Do all women have pre-cellulite? Isn't cellulite normal?

Do all women have pre cellulite on their arms and legs when they do the pinch test? Does this mean that those areas will continue to advance if diet/lifestyle changes aren't made? [reader's question]

We have discussed pre-cellulite in another article and this gave rise to the above question by one of our readers.

All women have a "pre-cellulite" fibrous structure on the superficial connective tissue found within their hypodermis itself (lower part of the skin) and under the hypodermis. In the absence of enough amounts of fat, water retention, or both, this structure is either not visible with a pinch test, or barely visible. That's pre-cellulite: cellulite structure, just about visible with a pinch test. This is natural and normal. Of course, "not visible at all" is better than "barely visible", but both are absolutely fine at this stage.

Men also have this structure, especially if exposed to estrogenic factors, such as xenoestrogens from plastics, estrogen produced in their fat cells (yes, fat cells do produce estrogen), or even sex change hormones. However, most men though have this structure minimised, and also hidden underneath hair, so it irrelevant.

To answer the second part of the question: yes, cellulite will always develop from pre-cellulite, in most women and some men, if diet/lifestyle is unhealthy.


The different cellulite stages

In women, though, in most cases there is enough amount of fat within the skin itself, or under the skin, to make the actual cellulite structure visible. In this case we are talking about cellulite proper. This is "stage 1" cellulite, i.e. cellulite that is clearly visible with a pinch test.

Stage 2 refers to cellulite clearly visible while standing, while stage 3 refers to cellulite clearly visible while lying down.

Of course different aspects of the same thighs will have different stages of cellulite progression, perhaps stage 3 on the buttocks and saddlebags, stage 2 everywhere else etc.


Isn't cellulite just a normal aspect of being a woman?

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, and cellulite due to it's ubiquity may be considered today as a common aspect of the female physique.

However, that does not mean that cellulite is NOT normal (in the absence of sugar consumption, drinking, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, overweight or all the above, cellulite is non-existent or minimal), or that is is NOT healthy (cellulite is characterised by water retention, inflammation and fibrosis - definitely not the healthiest physical changes).

Obesity and overweight may becoming more and more aesthetically and socially acceptable in today's Western world, a world where people feed themselves with bucketloads of sugar and cheap fat and carbs every year. However, obesity and overweight is not "normal" and it is not healthy, being a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, among multiple other conditions.

In the same way, pre-cellulite is normal, but cellulite is neither normal nor healthy. 


Fat shaming and cellulite shaming

Lately a campaign called "cellulite Saturday" is gaining ground, calling for the acceptance of the cellulite appearance and encouraging women to be "proud" of their cellulite.

Here at LipoTherapeia, we do not agree with any type of "fat shaming", "cellulite shaming" or any other "shaming". We do encourage all clients to love and accept their bodies, firstly. Then, secondarily, if they wish to improve their appearance, that is a positive step from a positive beginning.

I am sure we all agree that physical appearance should not be a reason to judge someone negatively. But on the other hand, we should not pretend that overweight or cellulite are "normal". They may be common in the Western world, but they are not "normal" at all, at least from a health perspective.

So, however commentable "cellulite Saturdays" or similar campaigns may be, we do not agree with "normalising", or even worse, glamorising overweight and cellulite, neither with being "proud" about them.