As the editor of Bikini, I see things that most people don’t see. One of them is how people come to our site — the Google searches people use to find a bikini for pale skin or a bikini for new moms. Honestly: It’s fascinating, a little bit of a peek into how we all think about our swimwear. 

But there’s something we need to talk about, and it’s our most popular search term: bikinis for cellulite. 

People, I am here to say that every bikini is a “bikini for cellulite.” Including this Norma Kamali below, which is one of my favorite "bikinis for cellulite." (See them all, here.) 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Norma Kamali (@normakamali) on

Here’s the thing. I didn’t have cellulite for a very, very long time. It was astonishing, especially during a period of my life when my main food sources were garlic cheese knots and Pop Tarts. I’ll never understand it, but that’s how my body chemistry worked out — I ate Pop Tarts, and I had no cellulite. The situation held even as my diet changed — for the most part now, I cook my own excessively whole food, and I practice a low-key intermittent fasting. I work out. None of that protected me from one day in yoga when I was doing a downward dog in yoga class and looked up to see this weird, totally unfamiliar texture on the front of my thighs. I swear to God: I was so freaked out that I immediately dropped to my knees. Right-side up, it wasn’t as noticeable — but it was still there, and I was pretty sure it was a harbinger of things to come. (Narrator: She was right.) 

A few years have passed since then. If I have cellulite on the backs of my thighs — well, I’m never going to know, since I don’t make a habit of looking for problems, and it’s extremely unusual that I’d be looking at that part of my body in the mirror without trying to. I do still have it on the front of my thighs. It comes and goes. It seems impervious to what I eat. I started doing more squats, leg lifts, and lunges with weights. Maybe it makes a difference — I can’t tell. If I was walking past you on the street and someone said to you, “Does that woman have front-thigh cellulite?” you might look and say yes. Of course, you would never do that because there are literally a million better things to do while walking down the street, but we’re dealing with hypotheticals here. 

So it’s there. I doubt it’s going anywhere. And I live with it. And here’s the thing: Basically every other woman I know is, too. I went to the beach with three friends this summer, and they both wore surf shorts — which is totally cool; I have a pair, and I love mine. But they didn’t want to wear surf shorts — they wanted to wear a bikini, but they didn’t, because they were worried about cellulite. Now: I’ve seen both of them in skirts, and it’s true: They both have cellulite. So do I! Most women do! Mine, arguably, is worse than theirs. I was only wearing a bikini because I love bikinis more than anything, and it’ll take more than a little jiggly flesh to get me out of them. 

I’m not perfect. I have my moments. And I am thankful to be reminded of our reality. When I worked in magazines, I attended lots of photo shoots, and I was one of the lucky people who got to see models pre-Photoshop — with their zits, their stretch marks, their cellulite. Recently I was watching a movie about two beautiful college-aged women. In one scene, both were wearing bikinis. One was particularly foxy, and I remember thinking: If only I had thighs like hers, and none of my bizarre front-thigh cellulite. And then — I swear to God, like the moment that I thought that — her character stepped in front of the camera, so that she was shot from behind. And I could see it! She had plenty of cellulite! This actress, chosen in part for her beauty, had cellulite. Which brings me back to my original point: Basically everyone has it. 

So please: If you have cellulite, and you’re worried about how it looks on the beach, please don’t. Please buy the bikini you love. Of course, we should all do whatever makes us feel most beautiful, and if you love feeling covered up, then go for it. I’m talking instead to the people like my friends, who desperately wanted to be in bikinis but convinced themselves that they weren’t good enough. But they had it totally backwards: The bikini has to be good enough for us, and never the other way around. And if you’re worried about how you look at the beach or poolside, “stressed” is always going to be more problematic than “cellulite.” 

No one can learn body positivity in a day, or the span of this essay. What I think about my body changes every day, for good and bad. But I would like to be just one more voice in the ear of anyone who’s looking for a “bikini for cellulite.” Please believe me: You are perfect just the way you are. So pick the bikini you love most, and have all the fun in the world. 

If you'd like to see my picks for the "best bikini for cellulite" — which, by the way, are just my picks for my favorite bikinis — see here