquid.
Have less salt.
Eat less fat.
Get rid of toxins in your body.
Be smooth and perfect, yo.
Google wanted me to know that weight loss and exercise can help improve the appearance of cellulite. Other treatments are laser and radiofrequency systems and retinol cream. These may need to be repeated regularly. (source Mayo Clinic and more!)
Another gem: The cosmetic condition affects nearly 90% of women at some point during their lives, even women who are otherwise slender and fit. (source)
Ooph. It's a cosmetic condition? A CONDITION? AND it can target even slender women who are fit? (Talk about fat shaming on the DL with that one.)
Okay. I'm reigning in my snark to get to the truth of the matter here:
Cellulite was invented by a man in 1933 and perpetuated by Vogue in 1968, and I would be very pleased it they decided to print a retraction.
Listen, I'm not telling you you have to love your cellulite. You don't have to love it any more than you love your nose or your hips or your lips or your knees or your stomach or your eyes or your thighs.
But if you want to banish cellulite, understand that you can't. Because cellulite isn't a thing. And there is no cure, because we can't cure a condition that doesn't exist. You are more likely to cure cooties with a cootie shot, my dear.
Instead, remember that you are so much more than your body. And your body is so much more than the disparate parts and pieces that make it up. Yes, maybe there are some dimples on your thighs or your hips. You can love them. You can hate them. My ideal? Is to feel indifferent about it, cause I've got other things to worry about.
That's the one thing that bothers me about the body positivity movement: we don' have to put so much pressure on ourselves or others to transform the things we don't like into things we do.
Start where you are today. If you find yourself noticing the bumps on your thighs and hear negative thoughts in your head about them, don't feel like you have to shift the thought to "I love you thighs." Maybe instead think, "thanks, thighs, for walking me around. You work really well with my butt to get me from here to there." Maybe just surrender to the cellulite and remember that there is MUCH MORE to you than subcutaneous fat tissue.
The Foodtriarchy wants you to hate your cellulite, and if buying creams makes you feel better, then COOL. Buy creams. I like to shave my legs and wear makeup and use under-eye cream to have less circles and fine lines, and those are totally things bestowed upon me by the Foodtriarchy. But they also make me feel pretty dope, and I like my smooth legs and more youthful under-eyes. But I don't hate on my face when I look a little more tired or my hairy legs when I haven't shaved for a while, and I'm not gonna hate on my thighs in down dog, either.
p.s. Ready to love the food you eat and live the life you love? Here are a couple ways I can help you with ending the cycle of shame and regret when it comes to food and your body:
1. Join the Beet Powder group and connect with women who are investing in their health and happiness, too.
This is my new Facebook community where women learn to get more of what they want in their body, food, and lives. Click Here
2. Get yourself a copy of Glowing Goddess Guru Beast Manifesto.
If this is the kind of food & life philosophy that you find intriguing, or if you're interested in this kind of approach to eating and living well, you'll really dig the book I'm wrapping up and getting ready for print right this very moment: Glowing Goddess Guru Beast Manifesto. It's now available for pre-sale!
3. Hop on the phone with me to work out if and how I can help you. Hate talking on the phone to strangers?! Me too. (Telephonophobia, or phone fear, is genetic!) But fear not. This 10 minutes is going to fly by, and we’re going to keep it fun & simple by focusing on three things: what's not working with food and your body, what's standing in the way, and if and how I can help you. Answer a few questions, and we’ll be set to chat—awkward free. Apply here.