By Giselle DiSanto Curcio
In the season four finale of Sex and the City Miranda has her baby, Carrie bids farewell to Big, and Richard Wright dares to be tardy. An antagonistic Samantha Jones greets him with a glare and a scornful, “You’re three hours late and I’ve eaten half a box of chocolates! When I get cellulite, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself!” Her emphatic disgust suggests no crime is worse than being riddled with cellulite — and historically, women the world over have a tendency to agree.
In The Beginning…
More than 90 per cent of us endure those unwanted lumps and bumps during our lifetimes, but this dimple disdain is still a fairly new phenomenon. In April 1968, Vogue magazine popularized the term — and changed the beauty industry forever — when they wrote about the obnoxious new skin condition women weren’t even aware of, thus waging the war against cellulite. Prior to this widely publicized piece, women with fuller hips and dimpled skin
were seen as strong, fearless, and sensual — the ultimate definition of sexiness (think of Mad Men’s Joan Harris). Now, almost 50 years later, this “condition” gives women an unwanted, daily reminder that we will never achieve total perfection.
Welcome to your crash course in Cellulite 101. I always like to start with a brilliant cellulite analogy I once read. Picture a mattress; now picture the coils supporting it. The top of the mattress is like your epidermis (the top layers of your skin), with the dermis just beneath it. The mattress springs represent the fibrous tissues that maintain your skin’s structure. These tissues (or “coils”) become inflexible, meaning fat cells build up around them and pull the skin down, due to their lack of elasticity. As the fat cells build up, the “coils” resist, leading to lumps beneath the skin and the dimpled appearance we have come to despise.