Should Girls With Cellulite Wear Shorts?

What do you think when you see this photo?

Festival fashion and celulite

What about these?

Festival cellulite

Are you thinking…

  • a) ‘Nice shorts, where they from?’
  • b) ‘Argh, wish I could wear that?’
  • c) ‘They should not be wearing those shorts with that cellulite?’

Despite the rain and cold a surprising amount – at least 50% – of the girls at Parklife Festival in Manchester decided to get their legs out.

At the risk of sounding like a Grandma; a lot of the shorts were no bigger than the knickers I had on under my jeans.

The Parklife Twitter feed and Facebook page were filled with both boys and girls slating the shorts for showing off more cellulite than they ever wanted to see.

Cellulite and shorts

Me and my friends sat down by the main stage with a glass of vino to take it all in:

  • Friend size 14: ‘At least all the skinnies have got cellulite too.’
  • Friend size 8: ‘Yeah, I don’t feel so bad about mine now.’
  • Friend size 10: ‘But seriously, she should not be wearing those shorts’.

Cellulite had never been quite so in my face before, literally.

The figures

Should girls with cellulite wear shorts?

As the four of us debated women’s rights regarding the acceptable length of trow and the reasons why, tens of girls passed us with their thighs out – in some cases bum cheeks – cellulite and all.

Was it so noticeable because it does actually look horrendous, because we never see it, or because we didn’t realise everyone else had it too?

According to The MayoClinic, 80% of women have cellulite, and it’s not your weight that brings it on – the dimples, bumps and pinched effect can happen to anyone. Although sitting on your arse all day, stress and contraceptives don’t help.

The MayoClinic says: “Cellulite is caused by fibrous connective cords that tether the skin to the underlying muscle, with the fat lying between. As the fat cells accumulate, they push up against the skin, while the long, tough cords are pulling down. This creates an uneven surface or dimpling.”

Ewww, so that’s what it is.

Shorts and cellulite

They’re just jealous…

The more we sat and saw, the more open and accepting of them and ourselves we became. After the initial shock I actually felt quite proud of the 18 year olds who had the confidence to pull them the shorts off with their cellulite, if not the supermodel bods.

They weren’t fat, far from it, but the resulting tweets from the harsh crowd on Twitter – and of course, our initial reactions – are exactly the reason why girls with cellulite aren’t out and proud.

It takes a brave woman to get their less-than-perfect pins out in today’s critical society. I wonder how much of someone saying ‘she should not be wearing that’ is jealousy, hatred, self doubt, prejudice, self obsession, low confidence or ridiculously high standards on their part.

Cellulite at Parklife Festival

But whyyy?

One factor could be that growing up in England you just don’t see women with cellulite in shorts, as much. Us sufferers can manage through the only month of summer we have in long skirts and linen trousers. With the weather here we’re not forced into baring all on the beach or hanging out at the local pool like in other countries.

And as for the media, anyone would think showing cellulite was up there with showing erect penises, bum sex and cigarette adverts.

After seeing thousands of girls from knee to leg/bum crevice at Parklife I know that dimples, bruises, fat pockets and stretch marks are the norm – they’re not professionally tanned, exercised for five hours a day or photoshopped to meet society’s approval.

READ: My Guide to Feeling Body Confident on Holiday

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It’s a big step for me, but these girls have inspired me to squeeze my size 14 bum, and cellulite thighs, into some shorts next time I see some sun.

But there’s power in numbers so I hope that if you’re a shy cellulite sufferer you’ll out yourself with me. Together we can enjoy the simple feeling of the sun on our legs safe in the knowledge that 8 out of 10 women feel exactly the same.

Should girls wear shorts

Cellulite or no, is there any need for these?!

3 confidence tips for wearing shorts when you have cellulite

Cellulite and shorts

1. Practice wearing shorts

There’s not really a way to hide cellulite in short shorts, in fact, the only way is to have a big smile on your face and not care what people think. And the best way to do that, is to practice.

The more you get your cellulite legs out, the more confident you’ll be. Especially when you realise that most people won’t actually give a shit.

