Ladies, Take Cover: 'Pre-Cellulite' Is Coming for You

Illustration for article titled Ladies, Take Cover: 'Pre-Cellulite' Is Coming for You

DID YOU HEAR? Maria Menounos has pre-cellulite. Yup, said so herself. That's where you don't have cellulite all the way I guess but LOOK OUT because cellulite is a cackling witch waiting to claim your nubile body just like being pre-40 or pre-menopausal or pre-old. Fact: We're all pre-old.


Said Maria Menounos, actress/journalist/Extra host, beautiful person, person whose name must always be said in full, helmer of a new reality show, Chasing Maria Menounos, to Health Mag:

Is there anyone you look at who makes you say to yourself, I hate you for that. I gotta do what you're doing?

I never look at anybody's body and think, Oh my God, I hate her. What I do is admire. Jessica Biel, for example, is so strong, and I would really love to be stronger like her. That inspires me to want to lift a few weights. If I were to take my jeans off right now, you would see pre-cellulite. It doesn't look that good, but I'm OK with that. We're all human. If I want to get rid of it, I know what I have to do.

Repeat, she said this thing:

If I were to take my jeans off right now, you would see pre-cellulite.

Like everyone, I thought you had cellulite or you didn't have cellulite, and if you are 90% of women on earth, you do. How come Maria Menounos has some in-between insight we didn't even know existed? Is that what it means to be beautiful, that you don't have a lot of terrible shit normals have to put up with, but you have a preternatural ability to see it coming well in advance?

Is Maria Menounos cellulite-psychic or more importantly does she know someone who is? Luckily, The Gloss had the same questions and dug up some science:

"Pre-cellulite" can be used to refer to skin that doesn't have any cellulite and is dimple-free. The Dermal Institute categorizes cellulite into four stages. I'll try not to make this too technical. In stage one, structural changes occur to the cells, including breaking down the skin's dermis, and fat cells swell to twice or three times their original size.

Stage two is when "fat cells engorge further and clumping is more pronounced, pushing the much-needed blood vessels further away" and the dimples become visible.

Stages three and four involve the cellulite becoming more pronounced. At the end of stage four, the cell structure has finished its transformation. So perhaps it would have been more accurate for Maria to say she had stage two cellulite?



Basically, cellulite is waiting to happen (or the technical term is "incipient cellulite"). It's just a matter of other contributing factors (i.e. diet, exercise, genetics) whether it will become visible or not.


Analyzing Maria Menounos' statements about pre-cellulite further:

It doesn't look that good, but I'm OK with that.

Hear ya, Maria Menounos!

We're all human.

Some more than others.

If I want to get rid of it, I know what I have to do.

I love this sentence because it almost sounds evil, like Maria Menounos will be visiting shady parts of town and trekking up dark stairwells and knocking on weird hidden doors and asking for Ashraf. But um, what-huh? What would you do, exactly? I thought the whole thing about cellulite, pre- or post-, was that you couldn't do anything about it, whether sensed emotionally in its infant stages or well after it is full-blown on your body, no questions asked, because there is nothing to be done, particularly if you're already doing all the things you could do even theoretically in the first place, like eat well, exercise, and drink tons of water, as one presumes Maria Menounos already does. Maria Menounos you are beautiful AND confusing!


Like Erin Gloria Ryan once laid it bare when underbutt hit the streets:

The cure for cellulite isn't science, diet, exercise, or bullshit creams that are somehow supposed to change the inside of your body from the outside; the cure for cellulite is reality.


And the reality is that cellulite is constantly framed as a weird aberration that we're supposed to spend thousands of dollars to fix (or hire assassins to kill, maybe, Maria Menounos?), even if the risk of those so-called cures is a leg needing to be drained every day for months because of fluid buildup (damn, you, seroma!) or a thigh looking like as if "holes had been carved out by a potato peeler."

And yet, we chase the cellulite cure breathlessly anyway because we have been made to feel so freaking terrible about its curse-like presence. Jezebel has covered it a bunch, natch, and Dodai busted out some truth right here:

Thanks to a steady stream of advertising, movies, TV and magazines, we're inundated with images of women, but between lithe models, Photoshop and swimsuit issues, we don't "see" cellulite in the media unless it's in a "bikini blunders" story, on other people on the beach, or on ourselves. Therefore, we're not used to confronting it. Our eyes register it as ugly, unsightly, a blemish, an ailment, an embarrassment. We think we're abnormal, and the flawless thighs in magazines and on the silver screen are normal. When they're the exception to the rule.


Someone else who is the exception the rule is Maria Menounos, who is gorgeous and all the things one needs to be to be on television and female, or just exist while looking great a lot. I'm not laying any of this at her pre-cellulite thighs — for one, she sounds like a person with a healthy attitude toward her particular relationship to being fit, and like I said, when it's your job to look good, you probably do have to develop a preternatural ability to detect all possible flaws in advance, because that's your livelihood, and I don't see how we could expect anything less, even if it's a major bummer.

But as usual, this level of scrutiny is yet another thing women have to make room for in the Bin of Bad Feelings About Our Bodies, the anti-Hope Chest that never gets dusty on account of us constantly having to open it up and pile new things in. So, scooch over, wrong boobs and weird clavicle, and make room for pre-cellulite, the newest wonder of the worry-world.


Image by Tara Jacoby.



This is honestly why I wish we lived in a society where women were around other naked women more often. Once I joined a gym and started seeing women dressing and undressing, I can't describe to you how much less neurotic I was about my "flaws". Because everybody has them. You see yourself naked and imagine that you're the only one who looks like that under your clothes, but you're really, really not. You start seeing other women undressed, and you realize that their bodies are still beautiful, "flaws" and all. I just think a lot of women would feel better if we all bathed in public baths or something, and you could see more of what real, human women look like unclothed.