Stretch Marks – How we think & talk about them matters

Today while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I noticed a friend of mine had liked a beautiful photograph of a woman and her daughter at the beach. Both Mom and Daughter were wearing bikinis, and both had a radiating smile across their faces. When I clicked on the caption, I was inspired. Honestly, I almost teared up. I instantly knew that I wanted to share the post with you. Take a few moments to read through the caption and appreciate the picture HERE.

In the beginning of March, I posted a blog about the importance of changing the way we think and talk about bodies, body image and self-esteem. Allison Kimmey — a body-positive coach and blogger who stars in the photograph with her daughter — could’ve handled this situation in many different ways. She chose to normalize stretch marks and add a positive connotation to them. The truth of the matter is, everyone has stretch marks. No matter your weight or body shape, it is nearly impossible to not have stretch marks. Children and adults get stretch marks when skin grows very quickly, meaning when a person gets taller, gains weight, etc.

Because stretch marks are hidden in advertisements and social media posts, there is an idea that stretch marks are ugly. They are something we should hide and be ashamed of. If they weren’t shame-worthy, wouldn’t they be shown regularly in pictures?

What’s so wrong with stretch marks? Why are we brainwashed into thinking they’re ugly instead of studying their unique marks and appreciating our skin for what it is? After all, each of us is one-of-a-kind. Our bodies are complex and remarkable. Instead of hating our bodies and criticizing ourselves over things we think are “ugly,” we need to appreciate the beauty of our bodies.

Maybe our stretch marks aren’t as ugly as we think they are. Instead of dwelling on the negative thoughts, we should try to think about the positives. Think about the fact that no one else on this planet has the same stretch marks as you. No one else has the same story behind those stretch marks, either. Maybe you grew two inches in high school, well after your doctors told you that you stopped growing. Or maybe while you gained weight and fought inner-demons, you grew tiger marks on your stomach: something that you believe symbolizes the invisible battles you overcame.

Allie’s post is a push I needed to get me to love and admire my stretch marks. How do you feel about yours? Have you hated your stretch marks before, and if so, what helped you learn to accept/love them? Share your advice and experiences in the comments below!

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