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?
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.
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.”
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.