I’ve got cellulite. You probably do, too.
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is that lumpy, dimpled skin caused by fat built up under the skin, most commonly found on your buttocks, hips, thighs, breasts, and abdomen. An estimated 80-90% of women are believed to have it, and while it may be frustrating, the condition is entirely harmless in relation to your physical health.
Cellulite sometimes becomes more visible as we get older, because producing less estrogen means mean poorer circulation, which can mean your body produces less collagen production as older connective tissue breaks down — and also because women apparently cannot seem to catch a break.
Personally, I know that whenever I’m with a guy for the first time, I live in terror of him seeing my cellulite-covered thighs. I worry he’ll see me and judge me to be too old, too fat, or too out of shape for him to find me physically attractive.
Of course, no man I’ve ever been with has ever said anything about this. That’s probably because, while I’ve dated men who were monsters, they were not the kind of monsters who would bring up the cellulite on a a woman’s body for no particular reason.
That said, I’ve also never brought up the subject of my cellulite with any of my male partners, so I have no idea what was going through their heads when they did, indeed, see mine for the first time.
Out of curiosity, I decided to ask a group of plucky men (who shall remain anonymous) some questions in the hopes of getting some insight into whether or not guys actually care about the cellulite on women’s bodies.
Question 1: What’s the first thing you notice when you see a woman naked for the first time?
“Probably her breasts, because that’s what’s most visible. But where I go consciously looking is her vulva.”
“Her curves — shoulders, breasts, waist, hips, and legs.”
“Her overall shape.”
“Specifically naked? Breasts and hips, clavicle. Overall figure, and pubis mons.”
“Whether she has goose bumps or not.”
Question 2: What do you like the most about a woman’s skin?
“I love when a woman’s skin is soft, and the way it can be slightly sweet-smelling. I also love to bite and lick and run my teeth along it.”
“The touch; skin to skin contact is very sensual.”
“Its smell when sweaty.”
“The smell. Mmmmmmm, the smell. I love touching it, too.”
Question 3: In a few words, tell me what you think cellulite is.
“It’s fat that’s visible on the outside?”
“It’s fat that causes dimples.”
“An accumulation of adipose and salts.”
“I have it too.”
“A normal thing, very little issue.”
“Herniation of subcutaneous fat within fibrous tissue.”
“Sub-q fat. Makes the rippley bits?”
“Fat underneath the skin.:
“Not sure what it is, but it creates striated skin.”
“Body fat that has a distinctive appearance.”
“No clue. Fat?”
Question 4: Do you ever notice cellulite on women? If you do, what do you think of it?
“I don’t pay much attention to it, nor do I really care about it.”
“I do but it doesn’t really effect my impression.”
“It suits some more than others.”
“Usually fat just thickens, and that’s fine, occasionally good. Where it’s lumpy through the skin, I am unattracted.”
“Sometimes I notice, but they are just ripples in time.”
“Um … I guess? I don’t think of it one way or another.”
“Sometimes, and it’s normal.”
“I don’t think of it. It’s part of life lived.”
“A woman has to be ultra fit to not have cellulite, i do not care unless it is very (very) gross.”
“Rarely, and it depends on the woman. Sometimes its not a big deal and curves are often sexy.”
“I notice it, but don’t care.”
“It’s OK. It’s life.”
Question 5: If you had to describe the cellulite of the woman you love and she would never find out, how would you describe it?
“It’s part of what gives her that booty that drives me wild.”
“Her stomach is large, but smooth and not round or droopy.”
“She actually has more problems with it than me. She’s got very few spots.”
“Ripples in time.”
“I don’t know that I could. I really don’t pay enough attention, for better or worse. When my significant other lost 15 lbs. and I didn’t notice, I had to really gently remind her that I didn’t notice her putting it on, either. It can feel like a tightrope.”
“No big deal.”
“I wouldn’t. Why bother? It doesn’t affect my love for her.”
“Ripples of fat.”
“Vein. Fat lines.”
Question 6: Does a woman’s cellulite change how attracted you are to her?
“I can’t imagine it would, though theoretically, that’s possible. I’ve been with extremely obese people before where it felt like their skin had somehow come detached from their bodies. I found that quite unpleasant.”
“Not unless she was morbidly obese.”
“I don’t like it but also skinny attractive women have it because it’s normal. So it probably depends.”
“It depends on her overall physical health more than the presence of cellulite.”
“None whatsoever. I am often called a ‘chubby chaser’, a term that I absolutely hate. But I am not sizist, really at all. I’ve been with women of just about every shape and size. Well, not a body-builder physique, but certainly some athletic women who were stronger than me.”
“Not at all.”
“Kinda, if she had a severe case of cellulite then yes the attraction will change.”
“It could potentially depending on the degree, and how it compliments her figure.”
“No. Its just fat.”
Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.