Summer is out in Europe! That means sun & heat, socials and a lot of sweating…
It’s also that time of the year when legs, arms & bellies arise from the depths of their winter sleep: white, tender and shy our limbs face the sun again and… the eyes of the other.
For many women, the first rays of sun announce work to be done. We can’t just put on some bikini and jump in the sea, can we? We retreat in our bathrooms in a quest to be socially acceptable :
Then we look in the mirror and check out our bodies. Cause not just any body is welcome in a bikini, is it? A wave of disgust shivers through many a girl, checking out her belly, her thighs, the rounding of her butt, the quality of her skin and the mother of it all: her cellulite.
Begs the question: who ever decided that our raw-unworked bodies are unworthy of being seen and more importantly:
I was one of those girls who decided in these moments that I was not fit to be wearing shorts or short skirts. (seems crazy to me now, but it was pure logic for me then) I denied myself the pleasure of sun-kissed skin whenever I could. Bikinis made me sooo uncomfortable and I can vividly bring back that feeling of shame and insecurity when I actually wore one and moved around in it, feeling my jiggle, imagining the sun highlighting my dimpled skin.
And..I’m just a plain medium sized woman, I’m healthy, I can physically do whatever I want, my body supports all my needs, there is no issue, only that..I defer from the ideal. My brain had been SO conditioned by the endless visual cues and marketing messages, that I experienced extreme discomfort in my body while actually having a perfectly average body. How is your brain dealing with that?
NOBODY should have to think that their bodies are unwelcome to be seen just as they are. But of course, as long as society equals thin with success and fat with failure, based on the scientifically proven WRONG idea that willpower and discipline are what makes you thin, we’re going to be in a bit of a mess.
90-98% of women have cellulite! Young, old, thin, overweight, fit or not, it doesn’t matter in the cellulite field, no meritocracy there! According to Max Lafontan, senior research fellow at Inserm, cellulite is inevitable and actually… a secondary sex characteristic, just like breasts. "The structure of women's skin is just different from that of men," says Lafontan. Do you read this ladies? Cellulite is a characteristic of femininity, just like breasts are… Cellulite has always existed and in virtually all 17th century paintings, it is even celebrated and highlighted. But it didn’t have a name at that time. The name ‘cellulite’ emerged in France at the end of the 19th century and before that it was just ... female flesh. Professor Ghigi’s thesis on the history of cellulite is illuminating to say the least. She calls it a myth, a trend started in France in the early 20th century to pathologise perfectly normal female skin. Like hysteria or “the vapours,” cellulite is a condition whipped up out of nothing. The difference is, those other afflictions have long since been recognized as fraudulent. There is just as much readily available information about the origins of the cellulite myth.
They could have decided to brush breasts away on pictures and call them ugly. People might focus on getting bigger cellulite dimples nowadays instead of breasts… It’s as random as that! We’re just programmed into thinking what we think, by people who decided it over 100 years ago.
The masterthesis on cellulite is groundbreaking and has had little to no coverage in the mainstream beauty magazines. Which mainstream magazine is brave enough to take a stance on that? To put our body image and mental health before the sales of beauty products?
Today I’m going to wear my jeans shorts and I’m going to show off my dimples and yes, my thighs will touch each other and I’m just going to be happy for showing them some sun. That’s all any woman can do to get out of this frenzy: show yourself and all the ladies around you that shame is unnecessary, that fat and cellulite hold no power over you nor say anything about who you are.
Will you feel a bit awkward at first? For sure! For some it may feel excruciating in the beginning and I hear ya! But, you’re never going to build the confidence to do it, unless you start doing it. So whatever your size, body shape or scars: you don’t have to love it all straight away, but start by not letting it dictate you what to wear and how to show up in this world. You got this!
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