Your Guide to Loving Your Stretch Marks

Self love comes in all forms, but a very important part of self-love is dealing with body image. Every day we struggle with little unique parts of our bodies, but sometimes we struggle with the big parts as well. We constantly pick apart our bodies and compare them to computerized images, as if that standard of beauty is attainable. It’s time to realize beauty comes from different forms -  it’s all-inclusive. But an insecurity that's all too common is stretch marks. You always see remedies on how to get rid of them fast, self-hating photos, and shaming pieces on something so natural. Stretch marks can come from anything, it's part of us. Why hate something like that? Here are 5 ways to embrace your stretch marks on your beautiful bodies:

Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

Change your view on it

With any mental transition comes a change of your vocabulary. Let’s face it: self-deprecating jokes and comments have to stop. Call them something other than ‘stretch marks’ or ‘elephant skin,’ change it to your ‘glitter stripes’, ‘love lines’, or ‘tiger stripes.’ Whatever makes you feel empowered, say it.

 

Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash

 

Practice self-love

This can range from anything from self-love affirmations to pampering yourself, to reflecting on your emotions to spending less time on social media. Whatever works for you, do it.

 

Make it into art

You don’t need to be Picasso to make art out of your stretch marks. Many artists have used different mediums to show their marks beauty.


 

For the glitter queen:

Last year, @sarashakeel came up with the revolutionary idea to put glitter in place of our marks. Who doesn’t love glitter?!


#estrías Cada unx de nosotrxs es diferente y, a la vez, cada cuerpo es de una forma u otra y tiene su propia esencia y energía. Hay muchos tipos de cuerpos, igual que hay muchos tipos de estrías. De eso me dí sobre todo cuenta el día que hice estas producciones. Pintando a Yacine, a Mònica y a Roser observé detalladamente su piel, la delicadeza que había en ella y, a la vez, la belleza y la esencia que estas escondían. Hay personas con más o menos estrías, con estrías muy gruesas, menos, o más o menos marcadas, y en esto, en la diversidad, hay la riqueza. Las estrías de Yacine me llamaron mucho la atención, pequeñitas, poco palpables a primera vista y verticales, era la aventura de descifrar todo lo que ellas escondían. Todos los cuerpos tienen (más o menos) manchas, pelos, pecas, estrías, curvas, rectas, heridas, arrugas... y todos son igual de válidos. Ya es hora de que empezemos a amar el nuestro porque, al fin y al cabo, esta es nuestra herramienta de comunicación con el mundo. Y si no nos gusta la herramienta que utilizamos para ello, dificilmente podremos sentirnos libres. Una vez más: quererse es un acto revolucionario.

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For the Modern painter:

Artist Cinta Tort Cartró came up with the idea to paint over our marks to show how beautiful they are, and I’ll admit I’ve done this too.

For the DIY Queens:

Real tattoos aren’t for everyone, but YouTuber LaurDIY shows us how we can get badass temporary tattoos ASAP.

For the doodlers:

Some people can’t access nice body paints or excessive amounts of glitter, and that’s okay. Let's put all that doodling we do to good use! If you want to get extra creative, start trying to do henna tattoos!

For the writers at heart:

If art isn’t you’re thing, try writing. Write a mantra you need, so every time you look at your marks, you can read a little reminder.

Whatever gets you to see that your marks are truly art, do it. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful, in every artistic way there is.

 

Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash

 

Repeat quotes to yourself

If you scour the pages of Pinterest, you’re bound to find some motivational mantras. Stretch mark love is no different, so find ones that speak to you. Put them as your wallpaper, hang them up in your dorm, repeat it 10 times a day - just get the fact through your head that it doesn’t make you any less of a person.

 

Photo by Clarke Sanders on Unsplash

 

Use logic

About 70% of women have stretch marks, so you’re not alone. Realize you’re not the only one that has them and if they’re bothering you, you can do something about it. They don’t define your beauty or your worth in this world, they’re a part of your body, just like scars, freckles, and birthmarks. The photos we constantly see on social media are ALL mostly touched up, it’s not all true. I know it’s difficult to find the line between real and fake, but instead, find out what makes you feel happy in your skin. Embrace it.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

I grew up with fluctuating weight. One year I was overweight and the next I lost 30 pounds quite suddenly. I’ve always struggled with self-image and my body, one of the biggest problems being my stretch marks. I understand it’s hard, but once you start to embrace your body and all its quirks, it’s so worth it.

This is the only body you’ll ever have in this lifetime, so why do you want to spend your time hating it? Never apologize for who you are or for your story. Whether you want to admit it or not, your stretch marks are part of your story.

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Cover Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash