A Letter To My Stretchmarks

Dear Stretch Marks, 

People seem to be concerned about you A LOT lately, but it's not in the way we’ve been used to. My instagram has been filled with images of people referring to you as glitter lines, tiger stripes, battle stripes, power stripes, the list goes on and on and on. People suddenly don't want to hide you….weird right? That’s what I thought too. 

What happened to the years of pushy marketing convincing me to buy products to get rid of you, products that have never worked, that lie in the deeper, invisible corners of my bathroom cabinet lest anyone should ever see them. Hmm strange. 

I cant shake the feeling of slight embarrassment when you peek through my tank top or bathing suit - it just feels...not great. I think other women I know have had rough relationships with your kind as well. I remember my 16 year old friend telling me that she didn't get a role in a film (or was it an ad?) because she had too many stretch marks on her arms, ugh traumatic right? I'm sure she's tried to eliminate you guys from her body very very aggressively. 

Another friend of mine has been freaking out about you guys encroaching upon her stomach and occupying the skin that was once smooth AF as she enters into the second trimester of her pregnancy. She has an entire routine figured out, slathering herself in expensive, supposedly miracle oils in the hopes that you wont make an appearance on her ‘summer bod’ post delivery. 

Surprisingly, I have rarely seen my ‘male’ friends struggle with you guys. They seem to flaunt their tank tops while working out at the gym, without a care in the world about the stretch marks on their newly acquired biceps. Wierd...or is it? Society seems to have ridiculous standards in place when it comes to physical appearance for women, so this shouldn't be surprising, years of conditioning have convinced us that stretch marks are bad, but people who have not been subject to this unrealistic pressure, dont seem to have this negative relationship with you guys. Hmm

I read about people loving their stretch marks now, and that really got me thinking about our situation. So after thinking about this long, and hard, I think I’ve figured out where I stand with this relationship. 

After a lot of pondering, I realised that I didnt just wake up one morning with you, I feel like each one of you is almost representative of a memory. The squiggly little line on the side of my hips remind me of my transition from a young little girl, into a ‘woman’ at least by societal standards. The very visible stretch marks on the side of my arms are a reminder of the hard work that went into achieving a healthier lifestyle after a bout of (more like a year of) mindless binging because of my severe anxiety. Its almost a constant reminder for me of the time I was able to retake control of my mental and physical health. 

So dear stretchmarks, I wanted to tell you that Im sorry, sorry for trying to hide you behind concealers and creams and oils galore. You are actually pretty great, a constant reminder of my body’s resilience through the years. 

So how about we make this relationship official? 

 - Anonymous

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