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What Are Hip Dips?
Hip dips are an inward curve on each side, just below the hip bone. On some people they are more prominent/noticeable than on others.
Also known as..
- Hip dents
- Violin Hips
- Trochanteric Depression
- High hips
- Shelf hips
- Figure 8/spoon body shape
What Causes Hip Dips?
The indentation which we call hip dents actually is known as the ‘trochanteric depression’ in anatomical terminology.
Hip dips come about because of the shape of your pelvis. If you have very visible violin hips, you’re not a freak, and it’s not a deformity.
This shape usually is caused by having ‘high hips’, for example if your pelvis sits up high and is quite wide, it can mean there is a bit of a dip between your hip bones and where your thigh bone (femur) starts.
As I dug deeper through the bowels of the internet, more research uncovered more names – violin hips is a common way to describe hip dips. It’s a common feature that plastic surgeons sometimes deal with (the solution is to graft fat into the area of the dent to try and round out the shape).
One thing that I did find funny was that a few people mentioned that they always thought this affliction could have been from wearing their underwear in the ‘dip’ location.
I actually thought this might have been a contributing factor as well and to this day, I often adjust my underwear waistband to sit on the offending muffintop that seems to insist on highlighting my hip dips. Just in case the position of the waistband can wear down that annoying bit of fat!!!
How Love Handles Can Contribute
“Love handles”, also known as “muffin top”, refers to those pesky rolls of fat that love to develop on our hip bones.
They are not specifically hip dips, but unfortunately can make the whole hip-dip shape look more noticeable, because you can tend to get this lumpy bit right at the top of the hip dents, which makes them look stand out more.
We’ll look at some tips for how to dress to downplay this feature a little later on.
Does Everyone Have Hip Dips?
It’s hard to say if EVERYONE has hip dips. That’s a pretty big generalization! I’ve read some posts that claim that you will basically have a hip dip if you have a skeleton, which, yeah, is pretty much every human on the planet.
I’m not sure if I agree fully though. I know for a fact that some people don’t have this feature – I’ve got lots of friends who have a nice rounded shape around their hips without any hint of an indent. Plus, I’ve spent years secretly scoping out other females to try and see if their hips looked the same weird way mine did, and found that very few (if any) had the same amount of hip dip that I do.
Don’t forget though, that clothing can hide a lot, so in reality these people probably do have a small hip dip that is not very noticeable.
Realistically though, most people do have some degree of hip dip, so I guess it’s fair to say that having hip dips is very ‘normal’!
I think it’s fully dependent on the individual. I think it’s fair to assume that this trait follows a normal distribution graph (couldn’t help myself, I used to tutor math!) meaning that the majority of people have a slight hip dip, somewhere in between these two extremes.
The number of people having no hip dip, or very prominent hip dip, is probably going to be the minority.
Why Hip Dips Get Such A Bad Rap
A lot of people hate on hip dips, but why?
As a personal sufferer of deep hip dips myself, I feel that I’m pretty qualified to answer this question! For me, the reason why I don’t like my own hip dips is the way they look.
We’ve all grown up with the perception of feminine beauty, and it’s the traditional curvy, hourglass figure. A narrow waist that curves out to a nice butt and hips looks awesome, in my opinion.
My violin hips are one of my most disliked body features. That’s not to say that I constantly am hating on myself or anyone else that has hip dips, but it definitely is one of the features I would rather not have. Not many people I know has them as prominently as I do, which always made me feel a bit like a freak and very unattractive. I know (and fully advocate) that we shouldn’t fuss about such small and ultimately insignificant things, but I also know how much these little things can sometimes chip away at your self esteem and make you unhappy if you focus on them.
Here’s what violin hips/hip dips look like:
Compare this to someone with not much hip dip and more of an hourglass shape:
That being said, I need to point out that some people actually like hip dips, and the majority of people don’t even care about them! This article is for all the others out there (and trust me, there are plenty of us) who have prominent hip dips, and always felt like there was something wrong with them. I’m here to tell you emphatically – there’s not.
I still feel insecure about mine occasionally though. In the past I have let it dictate what I wear because some outfits tend to accentuate it more than others. I can remember many a time where I’ve tried on a tight fitting dress, and looked great from the sides, but if I turn front-on directly it looks like I’m missing two massive chunks out of the sides where my hip dips are.
I also can’t wear any high waisted bottoms without looking a bit weird (only my personal opinion), so I really just avoid them altogether *sad face*.
How To Reduce The Look Of Hip Dips or Hip Dents
Unfortunately for those who have violin hips and don’t like them, there’s not a lot you can do about them.
Depending on what causes your hip dips (for most people, it’s a combination of their bone structure and fat distribution on the hips) it can be either impossible or very difficult to make changes in this area. If your hip dips stem from your skeleton/pelvis, then just start learning to love yourself. If you find that you have a bit of extra fat in the love handles area, you may be able to make some slight improvements by focusing on diet and exercise, but some people can be of a healthy weight (or even underweight) and still store fat in this area!
