Have you noticed this new trend on your news feed recently? Instagrammers are posting photos of their “hip dips,” the slight inward curve just below each hip bone. Instead of bashing this part of their anatomy, these real women are embracing it the way body-positive bloggers and many celebs also celebrate their cellulite, stretch marks, bulges, and other so-called physical flaws.
“In recent years, proportionate hour glass bodies have been glamorized in the media heavily,” wrote one Instagrammer, jenneydoll. But I have realized that I will never have a perfect hour-glass shape because I have very prominent hip dips (even though I do carry more fat in my lower body). “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, but it is one of those things I don’t absolutely love about my body.”
Before hip dip photos took over social media, many of us here at Health had no clue what they were. (Something to do with plank hip dips, maybe?) To get the facts on this body area, we spoke to Gerardo Miranda-Comas, MD, an assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
He set the record straight on what hip dips are and why not everyone has them. “It’s not a body abnormality; it’s actually a common part of your anatomy,” explains Dr. Miranda. Whether or not you have hip dips largely depends on the way your great trochanter, aka, the protrusion at the upper part of your femur, connects to your pelvis, he says.
Many women are paying tribute to their hip dips—but what if you’d rather get rid of them? That’s unlikely, says Dr. Miranda, because they are a permanent part of your physiology. However, working out the gluteus medius, one of your main pelvic muscles, could lessen their appearance. Dr. Miranda recommends doing clamshells, hip abductions, and squats with elastic bands to tone this muscle. “Core exercises work well too because the gluteus medius is a component of the core,” he adds.
So if your body curves in a bit under your hip bones, don’t be alarmed. It’s perfectly natural, and there’s not much you can do about it. Rather than killing yourself with lower-body exercises to make them less noticeable, we think you’re better off forgetting about them—or taking a cue from the hip dip Instagrammers by showing them some love.