Just remember Dr Seuss’ excellent words: “those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter”.

2. Try a few different pairs on

If you’re as happy and confident as possible with the cut and design of your shorts, then you’ll feel better about getting the cellulite out. If you feel like you can’t wear shorts because of cellulite, it’s probably much more to do with the cut.

Try on a few pairs, and sizes, from different shops, and then go back and buy the best ones. Take a trusted friend with you shorts shopping to really find the ones that suit you. 

3. Don’t buy stupid cellulite creams

Seriously, do you actually think these cellulite creams will work?

If they worked then we’d all be jumping on the same brand, and shorts and cellulite would be a problem no more.

Save your money for fun times with your friends rather than buying expensive cream to rub into your wrinkly skin – we all have it!

Shorts that hide cellulite

Unfortunately, rather than getting rid of your cellulite, you’re just going to have to find a pair of shorts that help you embrace it.

Unless your cellulite is right at the top of your leg, near your bum, there’s no way that you’re going to be able to buy shorts to hide it. I feel like there are quite a few companies out there advertising shorts to hide cellulite, but seriously, how can they possibly work? 

Don’t fall for the scam! 

3 ways to feel more confident in your cellulite and shorts

Confidence cellulite and shorts

1. Wear tights

Tights are a godsend if you want a bit of help in the confidence department. Somehow they magically smooth over your legs and make them appear sheenfully smooth.

2. Go for a softer fabric

Denim shorts will be stiff and ‘unforgiving’ to use a granny word. They will dig in and make you splurge out, unless you size up, and then they’ll just tent instead.

Go for a nice cotton fabric to stay fresh and windy in the hot weather.

3. Bronzing and tanning

Personally I haven’t played with bronzer since I was a teenager, but I do feel better when I have a bit of sunshine on my legs to make them nice and brown. A tan is one of the best ways to make your legs appear a bit slicker and smoother.

Unfortunately a tan then brings out the stretch marks on the top of my arms so I’m just swapping one beef for another burger.

Not particularly helpful.

Shorts and cellulite

“I want to wear shorts but I have cellulite”

Apparently, according to other stats I’ve just read, 98% of women have cellulite, you can just see it better on some people compared to others. If you want to wear shorts but you have cellulite, just look around – so does everyone else.

The more we see each other’s cellulite, the more we’ll accept that we all have it, and be more confident with our own.

Even skinny people have cellulite, so just get it out!

How to get rid of cellulite

Packing guide for the Caribbean

If anyone tells you you can get rid of cellulite with diet and exercise, just tell them to F off. Cellulite is a totally natural thing for women, especially as you get older.

As soon as women of all ages and sizes start to wear shorts with their cellulite it will become normalised, and all of a sudden we’ll all feel better about wearing them.

Wearing shorts with cellulite should absolutely 100% be done, if you want to. Adhering to society’s standards when it comes to shorts and cellulite is ridiculous.

So, let’s unite with our dimples and curves, and this summer GET YOUR CELLULITE OUT! 

You do you.

You can cover it up, or embrace it? What will make you happier?

Over to you – how do you feel about getting your legs out in public?

More on body confidence

How to Be Body Confident on the Beach 

10 Things to Do if You Feel Left Behind 

A Few Words of Advice on Bestival Festival
Field Day Festival in London


  1. by Monica on July 25, 2012  8:21 am Reply

    Haha, did you really go round taking pictures of girl's cellulite? Brilliant. I feel like a grandma too but when did this trend start of wearing shorts so short that your bum actually pokes out the bottom?

    I'm afraid I'm on board with your size 10 friend. Put it away ladies!

    • by Vicky on July 25, 2012  1:04 pm Reply

      Yeah, felt quite bad, but knew I wanted to write an article on it. I've never seen so many people in denim shorts!

    • by Richard on August 28, 2016  1:06 am Reply

      Bigger girls generally have very sexy looking legs I love to see them in public

      • by Vicky on September 7, 2016  1:40 pm Reply

        Great attitude Richard! Love to read a comment like that :)

  2. by giovanna gentile on July 25, 2012  10:58 am Reply

    Brilliant! I wish i couldn't see all that in the street:) it's an eye sore!

