Cellulite is not a character flaw

Danae, Gustav Klimt, 1908
Danae, Gustav Klimt, 1908

Listen up, people: cellulite is normal for women.

Shall I say it again? Cellulite is normal.

Its presence or absence says nothing about your health, character, mental strength or physical discipline. It is not a personal flaw. It is not a hideous failing. It simply is.

Fit, fat, old, young, white, black, olive and brown women have cellulite. Like freckles, or long eyelashes, or brown hair, cellulite is something that some women have, and some do not.

Cellulite is nothing to be ashamed of. Lack of cellulite is nothing to be proud of. It is not caused by ‘toxins’; it cannot be eliminated through diet or exercise; it cannot be drained, scrubbed, pummelled or frozen out of you. There is no ‘cure’ for cellulite because it isn’t a disease. You don’t need to hide it or have it surgically removed or pursue expensive, ineffective treatments to reduce the appearance of it. There is nothing wrong with it.

Your worth is not defined by your appearance, nor by your adherence to a set of culturally-imposed beauty standards. If you choose to alter your physical appearance, permanently or otherwise, as a form of self-expression, you are free to do so. You are also free to remain as you are. Either way, there is nothing wrong with you.

We do not live in a perfect world. We are subject to many pressures, and the gap between what is and what should be is often enormous – whether we are talking global issues or your social circle. We shouldn’t be surprised – or judgmental – when people bend to these pressures. But the world won’t change unless we change it. Each step, not matter how small, is a step that needs to be taken.

No, of course owning your cellulite isn’t going to bring about world peace – at least, not directly. But it’s a challenge to an existing status quo, and that’s a good place to start.

[19 December 2015]

 

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