Stretch Marks Are Beautiful: Here's Why

From the beginning of time, men, women, and everyone in between have always had societal pressure to look a certain way. A huge pressure, especially put on women, is the idea of not having stretch marks. Society, for the longest time, has ingrained in our brain that stretch marks are ugly and off-putting, and we should do everything we can to try and get rid of them. There are creams from a million different brands, and some are intended to be put on BEFORE the stretch marks even start! However, despite all these societal standards, stretch marks are actually so beautiful, and here's why. 

Scientifically put, stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched. The human skin is fairly elastic, so if you gain a few pounds over a year it is unlikely stretch marks will happen. However, if you gain a decent amount of weight in one area over a short period of time, it's likely they will show up on your skin. A prominent time in a woman’s life when they will most definitely develop stretch marks is pregnancy. Their body is growing to fit a whole other human so it makes sense! However, after giving birth, many women are ashamed of these marks that their body has developed. They buy all sorts of creams and oils to get rid of them and to act like they never happened. But — hear me out — pregnancy is one of the most powerful things a woman can do. Your body is put through hell for nine months getting ready to give birth to an entire new human that you now get to care for and love and nurture. So why would you want to get rid of the evidence of this powerful miracle your body went through? Stretch marks are your warrior stripes telling the whole world “I am a powerful woman who created a new life and these are my marks to show it.” 

Pregnant women aren't the only ones who get stretch marks, and just because you didn't carry a baby for nine months does not mean they can not be your warrior stripes too. Many young girls, when they go through puberty, will develop stretch marks. Our bodies are changing and growing to get us ready to do all the amazing things women do. Embrace those marks of growth! Your warrior stripes are telling the world that your body is growing to take care of all your organs and to prepare you to one day give birth to a baby, or to just go out and take on whatever the world throws in your way if having a baby isn't for you! 

So, why has society put so much pressure to get rid of them? It all stems from the stigma around heavier women, and that being fat does not equal being beautiful. However, especially now, more and more women are coming out and saying that just because we all don't look like Kendall Jenner (who is also beautiful in her own way) doesn't mean we aren't beautiful.

Personally, I am not the skinniest person in the world. I weigh well over 150 and I'm 5 '6, qualifying me as “fat.” After starting birth control, I put on some weight quickly so I developed a lot of stretch marks on my lower stomach, thighs, and boobs. So many people have tried to convince me to attempt to get rid of my stretch marks because “people might see them when you wear a bikini,” or “you don't want people knowing how much weight you've gained.” But why? 

I want everyone to know that, regardless of how much I weigh, I am beautiful and healthy and proud of the body that takes care of me every single day. This body allows me to walk anywhere my heart desires, to break swim records at my high school, to dance and laugh and share special moments with my friends, so why ever be ashamed of it. The same goes for all you young women, men, and everyone in between. Be proud of your growing and changing body and all the stretch marks that it produces. 

Remember, everyBODY is beautiful!