    • by Vicky on July 25, 2012  1:03 pm Reply

      You're a harsh woman GG!

  3. by Blog Me Travel on July 25, 2012  6:11 pm Reply

    The crème de la crème of cottage cheese sightings! Chubby chasers should relocate to the North of England in the pursuit of happiness!

  4. by Scarlett on July 26, 2012  4:58 pm Reply

    LOVE this post - I hope you've been getting your legs out over the last couple of days!! Us girls need to be much more body confident and stop comparing ourselves to magazines! Although, there's always that one supermodel girls who struts past and makes us feel gross. xxx PS impressed how many photos you managed to take without getting smacked lol!! xx

    • by Vicky on July 27, 2012  11:20 am Reply

      A little bit. I went to an outdoor swimming pool and felt alright with my pins out so I'm getting there. Sun's gone away again now, but hopefully I'll get some more short action in over the weekend. Haha, I'm like David Bailey - in a way.

    • by Andz_Evz on July 11, 2019  7:15 am Reply

      Ain't dat da truth! All legs are photogenic legs! Hats off to the body-confident ladies pic'd above, and hats off to women who build one another up! And for your points you made, my hat's off to you, Vicky! Too many tear others down over "flaws" (a made-up concept companies profit off of, in the first place). That goes for birthmarks, stretch marks, and body hair too (as all pits I'm aware of grow hair). All these things are marks of beauty, are they not? Thanks again, Vicky!

  5. by Lesley Peterson on July 27, 2012  3:07 am Reply

    The legs are alright, they just need better shorts, waaayyy better shorts:\

    • by Vicky on July 27, 2012  11:18 am Reply

      This comment is spot on Lesley :).

  6. by Marina on July 31, 2012  3:58 pm Reply

    I think a good rule of thumb is to wear clothes that fit whatever size you are. A wedgie doesn't look good on anyone! A well dressed woman of any shape looks way hotter than a woman with a model's body wearing clothes that make her look tacky or desperate...or uncomfortable. All of those wedgie shorts just scream discomfort to me and that's much more distracting than a little bit of cellulite.

    I'd also like to say kudos for this post not having even the slightest bit of body snark (not that I'd expect that of you anyway). I find that on issues of body image the women of GB are far kinder to themselves (and each other) than American women are.

    • by Vicky on July 31, 2012  6:50 pm Reply

      Aw, thanks Marina. Hmmm, I'm not sure about American women vs GB though – we can be real bitches to ourselves and others. I try to stay out of it and just make the most of my body while I've got it!

  7. by Jayne on November 15, 2012  9:08 am Reply

    Whilst I admire the bravery of these ladies in shorts I can't help but feel they would have looked much better (and felt much warmer) with tights underneath. i'm getting old aren't I...

    • by Vicky on January 12, 2013  7:12 pm Reply

      It was cold! I had a top, shirt and coat on. They must have been fur-reezing! Not old, just warm.

  8. by Ami Matthews on June 20, 2013  12:09 am Reply

    Been reading lots of your posts on festivals & i love them all!! Bravo for writing content of value and interest! Really enjoyed my time on your site/blog :-) Now more hyped for Glastonbury!

  9. by Luke on August 8, 2013  9:14 pm Reply

    You are a really close minded person. So what if the girls have cellulite. This doesn't define their personality. You are not a fat person or a skinny person,you are person. You really need to open your mind a bit and realize that looks isnt everything.

    • by Vicky on August 9, 2013  8:15 am Reply

      Hey Luke, I don't think you got the gist of my article, that's basically what I say. Happy to hear there are other people like me out there though. Thanks for your comment!

  10. by Matt on October 4, 2013  5:23 pm Reply

    What I think: Hugely turned on. I actually prefer it when girls with cellulite wear short shorts. I think cellulite is very beautiful and sexy, especially on thin, average-sized, and athletic women.

