Happy Monday lovelies,
“Look at his cute dimples. Aren’t they darling?” She has the cutest Shirley Temple dimples.” “Those dimples just make his smile shine.” When you Google dimples and beauty, the first result is this from Wikepedia, “Cheek dimples are often associated with youth and beauty and are seen as an attractive quality in a person’s face, accentuating smiles and making the smile look more cheerful and memorable.”
Wow, dimples are great! Or are they?
Let’s Google thigh dimples. This photo to the left is the first thing that comes up in the results. Followed by pages of posts about how to get rid of cellulite. If you Google cellulite, Medical News Today is the first result defining “Cellulite as the dimpled skin that frequently develops on the buttocks and thighs.”
The Guts – My relationship with Dimples
First, my grandmother had very think legs completely covered with cellulite. Honest to goodness, at age 70, they looked like elephant legs. She knew it. We laughed about it. Cellulite was part of her life. And that was fine for her. When it came to myself, I feared those legs covered in dimples. That was not the beauty highlighted in teen magazines and on the runway.
I can remember at about 16 when I first noticed some dimpling on on my rear upper thigh. Crap, what?!? I weighed like 100 pounds at 5’6.” That was the day my relationship with cellulite began. I have had cellulite my entire adult life, and it has been the bane of my existence. It is a topic of discussion, a search for a remedy and a constant dread of swimsuit season. My favorite swimsuit until the past year has had a skirt so that I could try to hide the dimples. Literally, I just talked to my friend Elizabeth about it yesterday.
One of my many mistakes
As a matter of fact, and this is an area of huge regret, my daughter and I have discussed cellulite many times over the past few years. She is almost 17 and I have introduced that crap to her. I have projected my ridiculous fear and perception on her. She is now more aware of cellulite. I did exactly what every parenting book tells you not to do – bring attention to the imperfections of a woman’s body to my daughter. For the love! And, why is it that I am obsessed with those darn dimples?
How did this mainstream disgust with Cellulite occur?
The following discussion is my interpretation of an article titled “Cellulite Isn’t Real. This Is How It Was Invented” that appear son Refinery 29. Prior to the late 1800s, cellulite was not even a term or a concept. Quite conversely, anything associated with extra weight or the interpretation of was considered a sign of wealth and prosperity. It was not until 1873 in France, in a medical article, that cellulite was defined as “a state of infection or inflammation.” Nothing to do with fat.
For the next few decades, the medical field grew and beauty became an industry. Then WWI occurred and traditional gender roles changed. Modern femininity was born with women “liberated, social, unencumbered by the strictures of class and old-school etiquette.” Female bodies were more on display in city streets. Commercial and cultural forces entertwined. Women began to have their own money to spend.
In 1933, the first reference to cellulite and fat occurred in Votre Beaute as a feminine problem that seemed impossible to get rid of. Treatments began to pop up. In 1968, Vogue magazine became the first English Speaking publication to print the term “cellulite,” engendering both a new word and a fashionable new way for American women to hate their bodies.
Do you see the irony? As women became more empowered, independent and strong, commercialism birthed an industry to reduce their self confidence, erode their beauty and take their money. Such can be commercialism.
The Glitter – So, Where Does This Leave Us?
I can’t speak for you. You may be much more evolved than I or perhaps this does not resonate with you. Maybe you are thinking “why in the heck is this skinny girl obsessing over cellulite? How dare she – she doesn’t have anything to worry about” Well, that’s the thing. Anyone can obsess about anything – rationale or not. We never know what is hiding behind the facade that someone shows the world.
Where does it leaves me? First, more aware, second, more educated and third, more motivated. I realize that my fixation on cellulite is unhealthy, unhelpful and can be damaging. What to do about it? What would you do about it? Really!
My solution right now is to try to change the narrative in my mind. To try to see the muscles in my legs and not see the cellulite all the time. That I am becoming strong, to accept what is me. Alter my perception of cellulite – to not feed the money machine trying things that have not been proven. Talk to my daughter candidly about my issue.
And, I did. And, you know what that wise little girl said? Well, Mom, it sounds like you suffer a little bit from body dysmorphia. It’s ok; a lot of people have it. I sat there dumbfounded – what is body dysmorphia although I pretty much knew. She went on to say that she doesn’t really have a big thing with cellulite; but that no one really likes it.
From a place of truth and authenticity, I know that it will take some time (if ever) to fully evolve from my toxic relationship with cellulite. I will stumble and fall. As a I write this, I am still thinking about ways to get rid of it. The difference from before is I am aware of my issue and that is my first step to changing it. Also, that our preoccupation probably was birthed as a way for others to make money. If these ideas spark even a little true to you, I invite you to join me in trying to change the narrative.
It starts with us, ladies. It is a cycle – if we focus less on it, we buy less, the industry changes and the narrative changes. Why spend thousands if you are not 100% positive it is going to work? Money talks or lack thereof in the beauty industry.
Let’s try to love our dimples. All of them.
What do you think?
4 thoughts on “Dimples are so cute! Or are they?”
This is a great story and beautifully written! I, too, will try to embrace! Urgh!
Thank you sweet friend.xoxox
Great story and thanks for being -vulnerable!
Having suffering the same “affliction “ I see nothing really helpful from the 70s “Spa lady” roller thingies to caffeine creams to weight loss. Apparently lipo doesn’t do much either.
Maybe spray tan?
Otherwise celebrate our beauty and feel bad for those who don’t share our dimples!
“As women became more empowered, independent and strong, commercialism birthed an industry to reduce their self confidence, erode their beauty and take their money.” WOW! And still happening today… thanks for such an honest and thoughful piece.