“Hip Dips” Are Not a Problem to Be Fixed

Fitness

Every once in a while, the internet gets together and declares that a perfectly normal aspect of the human anatomy is actually a huge issue. Enter into evidence the “thigh gap” conversation of the 2010s (reinvented into the “leggings legs” trend of the 2020s) and, recently, the “hip dip” trend that’s corroding social media feeds everywhere. It’s easy to fall prey to the narrative that your body “should” look a certain way, but experts are here to tell you that (spoiler alert) hip dips are nothing more than ordinary for Homo sapiens.

So what are hip dips, exactly — and how can you learn to practice body neutrality if you have them? Ahead, experts share the 101 on this “trend” — and teach you how to identify BS on your social media feed when you see it.

Experts Featured in This Article

Rachel Golberg, LMFT, a psychotherapist and personal trainer, and the founder of Rachel Goldberg Therapy in Studio City, California.

Barbara Kessel, DO, a supervising child and adolescent psychiatrist at Equip, the largest virtual eating disorder treatment nationwide.

What Are “Hip Dips?”

“Hip dips are inward curves on the sides of the body just below the hip bones,” says psychotherapist and personal trainer Rachel Golberg, LMFT, the founder of Rachel Goldberg Therapy in Studio City, California. “They are caused by the shape of the pelvis and how fat and muscle are distributed around that area.”

To reiterate, this attribute is an anatomical reality, not a flaw. Criticizing hip dips is like criticizing wrist bones — which is to say, it’s absurd; they’re caused by your literal skeleton.

“It’s completely normal for someone to have hip dips,” Goldberg says. She acknowledges, though, that people do often feel self-conscious about hip dips, mostly because “the topic comes and goes as a trend on social media, where people either promote ways to change them, insinuating they are undesirable, or embrace them as part of body positivity or neutrality.” And while we’re all for the body neutral take, even body positive conversations on social media have been shown to make people feel more dissatisfied with their bodies, according to a 2022 study in the journal Body Image.

Are Hip Dips “Bad”?

There are no negative health effects associated with hip dips. “There are no adverse health implications — except from a mental health standpoint due to any potential angst someone might have about theirs,” Goldberg notes. “This can include rumination, pursuing a myriad of ways to get rid of them, or not wearing certain outfits due to insecurity about how they look.” Again, hip dips are a normal part of many people’s anatomy and aren’t something that can or should be “fixed.”

Of course, plenty of people have little insecurities that they accommodate in various ways — and while we’d love to see everyone embracing themselves completely, that alone isn’t necessarily a major problem.

But anyone who finds themselves fixated on these attributes could meet the criteria for body dysmorphic disorder, which the Mayo Clinic defines as “a mental health condition in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can’t be seen by others. But you may feel so embarrassed, ashamed, and anxious that you may avoid many social situations.”

If you find yourself constantly inundated with intrusive thoughts about your hips or any other part of your body, consider seeking help from a mental health professional and lean on your community for support.

But for help in learning to embrace hip dips — or any other body part that’s suddenly become part of a toxic body-related “trend” — read through the following five tips.

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