    I remember a few months ago at a restaurant I saw a group of friends, presumably around 18-20 years old, they all wore pants except this one woman who wore really short shorts and she had thick thighs and lots of cellulite. She was about average weight, though, and very pretty too! The prettiest of the group actually. I loved when she crossed her legs to REALLY show it off. Above all, I loved that she was confident enough to actually flaunt her cellulite like that.

  11. by Faye on March 19, 2014  12:52 pm Reply

    I love getting my legs out at a festival! I mean if you can't then when can you. I do try and look after my body but like every typical girl we enjoy our chocolate :-) yes I have cellulite but how I see it most girls do whether there a size 6 or a size 16. I don't wear the short shorts were your bum cheeks hang out as my body confidence isn't quite there yet, but if your happy with your figure then go for it.

    • by Vicky on March 23, 2014  5:28 pm Reply

      Good answer!

    • by Drea on May 9, 2015  5:57 pm Reply

      Why would you wanna wear shorts where your bum cheecks hang out? That's beyond disgusting. Just stick to regular cute shorts and you'll be fine.

      • by Vicky on May 18, 2015  9:02 am Reply

        Yeah you're right, it's definitely the choice of shorts that are the problem here rather than the girls. They were just everywhere there though!

  12. by Jordan on March 23, 2014  4:32 pm Reply

    Ummm 80%? That's an extremely low estimate. Cellulite is the female body's natural way of storing fat. Women are supposed to have it. Most experts estimate 98% of women have cellulite and the 2% that don't are women with very thick skin. Why are we criticizing something that every woman has as being ugly in this article? The healthy female body is not something to criticize

    • by Jordan on March 23, 2014  4:33 pm Reply

      And by not having cellulite, the experts really just mean not having visible cellulite. Just can't see it cause of the thick skin

      • by Vicky on March 23, 2014  5:25 pm Reply

        I definitely don't criticise it Jordan - reread the article.

  13. by H on May 11, 2014  10:41 am Reply

    I read the full article, and I realise the point that you're making... that we should be more body confident blah blah. But tbh the only thing that came across to me is that if I dare bare my legs with the tiniest bit of cellulite on them, a lot of people are going to be sat around judging me for my 'horrendous' cellulite, akin to seeing 'bum sex or cigarette adverts'. Not only that, but they'll take pictures of it and post it on the internet for everyone to see. I can't even see cellulite on some of these pictures! I've worked hard on my figure, I'm a size 6 UK, and well toned but have some cellulite on my thighs. Despite all my hard work, this still makes me feel doomed to remain in my jeans all summer

    • by Carrie on November 22, 2014  1:46 am Reply

      I’m a size 10 and have really bad cellulite on the top of my legs. I never get them out because I’m so shy on the beach. Even after reading this I feel too scared. Honestly it makes me feel shaky at the thought of it. I wish it was shown more in the media and stuff to make me feel better about it.

  14. by Victoria on May 28, 2014  12:40 am Reply

    Thank you SO, soo much for posting this article. I'm a 15 year old,average weight girl; maybe even a little muscular but, nothing compared to a body builder. I have a LOT of cellulite on the upper back of my thighs. I was tired of wearing basketball shorts and feeling too much like a guy. I wanted to start wearing shorts but, my cellulite held me back. This article made me realize it's completely normal; I just wish everyone else knew that, too. But, even knowing that there are some people out there like you, who know it's completely natural, I will try it. So, thank you. You just helped a shy girl realize that she needs to enjoy herself more and stop hating/beating herself down.
    Thank you again.

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  16. by Andrea C. on May 9, 2015  5:48 pm Reply

    I don't think these girls look bad in their shorts. Cellulite is actually not that big a deal and doesn't really look bad either. The only thing that looks gross in some of these pics are the girls who are wearing shorts so high you can see their bums. To me that's more disgusting than looking at some little dimples on their legs. I have a little cellulite myself on my legs that I'm trying to get rid of but still I wear shorts whenever I want, plus I love the beach and there's no way I would wear pants or something to the beach! I would rather rock my cute bikini!

