At some point in history, cellulite was part of the ideal of beauty. Here’s the way they convinced us that a normal body condition was a defect we had to eradicate.
It is estimated that 9 out of 10 women have had, have or will have cellulite at some point in their lives, regardless of their height, weight, diet, place of residence, profession or lifestyle.
Cellulite is a buildup of adipose tissue in different parts of the body.
Today we spend a lot of time and money on eradicating it, but at various times in history, cellulite was part of the ideal of beauty. ‘The Three Graces’, a work painted in the 17th century by Peter Paul Rubens, shows three voluptuous women, proud of their bodies, and yes, with the so-called ‘orange skin‘ on their legs.
The first mention of cellulite was given in 1873 with the appearance of this word in the Medical Dictionary Littré & Robin. It is defined as an”inflammation of cellular tissue.” However, it does not have a negative connotation until 1933, when the French beauty magazine Votre Beauté stated in an article that cellulite is “an accumulation of water, toxins, residues and fat that it is very difficult to fight against”.
To the United States, the term came in 1968. As documented in the book ‘The Lost Art of Dress: the Women who Once made America Stylish‘, Vogue magazine wrote about a woman who had waited a long time to be “diagnosed” with cellulite and now it was too late to do anything about her “disease”.
Soon, the cosmetics industry filled the shelves with thousands of products to end this terrifying condition. Today, for many women, having cellulite is a characteristic that society does not forgive.
Despite the unfounded fear of this condition, cellulite is not a disease, nor should it be diagnosed, unless it is the rare bacterial infection known by the same name and caused by Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria. Otherwise, “it is a mark of sexual secondary, something like the breasts,” he said to Broadly the researcher of the French Institute of Health and Medical Research Inserm, Max Lafontan.
For her part, Harvard Medical School researcher Molly Wanner concluded after analyzing the available treatments for cellulite in an exhaustive study, that there are no definitive solutions against it and that “all alternatives show very slight results, which are not maintained over time.”
It’s pretty sure you’ve had cellulite and you’ve been tempted to fight it.
But the reality is that it is an “invented disease”, as scientists F Nürnberger and G. Müller called it in their 1978 study.
In the words of author Germaine Greer in the Washington Post, ” Once Upon a time there was a world in which men and women admired some fat with dimples. It took 20th century marketing to make it disgusting.”