One thing you can do that’s immediate is to select clothing that will help you down-play your hip dips. Here are some practical tips you can take:
Tips on how to play down deep hip dips and smooth out your shape
- Don’t wear tight fitting low waistbands that ‘cut you off’
- Wear longer or more flowing tops
- You might want to try peplum tops like those pictured below (these have a hanging frill at the waist which can hide hip dips)
- Try looser fitting clothes, A-line skirts/dresses, ruffled dresses etc.
- Avoid high-waisted/tight bottoms, unless you have a comparatively skinny waist to help show off your curves
- Try compression underwear (which can sometimes help smooth out love handles to reduce the size of the ‘dent’)
- Try padded underwear (hip padding can fill in the dips!)
This video below shows some great examples of how the wrong choice of clothing can emphasize your love handles. Avoid tight waisted jeans (ill fitting) and underwear which has a tight waistband that can ‘cut you off’!
Padded Underwear For Hip Dents
Another clothing choice that is immediate is hip padding in butt enhancing underwear. You can already get butt padded underwear which is excellent for giving a nice little boost to your assets, but did you know that you can get specific hip padding that can literally help fill out those dents?
Check out these hip pads I found from Bubbles® Bodywear:
I like these because they are so simple, they have a reusable adhesive backing and simply stick to the inside of your underwear (alternatively Bubbles® Bodywear also sell purpose made hip padded panties with pockets to hold hip padding).
Check them out in the video below and you’ll see that they can make a significant difference to your front-on profile. As soon as I saw these, I was like yes – that’s exactly what I need to fill in those gaping hip dents on my sides, lol!!
Exercises to Reduce the Look of Hip Dents
If you’re not completely sold on the padded panties idea, and want to work on getting rid of those hip dents in a more permanent manner, I do think that there may be certain exercises which could potentially help round out your shape.
This may not work for everyone, as everyone’s hip dip can be due to slightly different features. I always wondered to myself if you could work out the muscles which are located at the main part of the hip dent and if they were to bulk up, they could fill out the dent.
The only catch with this logic is that (a) there may not be a muscle located directly where your hip dents are; and (b) it may not be possible to bulk up this muscle to the point where it would fill out the dent. That being said, it can’t hurt to try, right?
Firstly I went to check out the actual anatomy of the butt to see if there are any muscles under the hip dent area. It seems to me like the Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus muscles are in the vicinity of my hip dents, so I figured that exercises which target these muscles may help to fill out the dents. I am not sure if these muscles can definitely be ‘bulked up’ in the way that bigger muscles like the Gluteus Maximus can, but I feel like there’s nothing lost in trying.
Recommended Exercises for Hip Dents
I’m not saying that these exercises will be able to definitely fill out hip dents, but I feel like there’s no harm in trying them.
My personal approach has two angles:
- Aim to work the Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus to help bulk them up and fill out the hip dent area
- Aim to work the Gluteus Maximus to add extra volume to the butt as a whole – this should draw the eye more to the fuller areas of your butt and hopefully help to give an overall rounder and more lifted shape as well!
Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus Butt Exercises:
Here is a short list of glute exercises that might be able to help reduce hip dips, but for more details on this (including pictures), check out my post on which butt exercises are the best to help reduce hip dips.
Butt Exercises to Bulk up Your Gluteus Maximus:
Seriously, you can almost pick any of the butt exercises on this list, but my favorite all-rounders and staple butt exercises are (take your pick):
Fill Up Your Fat (Naturally)?
Another option which I have come across recently seems a bit like wishful thinking but there is some science that seems to support it! I have not tried this myself yet but I did a bit of research into it and it seems like it could be something.
It’s called “Volufiline” and it’s basically a topical (cream) agent that is derived from a Chinese herb. But here comes the cool part… studies have shown that if you apply this active ingredient, it can encourage the growth of fat cells naturally in the spots you apply it. So lather that on to your hip dents to try and fill them out by growing your own fat!
You can check out my full post on Volufiline here.
You’re Not Alone
Okay, so now you have a name for this ‘condition’ that you’ve been afflicted with all your life. So what? You don’t like it? (Hey, me neither).
Chances are not many of your friends will understand your pain. You may feel like a bit of a freak. I know it may not help much, but knowing that you are not alone kind of can boost your morale, as silly as it sounds.
I found the above thread on reddit, and also a hip dip appreciation blog! So if you’re feeling down about your hip dents, travel over to these few sites to hopefully feel a little bit more love towards you body shape.
Okay, so I must admit that when I started this blog post, I didn’t think I’d be able to write so much on the topic of hip dips, but the topic is certainly close to me!
As a woman with prominent hip dip, I am still working on accepting my body shape, but learning how to dress to flatter your curves can really help. Surprisingly, so can knowing that you are not the only one with this condition.
I hope this has been helpful to anyone who has hip dents and is wondering if they are normal or not. As always, drop me a comment! I’d love to hear (again) that I’m not the only one out there with hip dip…