Jessi Kneeland, a fitness trainer and body image coach, regularly posts on Instagram about her training, personal fitness journey, and her ideas that challenge some of the unrealistic (and often inaccurate) standards that have become norms in her industry. A photo she recently posted of herself prominently featured little dimples of cellulite on her thighs, which she lovingly calls her "fancy fat." After some assh*le body-shamed her in a comment on that photo, Kneeland clapped back in the absolute best way possible with an even more epic selfie.
It all began with this first photo showcasing the fitness trainer's cute "fancy fat."
(Side note: I will absolutely be using the term “fancy fat” forever.)
Many of Kneeland's followers were heartened and appreciative of her for posting honest and unfiltered body shots, and furthermore, of what she said alongside the picture:
Some people think fancy fat is 'bad,' and will try to convince you to get rid of yours, but we know better. Fancy fat is just a natural, healthy, built-in decoration. (Or at least that's how I choose to see it.)
Note: There is absolutely nothing objectively true about statements like 'cellulite is ugly' or 'perfectly smooth and toned is more attractive.' Those are just examples of a social reality we pass along to each other so often, that our brains start to believe they must be true, they're 'natural,' or they're 'just the way things are.'
Her reminders to challenge unrealistic and untrue fitness ideals-- especially in relation to women's bodies--are refreshing, to say the least.
However, because boys will be boys and the internet will be the internet, Kneeland's fancy fat eventually attracted a troll or two. She received comments that told her to stop eating “sh*t food” and to stop positing that cellulite was OK to have on your body.
Kneeland shut down the loudest troll of them all with a lovely bathroom selfie and the following caption:
Me and my 'unnatural, unhealthy body fat' are just gonna be over here helping women understand that there is NOTHING wrong with cellulite (or anything else about their bodies!) and that trolls like you are ignorant and uneducated.
Kneeland also pointed out, in another comment, that cellulite doesn't have anything to do with your weight or percentage of body fat.
And what is cellulite exactly?
Well, first of all, it's something that affects about 90 percent of women at some point in their lives. Aesthetically speaking, it's simply dimpled fat that appears most commonly on the butt and thighs.
It's frustratingly common for cellulite to be referred to as "unsightly" and as something that needs to be "treated." But there are no health concerns associated with cellulite. Its dimpled appearance is partially due to the connective tissue beneath the skin, but its presence has absolutely nothing to do with the person being out of shape or unhealthy.
The appearance of cellulite does, however, seem to have to do with the levels of estrogen in the body. When estrogen levels decrease, it can affect blood circulation, meaning you can get less oxygen to that area, which subsequently reduces collagen production. When fat cells get larger, they start to pop through the collagen and make some bumps.
It isn't “bad fat." Fat is not inherently bad -- don't let anybody tell you otherwise.
But if you're having trouble tuning out the ignorant dimwits out there in this world, channel your inner Jessi Kneeland, who wrote, "I'll keep spinning my body as 'none of your damn business.'"