Let's Normalize Having Back Rolls

by Katie Cloyd
Originally Published: 
There's Nothing Wrong With Back Rolls
Luis Alvarez/Getty

Let’s talk about back rolls, y’all. I’ve got them. You might have them. Tons of people do. They’re completely freaking normal.

They’re also one of those little body quirks that never seems to get much love. You don’t see many articles about how to accentuate those little rolls. No bra company has ever advertised a bra that makes your back look less smooth. Back rolls are part of so many people and yet nobody seems to appreciate how common, normal and totally acceptable they are.

Back rolls happen when a body stores fat. Any body. Any amount of fat. You don’t have to be plus-size to have them, but if you are plus-size, it’s really likely that you’ve got a little bit of jiggle in the back roll area.

Just because our culture doesn’t always celebrate back rolls, doesn’t mean we need to hide them away, apologize for them or do everything we can to make them disappear. But embracing every little bit and piece of yourself can be a challenge. Our culture makes self-love as hard as possible.

Here’s a photo that showcases a couple of my back rolls!

When my friend took this photo of my son and me greeting my husband at his Air Force Basic Training graduation, I cringed. I remember wanting to cry because the only photo of this moment was “tainted” by my back rolls.

Now I look at this photo and my back rolls barely enter my mind. I look at the way my baby is holding onto the back of my arm for reassurance in a new situation. Would you just look at my husband, elated to see his son after two months apart? Then I look at me — smiling at my baby boy’s reaction to seeing his hero in person again.

Anyone who looks at this photo and wastes time looking at my back rolls is missing so much beauty and joy.

My back fat is in good company.

In a photoshoot for the cover of Rolling Stone, Lizzo rocked only a headpiece and Sasha the Flute, back rolls on full display. I dare anyone to tell her she should feel like anything but the absolute freaking goddess she is.

Can we talk about Jessamyn Stanley and her amazing body?

In this post she reminds us that yoga is not exercise, but a spiritual practice. Back rolls? Who cares?! Look what her body can do.

Look at mom of FIVE and IG babe Shanel Whitley.

You’ll see how absolutely adorable a little back roll can be in a cute swimsuit. Wear whatever you want with confidence and a smile!

Lindsay Wolf wants to remind us that back rolls are okay.

Like, literally, that’s all she’s here to say, and we are here for this message.

Remember when Ashley Graham posted this beautiful shot?

She shared this image during her pregnancy as she was learning to embrace her changing body. She is indisputably gorgeous. She has back rolls. She’s not beautiful despite her back rolls — she is beautiful WITH THEM.

Corissa Enneking uses #backfatsunday to celebrate her back rolls.

But honestly, every day is a good day to honor the shape your body has taken by trying to make peace with the things you perceive as flaws.

As long as we are talking about back rolls, I’m going to be honest with you: I wouldn’t say I absolutely love mine.

My journey to happiness and self-love is about living my life in the body I have, and choosing to see my body as good and whole, just like it is.

For me, that doesn’t mean I have to love how every inch of my body looks, especially in photos. It just means I choose to recognize that toxic diet culture taught me to hate bodies like mine before I even knew what I would end up looking like.

I didn’t get to choose my own feelings about the body nature gave me because diet culture made up my mind for me. Choosing to love my body doesn’t mean I think every inch of me is ideal. It means I give myself permission to live fully as I am at any moment, never allowing the world’s perception of my size to stand in the way of my goals and dreams.

It means I recognize all bodies as good. Smooth back or rolls. Thin. Fat. Male. Female. Non-Binary. Old. Young. Black, white, and every shade between. If a body is carrying someone through their journey, then it’s a good body.

If you can’t find a way to fall in love with your back rolls, that’s okay! Your relationship to your body is so complicated. It’s okay that you don’t see your back rolls and want to frame a photo of them. I get that feeling entirely.

It’s taken me a lot of years to see my back rolls and just think, “This is okay. My body is allowed to have fat, and this is what fat looks like. I don’t have to hide.” That’s actually enough.

If you’ve got back rolls, welcome to the club. You’re so far from alone. They’re completely normal, and totally cute. If anyone tries to shame you about them, turn around and tell them to take a good look at your back before they kiss your perfect ass.

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