  17. by bre on August 2, 2015  2:48 am Reply

    From america here I just started wearing shorts after not wearing them since 7th grade and I'm 24 now. Its so nice I recently just went to a music festival and I saw a bunch of girls my sizeand larger in shorts and iI'm like IG you can do it and not be ashamed so can i!!! Its wonderful but ladies they don't have to be booty shorts!

    • by Vicky on August 3, 2015  6:59 pm Reply

      Exactly! I was in Berlin this weekend and saw so many girls' bum cheeks, I'm disturbed.

  18. by Rebecca on August 10, 2015  6:13 pm Reply

    I know you wrote this article ages ago but I found it through you naming it 'most controversial' blog post and I had to check it out! It's a really interesting subject, and I'm trying to imagine what my reaction would be seeing a group of girls wearing short shorts with obvious cellulite on show, to seeing girls with no noticeable cellulite. I always take a second glance at the bum-flashers no matter who they are or what they look like, and I think in this instance I would genuinely be more alarmed at their lack of concern for warmth! I was also at Parklife in 2012, it was absolutely dismal, and I can assure you I was wearing jeans, a hoodie and a mac, even tights underneath shorts wouldn't have been enough for that weekend.

    • by Vicky on August 15, 2015  10:43 pm Reply

      I know! When I remember it I just remember it being cold and miserable. There's a festival I'd never go to again! Yeah, I think when girls get their bum cheeks out in those shorts I'm a mixture of confusion, concern for their warmth and jealousy. My knickers are bigger than their shorts.

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  20. by Mike on May 3, 2016  8:21 am Reply

    These girls had some very sexy legs

  21. by lina on May 24, 2016  6:38 am Reply

    im in india new delhi , yeah i know culture here is very close minded, still u can seee many foreigns wearing shorts still some indians do too most of girls cover but its more about the culture than the celulit issue, still i was yesterday thinking how to cover what i put chcolate powder to disimulate ... but was stupid i bought the fucking shorts and i wanted to wear and im not so fat i think im an 8 or 10 but still this celulite issue bothers me, i stopped going gym i know i need to go again , but still this celulite difficult to eliminate...., so i decided to look in web a support ' should i wear shorts or not" and i found this article ..... i feel like ok im not the only in the world with same worry ........ here in india are many girls like chinesse style hmm how i say there are thin super thin no ass...., im latin ... i cant preted be like them ... i simply dont have the porportions like them i just need to accept my self as am , if i can do something for it i will, but still u feel like frustrated to still worryig abt it its annoying to myself ..... fuck i will wear that shorts !!!! i want and i want feel supported ..... i like article i never coooment to any page but this inspire me ...... thanks ( no offense to chinnese or nobody here its just the girls here very thin still look very nice in everithing )..... everybody wearing shorts for god sake i can do too !!!! its fuckin hot here summer aboutt 45 and its hotttt !!!!! and i want to wear shorts till i want !!! at leats i have legs to use ... right !? otherwise forget the shorts ........ thanks for article again ! bye

    • by Cint on May 26, 2016  7:57 am Reply

      Yeah do it definitely! It's about our freedom and comfort not anyone else's. I learned that today when my bf nagged me to show off my legs because i never do. So i felt forced but the whole day i was thanking him. And now im gonna wear what i want, not what i think anyone else likes.

      • by Vicky on May 29, 2016  3:07 pm Reply

        YES! Do it. The more people see it the more confident others will feel in getting it out. It's such a natural thing for a body but I think because we don't see it much people are in hiding. We need to unite and get it out!

    • by Vicky on May 29, 2016  3:16 pm Reply

      Hello Lina, thanks for your comment and for reading. It was very interesting to read about the subject from someone from a different culture's viewpoint. I think it's a difficult subject for the girls the world over. I include myself in that. Sometimes I'm the same and just think, ahh yeah, do what I want, wear the shorts. And then other times I'm like, no, I look gross, I can't do that to the world. As I've said in other comments I think it's because we never see cellulite that much from other people and so we're not used to being around it and it can seem alarming. We need to all get it out so we can become more used to seeing it and give others the confidence to be seen.

