Normal Body: Why Fighting Cellulite Is Pointless

Health 2023

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Normal Body: Why Fighting Cellulite Is Pointless
Normal Body: Why Fighting Cellulite Is Pointless

Video: Normal Body: Why Fighting Cellulite Is Pointless

Video: Normal Body: Why Fighting Cellulite Is Pointless
Video: 6 Ways I Reduced My CELLULITE | Tips, Food, Exercises \u0026 What Actually Works! 2023, March

Modern society faces many serious challenges like the struggle to increase life expectancy, the establishment of world democracy or the colonization of Titan. Surprisingly, but this very society still experiences an irrational horror of dimples in the thighs. Cellulite is considered a disease, is perceived as ugliness, is used as an insult, and is a cause for anxiety and despondency for millions of women. It's time to understand the nature of this phenomenon and understand how another natural part of physiology turned into a reason for collective neurosis.


Who invented cellulite

Young girls are afraid of him, women with shame remove photos that have been spoiled by him, and retouchers all over the world sit in Photoshop day and night, smoothing the bumpy skin on the thighs of world-famous models. The internet is full of advice, and the market is full of cellulite removal services. There are an infinite number of anti-cellulite products. Creams and serums, scrubs and wraps, brushes and massagers, herbs and algae, electrostimulation machines, injections and surgeries - all of this exists only to help us cope with what is unreasonably considered a sign of laziness, ill health and unattractiveness.

Surprisingly, cellulite as a global problem is not even fifty years old. Thanks to such painters as Rembrandt, Rubens and Courbet, the play of light on the uneven female buttocks, hips and stomachs adorn the best museums in the world. Hollywood divas also did not think that cellulite should be treated. Even advertising photographs of the legendary actresses Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield or the erotic model Betty Page did not occur to anyone to retouch.

In the 1920s, the French came up with a name for the type of female skin on the thighs, buttocks and shoulders - "orange peel". But even then, no one said that irregularities on the female body are bad, that this is not the norm, but an unpleasant exception. However, in half a century, the idea of cellulite has crossed the Atlantic: in 1973, the enterprising owner of a New York beauty salon, Nicole Ronsard, published the book Cellulite: Those Lumps, Bumps and Bumps You Couldn't Get Rid of Before. The work was immediately reviewed by Vogue magazine, purchased by two hundred thousand women, and then it was reprinted several times as a bestseller.

The book stated that cellulite is the "wrong" fat, and a bumpy bottom is a sign of impaired blood and lymph flow and the reason for the accumulation of toxic substances that the body cannot cope with. At that pre-photoshop time, Ronsard had to work hard to find a model without cellulite for advertising the book: only the thirtieth girl who came to the casting did not have it. But in the end, the author hit the jackpot by selling "anti-cellulite" beauty services: from ointments to massages. Sales of cactus loofahs, hard loofah, magic creams, and vitamin supplements immediately skyrocketed.

After a while, in order to reach an even larger circle of consumers, they invented four stages of cellulite development. The last of them was described as similar to fibrosis, and the first was called ingeniously - "hidden cellulite" - and, as it were, hinted at the fact that if you don't have cellulite, you should still be afraid, because it is just hiding. To detect it, it is recommended to squeeze suspicious areas, find fat cells under the skin - and urgently run for procedures. In subsequent years, the cosmetic market took the idea of cellulite into circulation, not without reason having noticed a gold mine in the female fat layer. The "treatment" courses cost hundreds of dollars for clients.

Back in 1978, the American Medical Association announced that there was no such diagnosis as cellulite, and it, of course, had never been in the International Classification of Diseases. However, frightened consumers began to believe that the cream can penetrate the skin and dissolve fat cells, that plastic wraps will help "evaporate" them, and that there are anti-cellulite exercises for "problem areas". There was even an idea that cellulite is not fat, but a gel-like substance made of water, fat and toxins that can be calcified with a diet. Not so long ago, a horror story was born that cellulite is a sign of endocrine diseases, problems with the thyroid or pancreas.

Of course, from the point of view of physiology, all these are absurd assumptions. In just a couple of decades, the idea that cellulite "suffers" was hammered into our heads, but also forced to buy various placebos and give more and more money to cosmetic companies. It's time to leave this kingdom of ignorance and understand two things: first, that it is not always possible and necessary to get rid of cellulite, and second, that this is not a problem.

Is there a difference between cellulite and "regular" fat

Cellulite is not a medical term. From the point of view of medicine, this is just the body's fat layer, that is, the norm: for doctors and biologists, this simply does not exist. To understand the peculiarities of fatty deposits, scientists collected men and women with and without cellulite, took samples of subcutaneous tissue from each of them from the "problem" zones that were not affected by the visible layer. Then a series of tests was carried out to find out whether the samples of material from the cellulite zones differ in biochemical composition or tissue condition. In the course of repeated tests, it turned out that there is no difference between cellulite and normal adipose tissue, and its presence is not associated with either health or life expectancy. Despite this, cosmetologists continue to call cellulite lipodystrophy, cleverly substituting concepts.

