Mahlmeiser, who is among the estimated 80 to 98 percent of women with cellulite, explains in the video that growing up, she heard people make negative comments about cellulite, and that negativity stuck with her into adulthood.
"I spent the majority of adulthood hiding my body under long dresses, pants, and long sleeves — even if it meant sweating a shitload in the middle of summer — because, yes, unrealistic Photoshopped images of women and a lifetime of body shaming ruined me this much," she writes in an article coinciding with the video.
So, in an effort to learn to love her body and inspire others to feel the same, Mahlmeiser set herself up for three challenges that would expose her cellulite in public: walking in short shorts, running outside, and wearing a bikini.
The challenges prove to have their ups and downs: "The first day showing my cellulite was fucking HARD," Mahlmeiser writes. "I wore this outfit to work and every time I looked down at my thighs I almost burst into tears despite my co-workers telling me I looked great. I couldn't truly believe I looked OK, and that was a problem."
But after her second short-shorts experiment, Mahlmeiser took to the streets for a run.
"When I finished jogging, I went home, and I was just so mad that I let people dictate how I felt about my body for this long," she says in the video.
And after wearing a bikini in public, Mahlmeiser comes to some pretty beautiful conclusions.
"It was almost like if anyone did stare at me and hated me for whatever reason, it's on them," she says. "I am so over people body shaming and I'm so over people telling me how to feel about myself. I'm just so over everyone telling me how my body should be, instead of me."
"The more honest we are about who we actually are and what we actually look like and how we actually feel about things, the more that we can actually change things."
Just a couple months ago, body activist Kenzie Brenna started an empowering Instagram trend, #CelluliteSaturday, which encourages people to feel proud of their cellulite and their bodies.
And through Brenna, Mahlmeiser, and all of our work, hopefully people — particularly women — can continue to push beyond society's standards and love and accept themselves, and others, for who we all are.
Check out these empowering images from #CelluliteSaturday, and don't be afraid to share your own story.