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Should Girls With Cellulite Wear Shorts?

Wearing shorts with cellulite can be seen as a ‘brave’ thing to do – many women try to hide it away. Let’s see why…

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.

READ MORE about weight, fitness and body confidence

Read this Second Nature Review for an honest look at the healthy eating programme. I go through what it’s like to follow it, what to cook, and the great results I’ve had from it. Also, the best countries for losing weight, and, to keep the balance, how to keep your body confidence on holiday

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! 

The best shorts for cellulite thighs are the ones that make you feel comfortable in your skin and yourself. Wearing shorts when you have cellulite is perfectly acceptable, you just have to feel comfortable with it.

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. Try and find some that are breathable though.

Wearing tights with shorts is my favourite way to hide my cellulite, if I’m feeling a bit sensitive about it.

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. They’ll also be more comfortable when you sit down too.

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.

“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!

If you hate your legs and feel like you can’t wear shorts, look around. Look around in REAL LIFE, not just at Instagram or the models. I guarantee people down the high street have cellulite too!

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 



Tuesday 19th of July 2022

I started playing tennis and was really self conscious about wearing shorts/skirts with the front of leg cellulite that I have. I rub cellulite reduction dermal md serum on about 30 min prior to leaving the house and it really makes a difference in the tightness and really makes the cellulite less noticeable. I don't use it all the time but just when I need it.


Monday 25th of October 2021

I came across this article trying to find shorts to possibly hide my cellulite. But after reading this I really don't think I care that much about it. I loved this article so much, super eye-opening. I'm 17 and have cellulite, but so does my 7-year-old sister! It's okay to be a little lumpy because we aren't built perfectly. My personal opinion on women wearing short shorts is who cares! As long as you were warm, it really doesn't matter what other people choose to do with their life. I feel proud to be a part of a collective female group that expresses themselves and openly embraces their bodies. It's honestly so empowering. And 80%! It's great to know it's not just me :)


Thursday 28th of October 2021

Hi Nieve, I'm so happy to read this comment! So many women have cellulite, it's perfectly normal. I think it took me a while to realise that. And yep, as long as you're happy with how you dress that's really all that matters. So glad to hear it's given you a boost. Wear those shorts!

Larry Sorey

Saturday 17th of July 2021

Girls/women now days wear anything they want. If someone says anything it's called 'Body Shaming' OR you can get called on for sexual Harassment and get sued for doing so. why do people always have to bring kids into it. They are to busy playing and could care less.


Wednesday 1st of June 2022

@Larry Sorey, why would anyone comment on someones cellulite? It’s normal.


Thursday 22nd of August 2019

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.


Tuesday 17th of September 2019

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

Richard Stucky

Tuesday 2nd of April 2019

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.


Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

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!