Cellulite: A Modern Issue?

Out of my hundreds of vintage diet books and thousands of pages of women’s magazines I have not seen a single mention of the word “cellulite” until this April 15th, 1968 issue of Vogue. Is that because women were free of cellulite, or was it present but not seen as something to scrutinize and for which we should feel ashamed?

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In the Vogue article “Cellulite: The Fat You Couldn’t Lose Before,” a “medical expert” (an unnamed M.D.) stated that water retention, diet, overeating and heredity play a role in its formation.

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In her 1973 book Cellulite: Those Lumps, Bumps and Bulges You Couldn’t Lose Before, Nicole Ronsard advocates a holistic approach which includes good nutrition, proper elimination, exercise, massage, yoga, and relaxation.

In 1975, People Magazine wrote: The theory of cellulite that Nicole expounds has drawn accusations of quackery from doctors and nutritionists both here and in France, but few consider her program harmful. To critics’ insistence that the bulges are caused by loss of skin elasticity that occurs with aging, Nicole replies that girls as young as 14 begin to develop them. Her theory is that certain foods leave behind “toxic wastes.” 

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This 1974 Bazaar ad for “Slimmers Glove System” developed in Paris offered women a way to reduce cellulite without a change in diet. They promised that their special gloves would remove the “globbies” around your waist, and “fat-gone-wrong” deposits from your hips, waist and thighs.

While the issue of cellulite may seem silly and superficial to some, I think it’s interesting to ponder the mystery of its relatively sudden appearance, even if just in the media and medical journals. Regardless of our attitudes towards it, it seems prudent to work towards eliminating or reducing our exposure to environmental contaminants while continuously improving our dietary practices for the sake of good health.

2 thoughts on “Cellulite: A Modern Issue?

  1. mcpheecobb2008 says:

    I don’t know if cellulite started in 1968 or not, but I have had it on the back of my tush and upper thighs since I was about 17. I also weighed about 100 lbs. and was 5’8 tall. I was always very active and ate a fairly healthy diet until I was 15, but at 16 my diet became much less healthy, I began living with extreme stress and I did almost no exercise. Coincidence?? In my early 30’s I began a terribly strict eating regime and started a VERY physically stressful and excessive workout program. Not surprisingly, neither helped me physically or emotionally. After 7+ years of this off and on, plus very poor health and depleted adrenal stores, two autoimmune diseases and extreme fatigue, I stopped doing everything- except eating real food, stretching, walking, practicing gratitude and trying to like myself and my life. Three years in and things are moving in the right direction. Still have some cellulite. Don’t care. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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