So you have stretch marks, now what?

     If you're like me, you have stretch marks, so what? It took me a long time to find my "so what" when dealing with my own stretch marks. I honestly do not know how I got them, I didn't lose a bunch of weight in a short period of time, have a baby, or hit a severe growth spurt....they just sort of appeared out of nowhere. I got them around the age of twelve and that's when the journey began. Not understanding how I got them, I began using numerous stretch mark removal products and trying countless home remedies to get rid of them. They were embarrassing and I desperately wanted them to go away. Whenever summer was just around the corner my stomach would get butterflies because I knew swimsuit season was vastly approaching and wearing anything that remotely resembled bikini bottoms was absolutely out of the question. Until I was about seventeen years old I always wore boy swimming trunks to swim in until I actually realized they made girl swimshorts. The girl swimshorts were a little more satisfying because they were actually girly and a little shorter which made me feel a little bit more feminine. As I got older, I didn't want to continue wearing the swim shorts, I needed to start wearing swimwear that aligned with my age and didn't look childish.  I purchased a pair of bikini bottoms and thought maybe I could cover the marks up with makeup. Although the marks were somewhat covered up when I put the makeup on them in the bathroom, as soon as I splashed a tad bit of water over all washed away. So makeup was out of the question, I couldn't escape these ugly boy shorts. My brother always asked me why I just didn't take the shorts off and he became so annoyed with the obsession over my stretch marks that he started calling me el Tigre. My family wanted me to just get over them but I literally couldn't. I wasn't mentally prepared. Having these stretch marks was my biggest insecurity, far bigger than when I had crooked teeth and wore braces. This was something I couldn't just get rid of no matter how hard I tried. Above all, what I worried most about was how much of a turn off it would be for a guy when I finally had sex. What would he think? Would he still like me? or Would he even care? Those continuous streams of questions flowed through my head every time I looked at these ugly scars, I was disgusted. There was nothing else worth doing, I could no longer cover up what I didn't want the world to see. Then it dawned on me...if there was nothing else that I could do, then what was the point? I had the choice to either continue to hide my body or say f*** it. So I said f*** it. I consciously made the decision to embrace my stretch marks despite how I feared other people perceived them. Life is too short to worry about stupid insecurities that I cannot do anything about. I won't sit here and lie to you saying I felt totally and absolutely liberated the first time I took my shirt and shorts off at the beach as if the heavens opened up and a great big wind came and blew my hair back while the sun shined on my melanin kissed skin as the angels began to sing once I threw my arms back. NO, that didn't happen. It took time and a little getting used to for me to get comfortable showing my upper thighs and the bottom of my a** to the world. Once I reached that stage of being comfortable with my body, then the worries I had about my stretch marks seemed so juvenile. Embrace yourself, love your body, f*** society, and accept those tiger stripes. If you're like me, you have stretch marks, so what?