Swimsuit Season Lies No. 1: You Can Get Rid of Cellulite

Cristen Conger

It's time to get over our bikini phobias.
It's time to get over our bikini phobias.
Anne Ackermann/Getty Images

*This post is from a series I wrote in 2011: 5 Swimsuit Season lies and though it might be a vintage blog post now, it's worth revisiting because "swimsuit season" lies will never go out of fashion, unfortunately.

Yesterday, I received my first pool invitation of 2011. The sun was beating like a bongo here in Atlanta, and my sunglasses were slowly slipping down my face from sweat when the prospect of a pool popped up. But the first reflexive thought in my to-pool-or-not-to-pool decision had nothing to do with the heat.

How will you look in a swimsuit? Are you really bikini-ready, Conger?

I wanted to slap my own brain for uttering the phrase "bikini-ready" as though it's some sort of acceptable standard like height requirements on roller coasters. But instead, I decided to purge my psyche of the false "swimsuit season" body image myths that tell people young and old, male and female that our physiques are somehow not appropriate for public viewing. Hence, I present number one of five swimsuit season lies about how we should look and what we should be doing to sculp the perfect (whatever that means) beach bod.

No. 1: You can get rid of cellulite

Molly and I did a Stuff Mom Never Told You episode on cellulite that should be required summer listening. I say that because it's full of enlightening facts that I still share with girlfriends whenever body image pops up in conversation. And when women discuss their bodies at length, there's a real good chance that cellulite will rear its dimply head.

But while cellulite is made out to be this scourge that strikes only the most unfortunate buns and thighs, 90 percent of women have it. NINETY PERCENT. In fact, it's so common in women that some doctors classify it as a secondary sex characteristic, as in a feature that distinguished females from males.

And if you want to erase it, good luck. The New York Times reported that "curing cellulite requires nothing short of changing the structure of skin." Moreover, different areas of different people's bodies will respond differently to different dieting and exercise tactics.

Really, that's the message we ought to keep in mind during this "swimsuit season" barrage on our bodies: everyone is different, different, different -- cellulite and all.