The first time many people learn about stretch marks it is in the context of prevention: How much water should you drink? How much lotion should you apply? How to get rid of them? With the wave of body positive influencers across social media, the normalization of stretch marks can be seen reflected in the ad campaigns of major brands. Stretch marks are no longer seen as exclusive to anyone that is not rich or famous. Learning to love such a normal part of human growth can be a challenge, but this summer is for loving your stretch marks.
Stop trying to get rid of them.
Although it can be difficult to accept, stretch marks are a beautiful and unique part of your body- much like freckles or beauty marks. Covering them up because you feel like you have to takes away from what makes you unique. Looking up ways to make them fade reinforces the idea that they should be considered ugly. When or why they appear is different for everyone, but they all have a story behind them.
Social media influencer Desiree Fortin shared her postpartum body with her followers, saying how instead of shaming yourself for having your scars you should be grateful you have them, quoting “For every woman unhappy with her postpartum marks, there is one wishing she had them.”
You are not alone.
Many people consider stretch marks to be ugly because they are often associated with weight gain, and fat shaming is still prevalent in society today.
Bodies should be celebrated for withstanding so much, not torn down because they come in different shapes and sizes. Stretch marks are a unique indication of what our bodies go through at different stages in our lives. Both men and women get stretch marks, and for some reason talking about it has gotten a bad reputation.
Normalize the conversation surrounding stretch marks to be about embracing them rather than being ashamed of them, and then maybe it will be easier for more people to love them.
Flaunt what you got.
Instagram influencers like Tess Holliday show women that they do not have to change the way they look to be considered and consider themselves, beautiful. She founded @EffYourBeautyStandards on Instagram, an account that celebrates body positivity.
Being comfortable in your own skin comes with accepting who you are, stretch marks and all. So did you buy a cute new two piece? Wear it. As long as you feel comfortable and confident in the things you wear, no one can tell you differently.
So wear something cute, make splashes in the pool, and take advantage of basking in the hot summer sun. You should not be ashamed to show the world your stripes, they are marks of a life well lived.
Loving yourself is sexy.
Fashion trends come and go, (Cue Heidi Klum: “In fashion, one day you’re in, and the next you’re out.”) but loving yourself is always in style. Stretch marks are all different; different sizes, shapes, and colors. Stretch marks should be considered works of art that our body naturally makes, and isn’t that sexy?
Models should not have to be airbrushed to perfection to fit into a box that people think will be considered beautiful. Brands like ASOS, and Missguided understand this and have stopped airbrushing their models to showcase their natural beauty, stretch marks and all.
Whether it be your stretch marks or birthmarks, loving your unique characteristics is what makes you beautiful. Confidence is sexy, and having the confidence to love the way you look should not be as rare as it is.