Even Supermodels Have Armpit Fat


I was interviewing a plastic surgeon once about weight loss techniques and exercise vs. surgery, and asked if he had any advice on how I could get rid of the pudgy area between my arm and chest. You know, the “armpit fat.”

His response: “Get a boob job.”


While some of the gentlemen reading this post may be confused about what exactly I’m talking about, the ladies out there are likely all too familiar with this unwanted area.


Our society is so unforgiving of armpit fat that, unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most photoshopped areas of the body.

Just last week, one of the top trending stories was how Harpers Bazaar erased Kate Upton’s underarm in a recent editorial.

The photoshop mishap caused major outrage online.

Apparently, it wasn’t just the picture itself that caused the controversy — we all know extremely altered images are commonplace in entertainment — but the fact that the accompanying article detailed Kate’s healthy diet and fitness routine.

It was as if the article was telling readers that they too could look like Kate with a little hard work and willpower, despite the fact that this isn’t how Kate looks (or anyone for that matter).


Which brings me back to what the doctor said.

As offensive as some people would find his response, what he was trying to say is that there really isn’t a direct approach to removing armpit fat.

The problem is, it’s not just fat. That area is also comprised of skin and muscle. So even if you get liposuction, there will still be a skin fold, and possibly unsightly scars.

Not to mention the fact that we have lymph nodes in that area, so surgery isn’t just pointless, it’s dangerous.

He was also acknowledging that you can’t do specific exercises to remove the fat. Despite countless Google search results with titles like “5 Exercises to Eliminate Armpit Fat,” it’s pretty much common knowledge that you can’t spot reduce body fat.

Working the muscle in that area, the pectoralis minor, with exercises like the chest press and chest fly is unhelpful for this purpose, as it won’t reduce the size of the bulge in that area. Even if you strengthen the muscle, you’ll still have the layer of fat and skin on top.

The doctor’s suggestion to try breast augmentation was based on the idea that implants would pull the armpit skin taut, and reduce the appearance of fat.

As helpful as it was (ha), I won’t be rushing to the operating table anytime soon.

So what can you do?

1. Make sure your bras fit properly.

Ill-fitting bras increase the appearance of armpit fat.

2. Don’t wear tube tops.

They’re the number one culprit behind armpit fat — I know from experience.


3. Reduce overall body fat percentage.

While you can’t target specific areas with exercise, decreasing the percentage of fat tissue in your body should reduce the distribution of fatty tissue in areas like the armpit. A healthy or “fitness” range for women is 21-24%.

4. Accept it.

As the title of this post points out, everyone (even supermodels) have armpit fat.

You can stress about it, or your can acknowledge that normal people are not perfect and magazines are always photoshopped.

As Jennifer Lawrence once said, “I know I have armpit fat. It’s OK.”

Looking for more advice on body acceptance? Check out these posts! >>

Why Clothing Label Sizes Don’t Matter >>

Why You Shouldn’t Compare Yourself to a Victoria’s Secret Model >>

Radical Acceptance: Paving the Way to Body Positivity >>

Taryn Brumfitt’s 10 Tips To Embracing Your Body >>

RAW Beauty Talk >>

Weigh In: Do you worry about armpit fat? What are your thoughts on Kate Upton and this picture controversy?


  1. I don’t think about armpit fat too often… maybe sometimes when I put on a tube top dress or I know photos of me will be taken. Something that could also help is learning how to pose for photos to minimize the effect of this phantom fat. I’d rather remember how fun my time with friends was rather than how self-conscious I was about something silly that other people may not even notice 🙂
    Camille @ Challenge Mantra recently posted…Challenge #5: Finding Effective Motivation SystemsMy Profile

    • Whitney English says:

      Great point! Nothing will ruin an experience more than feeling bad about yourself.

      As for the posing, take a cue from the celebs on this one. Pose with your hands on your hips!

      • Plz do reply of my comment.. Plz. I’m so tense about my armpit fat… It looks so bad. I know it is visible to me only until i wear revealing dresses. But what can i do about that??? I’m scared of getting any kind surgery or liposuction.

        • Whitney English says:

          Hi Arooba, thank you for commenting. I understand your feelings and I can relate. I’d highly encourage you not to turn to surgery. We all have our imperfections and what we need to do is learn to accept them. I’m writing a post about that subject this week in fact – stay tuned!

          • Thank you for your reply. But i hope u r getting me what I’m saying.. My armpit fat is so heavy and bulgy. I’m only 20yrs old. 🙁 (
            “waiting for your reply.