There are reasons for the characteristic appearance of body fat, however. The subcutaneous layer contains fat cells, adipocytes. The fibers that connect the skin to deep tissues form cells that contain accumulations of fat. When fat cells increase in size, these “compartments” form bulges on the surface of the skin. In women, adipocytes are larger than men and have the ability to store more fat. Women, as a rule, have naturally more sensitive, thin and elastic skin - fat is especially noticeable under it. However, due to age-related dystrophy of the skin or a sedentary lifestyle, cellulite may become even more visible.

In the body of the average woman without overweight, the percentage of fat is, in principle, higher than in the male body. This difference appears along with puberty and persists throughout life, as a result of biochemical sex differences. The accumulation of body fat during adolescence ensures the normal course of hypothetical pregnancies in the future. The reason for this difference is in the female sex hormones estrogens: it is thanks to them that the distribution of fat in the body occurs "according to the female type" (there is more of it on the buttocks and hips), and its accumulation is many times more effective. Moreover, adipose tissue is largely responsible for the production of hormones, including estrogens, which is why those who lose too much fat from fasting or exercise may lose their periods.

Lumpy hips are not a sign of obesity, but of a mature female. According to various sources, from 85 to 98 percent of women have visible fat accumulation in the gluteal-femoral region, and this does not depend on their height and weight, but is due to female hormones. This means that cellulite is not observed in about every fortieth woman.


About shame and prejudice

The market of cosmetic services still persistently offers us "treatment" and "getting rid" of cellulite, convincing us that if this is not a disease, then certainly an aesthetic problem. However, procedures that are not often considered anti-cellulite. Liposuction, a popular surgical technique for removing fat, not only does not "treat" cellulite, but can exacerbate the uneven distribution of fat under the skin. Considered a simple and quick alternative, mesotherapy is in fact an aggressive and often dangerous procedure. The main active ingredient of lipolytic drugs, phosphatidylcholine, is prohibited in a number of European countries, because procedures based on it often cause serious complications.

Cosmetologists claim that 10-15 wrapping sessions will bring visible results, and many women naively wrap themselves in plastic at home. In fact, the maximum that can be lost from body wraps is liquid. The effect of massages, as well as ointments, scrubs and creams is directed not at fat, but at the skin: these measures improve blood flow and tone, make the skin more elastic. This can make cellulite less noticeable, but does not affect the condition of the fat cells. A balanced diet, moderate exercise, good sleep, smoking cessation and other good habits can also help - universal recommendations in any situation.

An advertising campaign for anti-cellulite products targets the consumer's brain so targeted that cellulite has become a stigma and is considered a sign of laziness, promiscuity and a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, many active women, including professional athletes, have the necessary - and visible - body fat. It's a little sad that we have to look at each other's hips to feel confident. Hopefully, sports writers will someday get rid of the sexist habit of endlessly filming athletes' butts in competition and focus on scoring. But, no matter how cynical, these photos allow us to understand that both petite Lusimara da Silva and powerful Serena Williams have cellulite - and this does not prevent them from being strong, agile and beautiful.

During sports, muscle mass is built up and fat is burned, but with a healthy approach, this happens with the preservation of hormonal, and therefore fat balance in a woman's body. Exercise makes cellulite less noticeable by improving blood circulation in the skin, but even professional bodybuilders have problems with self-esteem due to such a natural thing as uneven thighs.

Despite the fact that 80–98 percent of women have cellulite, we have not only learned to be ashamed of it - but we also often consider it the norm to poison those who come across the arm with a “bad photo”. This is extremely beneficial for cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies that make money on our complexes. Every time we buy anti-cellulite products and services, we not only fill their pockets, but also invest in our own insecurity.

The importance of a healthy attitude to the body

The only way to change the way you look at cellulite is to contrast advertising retouching with a real picture. This is the opinion of the Canadian blogger Kenzie Brenna, who coped with her body dysmorphophobia and eating disorder, began to lead a healthy lifestyle and launched the #CelluliteSaturday campaign on the Web. Within its framework, Kenzi encourages every Saturday to upload photos showing cellulite. This hashtag aims to help girls form a realistic visual environment and unite in the fight against misplaced shame.

More and more celebrities are taking on a body-positive agenda. Kim Kardashian spoke frankly about cellulite to the British Cosmopolitan: “I have cellulite - and what's the big deal? It is foolish to assume that a person should be perfect simply because the press is focused on him. " According to Kim, ice cream with cookies and cream is well worth the cellulite dimples. Rapper Iggy Azalea also believes that they should not be shy: “It is important that people see that celebrities, including me, have cellulite and that we know about it. I have no problem with that, I am still confident in myself,”she says in an interview with WHO magazine.

Behind the bias towards the natural properties of our body, be it fat, menstruation, sweat or tears, as a rule, shame and fear are hidden, and in the marketing strategies of many companies, unfortunately, still cannot do without speculation on these human feelings. But almost all of us have cellulite - and this is absolutely normal. It is important to develop a healthy attitude towards your body, learn to love it and appreciate the changes that are happening to it.

Images: 1, 2 via Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons

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