If you’re like most women and maybe even many men, you cringed or scoffed — or both — when you read the title of this post. After all, cellulite is supposed to be unattractive. The cosmetic companies certainly want you to believe that, so they can sell you creams to combat it. And you know the fitness industry makes a bundle off promoting the image that it’s undesirable. Even your besties might tell you it’s gross. Almost everyone thinks it is. But have you ever really thought about where that belief came from?
If this is the first time you’re considering this, your immediate reaction might be that you’ve always known that cellulite was undesirable. But how did you know it? Were you born with the certain knowledge that dimpled fat was not only ugly but somehow wrong? Or did that information come from your mother, grandmother, sister, father, brother, friends, billboards, the Internet, radio or TV? Chances are very good that it was from a combination of any or all of these, and probably other sources as well.
It might interest you to know that people didn’t always view fat this way. Hundreds of years ago, it was actually a sign of wealth to be heavy. In a world where food was scarce for many, you had to have a good amount of money to be what we now consider overweight. Because of this, being skinny was a sign that you were poor, and having ample weight was definitely a sign of your social status. So how did we get to the belief that women being thin is pretty (a rather frivolous view, since world hunger is rampant) and that cellulite is ugly? Especially considering that you don’t just get cellulite from being overweight: hormones, genetics, standing for long periods of time or even too-tight underwear that blocks blood flow to the legs can cause it. (And let’s be clear here: I’m not advocating obesity or being unhealthful. But even that’s subject to perception. I’m reminded of a documentary I saw once about a dance troupe of women who were all in the 250-to-450-pound range. They danced five nights a week and watched what they ate, yet none of them lost any significant weight over the months they spent practicing for their recital. So clearly not everyone is fat because of poor diet and lack of exercise.)
The point I’m making is that we often take on other people’s perceptions, whether they’re about cellulite or virtually anything else you can think of. When you really think about it, how many of your beliefs and perceptions came from conclusions you arrived at on your own? There’s certainly nothing wrong with getting input from others; that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m just suggesting that if you absorbed your beliefs about cellulite without questioning them, what else might you have taken on without giving it much thought?
By: Stephanie StaciesRead More