  2. I don’t really worry about armpit fat anymore. It used to be a big issue with me. I never wore tube tops and even sleeveless shirts and tanks were taboo in my wardrobe. But like you said, you just have to accept it.
    I still don’t wear tube tops – mostly because I get tired of having to pull them up all the time lol – but I don’t even think about my ‘armpit fat’ these days.
    Great tips and thanks for sharing 😀
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth recently posted…Coconut Cookie Dough Oats RecipeMy Profile

    • Whitney English says:

      That’s so great that you’ve learned to accept it. I’m working on it! Now if only Harpers Bazaar could get on board too 🙂

  3. Ahh yes tube tops cause armpit fat like crazy! It’s always better off to buy ones that don’t have that thick band in them – that band sucks!! lolz!
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  4. I’m so glad you shared this. There are very few people who don’t have armpit fat and that’s just one thing everyone needs to get over. Such a silly thing to stress over!
    Brittany @ Barr & Table recently posted…Fat and HappyMy Profile

    • Whitney English says:

      Haha I know. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t but I will admit that it’s time I let go of it!

  5. This is such a timely article! My very thin sister was just telling me how she is trying to lose weight before her wedding because of “armpit fat”. I sent this her way, maybe it will help her not worry so much about it.
    Rachel @ Betty LIVIN recently posted…Enjoying NatureMy Profile

  6. TUBE TOPS! Those used to be my Go-To top before I found LULULEMON (lol)……. And Whoa baby! I was super self concious about the pit cleavage! It was far bigger than my actual cleavage! AHH HA AH!

  7. ….so completely not related to this post but BEAUTIFUL header buddy! Very polished, although I still crave brown rice sushi.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Rest day mental mind gamesMy Profile

    • Whitney English says:

      Thank you so much Arman!! And don’t worry, there will still be plenty of brown rice sushi popping up around this corner of the interweb 🙂

  8. I think this is one of those issues that if you’re really think about it, then it bothers you, like elbow fat, knee fat, etc. lol but that most women really do have it.

    I feel like you’re so right about not wearing tank tops and that push-ups seem to help.

    I actually love that Kate Upton doesn’t have the Victoria’s Secret body, but it is really lame they edited out her armpit in that photo.

    Nice post!!
    Dale Janee recently posted…Roadtrip to ChampagneMy Profile

  9. I know we all have areas of our body that we are a little more self-conscious about than others (and I’m certainly not immune to that), but what really bothers me is that to me it feels like society is constantly coming up with something new I have to fix about myself. It’s not enough to be a good person or smart or funny but now I have to worry about armpit fat too? I guess the only thing I can do is try to have the healthiest body image I can while enjoying my life and engaging in my own healthy practices. I love actresses like Jennifer Lawrence who just embrace who they are and can see past things like this. Also I can’t believe (well I can but I think it’s kind of awful) that that plastic surgeon suggested you get a boob job to get rid of armpit fat!
    Alex @ Kenzie Life recently posted…Travel Tips For A Weekend GetawayMy Profile

  10. Stupid armpit fat! It’s bane of my existence. I like your advice though – accept it and alter your wardrobe to work with it. And again – LOVE the redesign!

  11. Armpit fat is actually something I’ve never really thought about! Haha. Maybe because I carry most of my flab on my lower body, I’m too busy looking at that area to pay much attention . I think the photoshop and surgery is madness. If diet and exercise can’t fix peoples problems, I say just accept it 🙂
    Louise@FitRadiance recently posted…10 Healthy Ways to Satisfy Your Sweet ToothMy Profile

  12. HAH! How funny! I actually got a boob job without even thinking about my armpit fat/muscle. Went from an A to D and it’s true it does help. It evens everything out 🙂

    • Whitney English says:

      Amazing! I wasn’t sure if I believed the Dr. but I guess it’s true. Thanks for weighing in!

  13. Very rapidly this web page will be famous amid all blogging and site-building visitors, due to it’s good articles
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  14. Oh, I love that I am just now discovering this article. My ‘armpit fat’ emerged a few months ago after some weight gain and it drove me nuts. I have recently gotten rid of it, but through weight loss. Like you said, chest presses and chest fly’s do nothing to help.

    Great article, and an interesting topic!
    Alice @ Honestly Fitness recently posted…5 Healthy Foods I am Loving!My Profile

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  1. […] + Even Supermodels Have Armpit Fat […]

  2. […] Remember Kate Upton in my post, Even Supermodels Have Armpit Fat. […]

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