8 Year Old in a Swim Suit

Updated on June 22, 2010
A.S. asks from Eugene, OR
11 answers

We went to a pool party with about 10 friends of my daughters, they are all 8 years old. My daughter is one of the older ones, tallest, and mature looking of the group. She is an athlete, gets lots of exercise, and isn't over weight. This is the first time this year I had seen her in a swim suit. She had what looked like cellulite on her tummy and upper legs. Can 8 years have cellulite? I was really surprise, like I said she is fit and not over weight. None of the other girls her age had anything like it, even if overweight. I just want to make sure it isn't something I am missing health wise. What do you think it could be?

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answers from Portland on

I had cellulite since I was nine on my thighs. My dad noticed and got very upset. He could not bear the thought of having an imperfect child. I was on diets since. I am now 40 and about 75 lbs overweight. I just started to stop hating my body and boy oh boy. Love and acceptance is key, we are all beautiful and funny looking no matter what shape and size each of us are. When she becomes concerned with it, simply massaging with lotion can smooth it some, but dont push it on her until she starts fixating on it.

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answers from Kansas City on

I was also going to suggest that it might be stretch marks. They do have a glossy, unattractive, cellulite quality to them and it's likely that if she's tall and more mature, she may have gotten some. There's really nothing you can do, some people are more prone to getting them than others and it's a bummer. I had them probably around that age, maybe a few years older.

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answers from Bloomington on

I think some people are just more prone to cellulite. I am not over weight and I have cellulite on my legs. I have 2 daughters one has it and one doesn't. My littlest one has it on her butt and upper thighs. In fact, I have seen a lot of ladies at the pool that are quite small and they have it too. I have also seen larger women who don't have it. So I think it all depends on genetics.
If you are concerned, I would just ask the pediatrictian at your next visit.

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answers from Eugene on

It's called brown fat and they get it to grow with. All boys and girls of 8 years of age have it. Some 7 years olds as well. As they grown the brown fat turns into body mass and long legs and height.
Please don't be paranoid about a bit of what looks like cellulite. It is the way the growth factor works. Lots of otherwise thin children put on brown fat pre puberty.
What you are missing healthwise is knowing how the human body grows and changes throughout life.
From about 18-49 we look mostly the same with a few extra pounds or our ususual tight muscular figure or a couple of facial lines.
From 8- 15 we are changing regularly growing from a child to an adult body which is still in flux concerning height, how broad or lean our bone structure is and how much muscle and physical strength we have.
TAKE NOTE: Food is extremely important whether it is organic and fresh or fast food determines your health throughout life. Whether you exercise or not determines how well you will hold up overall throughout life.
That statement cannot ever be underestimated. Do not cheap your children by looking at your budget over their health.

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answers from Washington DC on

It could be stretch marks , if she is tall and shot up quite quickly then this can cause the marks , I am fairly tall and grew quite quickly as a child and got these marks on my upper arms.

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answers from Portland on

This really isn't a direct response to your question, but more a statement about self image to go along with what everyone else has offered so far. I have a 2 1/2 yr old daughter who in my *unbiased* opinion is absolutely, stunningly beautiful. I've always thought children are beautiful, but now that I have my own I am amazed. Recently, I was complaining to my husband about how frustrated I will be when our daughter comes home from school for the first time complaining of something she thinks is imperfect. I said it's a shame our society makes girls, especially, feel like there is something not perfect about their bodies. I expressed how crushed I will be for her.......he looked at me and said, yeah, I've been trying to tell *you* that for years. It finally dawned on me how those I love see me. While I always thought of myself as pretty, I have been conscious of my weight (about 40 lbs overweight)....I decided then and there that I would try to change my image of myself to help my daughter always know how incredibly beautiful she is. I've been trying very hard to never let her hear me complain about my body, or see me drive myself nuts to change it. I want her to see me focusing on being healthy, by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. I'm not perfect at this, of course, as I like many women have years of societal pressure to undo......Let's teach our girls how incredible they are, just the way that they are, by being good examples!


PS: why are we trained to see the beauty in others, but deny that in ourselves? Let's revolt! :-)

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answers from Anchorage on

I personally think if she is in good health you need to stop stressing out about her appearance. I know so many people now who are so messed up because of their parents obsession about their looks (when they grew up as a child) and now they all have eating disorders. The emphasis should never be on your childs' looks - only good health. If you question your daughter or make her feel self conscious about this, she will always have a self esteem issue because of it. This is not a health issue.

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answers from Topeka on

Could it be possible that what you are calling cellulite is actually stretch marks? When children go through particulary big growth spurts - expecially height or the weight change that can come with puberty (not in this case I'm sure), they can get stretch marks.

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answers from Minneapolis on

It's genetics! For some people it is their genetic make-up and no matter their weight, health practices, or size, they are going to have it. My mother has always been athletic, svelt, and petite but the poor woman struggled her whole life with cellulite on her upper thighs. No matter how hard she worked out, no matter how grueling the cardio workout she did, no matter how strict her diet, those bumps and buldges wouldn't budge!

My grandmother made my mother an absolute nut about the cellulite. Neither my grandma nor I had it. So my very body concious grandmother totally had my mom in an absolute depression and traumatized about it. Which is ridiculous because she looks fabulous in clothes and swim suits. If she has a tan and lotions-up, the bumps aren't as noticeable...and to be honest...they're not even that bad. You have to be looking for them or she needs to be somewhere where the light casts shadows.

Nonetheless, mom had developed a serious eating disorder which periodically through the years she has battled...all because her mother was bothered by the cellulite on her legs. I guess the point I'm trying to make is, don't even bring it up to your daughter, let alone get her freaked out about it. It isn't any indicator that she's overweight, or going to be overweight. All you'll do is create unnecessary psychological turmoil for her. If she's not bringing it up...no need for you to do it for her!

If somewhere down the line *she* is really bothered about it, there are things she could do when she's older. Mineral water helps the system flush out cellulite naturally. A high fiber diet helps (lots of fruit and veggies) to flush the system as well. There are some spa treatments such as herbal wraps or a non-surgical process called Endermology, that uses a vacuume to smooths the skin's appearance. But to suggest she change her diet or get all into spa treatments now would be psychologically and physically dangerous and unnecessary. She is a child after all.



answers from Seattle on

Cellulite can happen on bodies of all shapes and sizes. Same goes for stretch marks. Our 4-year old has always had a dimple-y butt when she's held - it's just how she's made. What makes me sad is that we (as women) are so quick to jump at what's "wrong" with our bodies instead of celebrating who we are. I started getting stretch marks in 4th grade when my hormones kicked in and by 5th grade I was quite curvy (and tall for my age - HA! who knew I'd end up 5'3"). It's just how I'm made. There's nothing you (or her) are doing wrong. Please don't point it out too her (I'm not saying that you are). She's so young and doesn't need any body complexes that she hasn't already thought of. I know I was told I was "too fat" from my mom and grandma from 5th grade on because I was an early bloomer and my legs thickened and tummy pooched. Guess what - it didn't make me thinner... in fact, it probably did the opposite. I've had major body issues since. Focus on good nutrition having fun - the rest is cake. :-)



answers from Cleveland on

I was always very thin until I had kids, yet I always had cellulite. My dermatologist told me that fair skinned people are much more prone to it. I am very fair, and this is one of the many curses that comes with it!