Step Aside #TigerKing, there's some new stripes in town.
I was 18 years old when I discovered a couple of stretch marks on my hip. Society had taught me that stretch marks were for women who had babies, people who were “overweight”, and that I should feel embarrassed about them and try to cover them up. (So you can imagine why I was freaking out over a couple of them). The self-body shaming thoughts came hard: I need to lose weight. These are so ugly. There has to be a product I can use to get rid of them. I remember telling my friend with disgust (and embarrassment) about my new discovery. She responded saying that she had them too. I was taken back, because she hadn’t had a baby and wasn’t “overweight”. I found comfort in the fact that we shared a similar insecurity, and it gave me a little more peace knowing I wasn’t the only one. When I got married a few years later, I was so nervous for my husband to see them. I knew I couldn’t hide them forever and that one day I would probably have more after having a baby. So I pointed them out to him, and his response was, “So? I have some too”. I was shocked!! I knew for a fact that he definitely had never had a baby...and he’s a pretty slim human so weight wasn’t a factor! Since discovering my first stretch marks when I was 18, I’ve learned that they are simply a sign that our body is growing, and there's nothing wrong with that! So why don’t we celebrate them? We celebrate when a toddler grows an inch, and we celebrate when flowers start to pop up in the spring. So why not celebrate our bodies when they grow? We have been taught by social media, society, the beauty industry, and those around us that stretch marks are a negative thing, that we should treat them with disgust and try to cover them up. Stretch marks are NORMAL. It’s OKAY that your body is growing and changing! And guess what? It’s going to constantly change throughout your whole life!! So let’s change the stigma around stretch marks (and a billion other things, but more on that later). Rather than looking at them as a negative flaw, celebrate them! Don’t cringe when you see a new stretch mark appear. Instead, smile, and reflect on the amazing growth your body has been through and all the wonderful things it has learned to do. Don’t be afraid to let them be seen. Confidence is contagious!#LoveYourLines Nourish your body, give it a high five every once in a while, and show it some appreciation for all the amazing things it has done for you so far. Your body will thank you.