20/08/2020

A Love Letter To My Stretch Marks

Growing up I believed that stretch marks were something you only got during pregnancy, since that was the only representation I saw of them. Even then it was in the form of adverts for magic creams and oils that would supposedly get rid of them, so not only did I think that I was abnormal for having stretch marks all across my body as a teenager, but that I should also be slathering myself in every product going to try and make them disappear. As you can imagine, I didn't have a very healthy relationship with my stretch marks for a while as a result. The ones in the more 'normal' places were easier to accept than the ones that seemed to be on parts of my body that no one else had them on. My condition, Marfan Syndrome, causes stretch marks even when there hasn't been any major bodily change and so they pop up on me everywhere, I even spotted one on the side of my face recently. For so long I felt abnormal but somewhere along the way I began to love them.

It feels like there has been a positive shift in recent years when it comes to stretch marks, at first I began noticing less and less adverts for creams and oils that claimed to reduce the appearance of them. After that I started seeing models with brands such as ASOS who hadn't had their stretch marks photoshopped out, for me my epiphany came before these changes but seeing them become more visible over the years has certainly helped me along in my journey. 

It was learning to love the stretch marks on my arms that was the turning point for me. Across social media I was seeing more body types than ever before, but I still wasn't seeing anyone with the kind of stretch marks I had. I still felt like I almost didn't quite fit in, even amongst all the body positive instagrammers. My stretch marks aren't totally the product of weight gain or body changes, for me they just pop up whenever and wherever they fancy due to my genetic condition. So, whilst it was incredible to see so many people embrace their bodies, I still felt like I was missing from these conversations. I was looking for acceptance from the body positive community, when actually all I needed was acceptance from myself. 

I'm not sure when but one day I just began to see my stripes as nothing less than beautiful. I was amazed by what my body could create, I felt like a canvas and my stretch marks were the paint. I was and still am fascinated by the textures of my stretch marks and the way they all differ in size and shape. I love them in the same way I love my scars, for me they tell a story. There are parts of my body that I fall in and out of love with but the way I feel about my stretch marks will never change now. 

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE this post! Thank you for speaking so openly and sharing your photos. I've had problems with weight and body image since I was in my teens, and more body positivity, people sharing the 'truth' of natural bodies like on social media as you say, all helps in our journey towards self-acceptance and, hopefully, love of ourselves. I stretch marks and cellulite but since having a stoma I do start to feel more like these things are just a drop in the ocean; they don't matter, they're part of the journey, part of what I've been through. "I felt like a canvas and my stretch marks were the paint" - that's a good way of looking at it, and focusing on the amazing things our bodies can do rather than what they look like.

    Caz xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad this post helped! It's so important to show these things and I'm really grateful to the body positivity movement for helping people to become more open! x

      Delete


TEMPLATE DESIGNED BY PRETTYWILDTHINGS