  22. by Vicki Winters on June 15, 2016  1:13 pm Reply

    I have very specific shorts needs. My wrinkly skin, combined with cellulite are not a pretty site. I ONLY wear shorts that come VERY close to my knees. This might be because I was FAT SHAMED as a child and teenager, but perhaps a vanity thing. I'll ask my therapist.

  23. by Lisa on August 11, 2016  2:16 pm Reply

    Hey, I've stumbled across your blog in the last few days and have to give you thumbs up for some well written, non judgemental articles so... ???
    My family and I went to Ynot festival in the Derbyshire Dales at the end of July, and found myself surrounded by young girls of all shapes and sizes in these micro shorts, I'm 100% behind the whole wear what you feel comfortable in but when did shorts become so bloody short? My 12year old son didn't know where to put his eyes with so many butts on display and my 6year old daughter spent the whole weekend giggling and pointing at bottoms ??
    For me personally I look at some girls with all sorts of woobly bits, stretch marks and cellulite hanging out of there clothing and I have to mentally hi-5 these girls for being confident in their own skin and daring to wear what they want to, it gives those that body shame one hell of a fuck you! X

    • by Vicky on August 13, 2016  7:39 am Reply

      Totally agree with what you say. I'm impressed and proud of the girls for not caring but at the same time I don't want to see their bum cheeks. I understand what you're saying about your children. I was at Wilderness Festival this weekend – a family friendly festival – and couldn't sit down to watch any stage without a girl stood up further ahead with their bum cheeks out. I don't want to see teenage girls like that, yet am forced to. Don't think there's much we can do about it, and they must be FREEZING! I don't understand them...

  24. by Sadie on August 12, 2016  12:58 pm Reply

    I can't believe you actually went round a festival taking pictures of womens 'cellulite' whilst at a festival. A music festival is meant to be a place of free expression, where people can literally wear whatever they like and it be celebrated and accepted. How do you think these women would feel if they knew you'd posted pictures of them online discussing whether or not it was acceptable to wear shorts depending on the shape of their legs?

    There are way more positive ways to discuss this topic than uploading pics of random women trying to have a good time!

    • by Vicky on August 13, 2016  7:36 am Reply

      Hi Sadie,
      Yes, it does seem quite odd now. I wrote this article four years ago and think it has sparked some interesting debate. As you'll have read, I think it's great that they're confident enough to get their legs out. I do think it weird that they wear shorts smaller than my knickers but each to their own. I was at a family friendly festival this weekend and couldn't believe how many girls had their bum cheeks out. Very strange.

      Please could you direct me to an article that has had as many comments and debate that didn't use photos? I'd be interested to see. People need visuals these days.

      Thanks for reading,


  25. by Richard Stucky on April 2, 2019  11:43 pm Reply

    Ok I have had enough. My better half wears short shorts and mini skirts and let me tell you she is perfect to me. She is proud of her body and so am I she us short has great curves. Yes she still turns heads. To a lot of people she shouldn't wear anything but a moo moo. Well for those poor people who feel that way you have my pity. But never ever think of yourself better than someone else or try to force your ideas on someone else you will have a lonely life. Those people who enjoy life like us will have all the fun. Good day and I hope your minds finally learn not to judge and accept all people beautiful.

    • by VickyFlipFlop on April 3, 2019  3:53 pm Reply

      Richard – I LOVE your reply. Your partner sounds absolutely fabulous, and so does your attitude. I wish we didn't even have to consider what we're wearing in a negative way but I'm afraid a lot of people do. I've definitely got better in my body acceptance, but friends around me are dreadful. We should all wear what we want, when we want, and be done!

  26. by Tonya on August 22, 2019  12:09 pm Reply

    I have terrible cellulite. I've tried surgery, endermology every cream. I just wanted a good smelling oil for my dry skin. Dermalmd serum absorbs fantastically into my skin. It has improved my cellulite in two days. I use it on my son's dry skin as well. It smells so good.

    • by VickyFlipFlop on September 17, 2019  10:03 am Reply

      Oh that sounds great. I'm glad you've managed to find something to help you feel more confident.

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