There are so many quotes and love letters to stretch marks out there and I used to hate all of them with such a passion.
“You have earned your tiger stripes” – Firstly, I wasn’t trying to earn them and secondly, I’m an effing human woman, not a wild animal.
“Stretchmarks are the finest literature you’ll ever read” – Take your fine-ass literature somewhere else cause I ain’t buying it.
“You started with an almost blank canvas and your scars and stretchmarks are evidence that you’ve lived” – Doesn’t an artist get to choose what he/she creates? So why didn’t I get to choose whether or not I wanted scars and stretchmarks? Because I DIDN’T!
I spotted my first set of stretchmarks at a very young age and I broke down. I knew exactly what they were and I hated them immediately. My body was ruined, I was done for, I didn’t want to carry on growing.
They started on my hips but I remember wishing/hoping/begging/pleading/praying with all my might they wouldn’t go onto my stomach or the back of my legs. These two areas were my biggest fear for obvious reasons – if they made their way onto my stomach then my midsection would be covered and if I got them on my legs (the back of the knees specifically because that is common) I wouldn’t be able to wear dresses or shorts because I was not one of those girls I envied who let them be seen. If I could help it, I would hide them and if that meant never showing my legs again, then that would be my fate.
I can clearly remember the day I saw a mark on the back of my legs. I was about 21 or 22 and I had just gotten home from buying a really cute dress. I put it on again and as I was admiring the back of my amazing new dress, I saw it! I had a little stretchie at the back of my knee. I sobbed and sobbed, my heart was broken. When I finally pulled myself back together I went straight back to the shop and returned it. And that was the last day I put a dress onto my body until I turned 27.
Besides walking around like a mummy in summer, the stretch marks really affected my intimacy. When things got hot, I got scared. I didn’t want anyone to see or feel them and it’s pretty hard to get into the moment when you don’t want to be seen or felt.
My biggest issue was that I felt because I had never been pregnant I shouldn’t have them. In my mind the only woman who should have them is one that has given birth to a baby. This is such a warped way of thinking and I realise that now but I thought that I had absolutely no excuse or reason to have these marks on my body.
Now that I am in the process of embracing my body fully, I have had to deal with those demons and have learnt to accept them. I am still in the process of learning to embrace and love them and those stretch mark quotes don’t irritate me as much as they used to and I have actually found a favourite
Image & artist credit: Jordan Molineux
Tell me about your stretch mark story? Let’s talk about it, let’s help each other accept them and not be so scared of them.