Ode to Stretch Marks

Okay, so we all know that the media priviledges a certain image of women, mainly skinny and flawless. That’s bad enough. But I’m sick and fucking tired of reading about how stretch marks are ugly and evil and seeing all the pseudo articles and products meant to “minimize the appearance of ugly stretch marks.”

Stretch marks are a fact of life.

I have had them since I was about 12 because I grew busty then and voilá, stretch marks. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been fat/voluptuous/chubby/full bodied (pick one) in varying degrees my whole life. Most women who have been pregnant have them.

I have heard people exclaim about how stretch marks are “gross,” and no wonder when ads in magazines ranging from Cosmopolitan to Newsweek all talk about “unsightly” stretchmarks, “ugly” stretchmarks, and “undesirable” stretchmarks.

I was thinking about this because a friend of mine who is beautiful, inside and out remarked in passing about how she is self-conscious about her stretch marks. She’s had a kid, she’s lost and gained weight, she’s a normal woman. Why should she be made to feel ugly for what is normal?

I long for the day when instead of trying to get rid of stretch marks we learn to embrace them as part of what is womanly, powerful and even sexy.

Instead of seeing pictures of celebrities where a red pen highlights their stretchmarks as “flaws” we will see a new trend: skinny women who don’t have any natural stretch marks will be having a new special plastic surgery to create them.

Instead of the advice to cover up faint stretch marks with self tanning lotion to “minimize” their appearance, women will be applying body makeup to create them.

Hip huggers will be unacceptable unless seductive stretch marks are visible on the hips.

Women who get breast augmentation will ask for the extra stretch marks, to make them look sexy and real. Women who have breast reduction surgeries will make sure the skin isn’t unnecessarily smoothed out to “minimize” the natural attributes.

There will be a new fettish out there. People will be turned on by stretch marks. There will be websites devoted to stretch mark worshippers (are there any already? hmmmm… I’ve missed my niche if there are!). Men and women will live to make love to stretch marks. To rub yummy lotions into them to enhance their womanly appearance. To lick and love them for hours. Personal ads will provide measurements and estimated amount of stretch marks.

No longer will women have to hide their skin for fear of being ugly, for having a woman’s body.

No longer will women have to worry about them while pregnant. Of all the things to worry about when expecting a child, stretch marks shouldn’t even be making it on the radar, and WOULDN’T if weren’t for all the pressure to be perfect, and smooth and radiant.

My stretch marks are perfect and smooth and radiant. And I’m not buying any minimizing creams! In fact, I’m working on creating more stretch marks as I lose weight. So there!

They exemplify all that is me:
womanly
flexible
changing
adapting
voluptuous
powerful
elastic
growing

Our bodies were meant to grow, to shift, to hold, to move, to love, to stretch. We were not meant to be mere statues with smooth contours and flawless finish. We are beautiful in many colors, shapes, sizes and textures. Stretchmarks and all.

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9 Comments »

  1. Diana Said:

    Amen!

  2. Ambyr Said:

    You go girl!

  3. Daniel Said:

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  4. Briana Said:

    Gah! I know what you mean. I’ve had stretch since I hit puberty, and before my pregnancy I weighed about 130-135lbs.

    Now I weigh 182 (but apparently it’s mostly going to the baby, because the rest of me isn’t looking 182lbs!) and my stretch marks have become my worst nightmare. from the backs of my legs, around to my thighs, hips, all the way up my tummy well above my belly button, my back, breasts, a couple on the back of my arm, and one on my shoulder even! WTH. My mother who has weighed about 240lbs, and is now at 204, has never had stretch marks like mine, even when I weighed 120lbs. It really bugs me to go online and read all this crap about people commenting “ugly stretch marks” and how they talk about how gross they are and how ugly, but can’t see the beauty of the person over all. Most people have skin flaws. But stretch marks are natural, and it hurts me to hear all of the men (specifically) comment on how ugly they are and how they’d never date a girl that had stretch marks. My two cents…<—Good luck finding one! Our country has been brainwashed to view beauty in what you see in a play boy magazine, or any zine for that matter featuring female celebrities. (I do enjoy searching “celebs without make up” and “celebs cellulite and stretch marks” and showing my boyfriend that they’re just like us!) <—He was surprised to see some of these beautiful actresses and models are actually less beautiful than many of the woman you see every day on the street.

    Before my boyfriend and I were together he used to order playboy, but now he allows me to put them in the shredder. I open up this book every time to a perfectly lit, air brushed, smooth image of a nude woman who has been made out to be this gorgeous flawless creature for men to get off to. It disgusts me, the standards men have created for women. Because I should not have to feel unattractive because society is so focused on hiding what’s natural. But if you have ever seen my myspace you’d notice I post pictures including my stretch marks, and lots of them, and a lot of women don’t have the courage to even post “belly bump pregnancy pix” even when they DON’T have stretch marks. The media and society in general has made it hard for women to be anything other than sex toys, and when a woman doesn’t look like that, it kills her self esteem. People treat her like less of a woman, for some reason.

    I’m learning not to care and my boyfriend says I’m beautiful regardless. And I know I’ll get down to size, even if I get my “girly abs” back and have a nice body and a tan, these scars are here to stay! But you know what? I don’t care. I’ll be giving birth to our baby girl in less than 4 weeks! I enjoyed your article and I agree with you!

  5. abby Said:

    i have them after gaining weight in university. sigh. shit we have to endure.

  6. jen Said:

    Thats great u love your stretch marks. Not everyone is happy with theres. Whats so great about them. What u rather have them then not have them i think not. I have them and i think it is very unattractive.

  7. Danielle:) Said:

    I LOVE THIS!!!… i’m 17 and have them due to pregnancy from my baby girl. who is now almost 11 months old and they have faded so much but i know that they are there and i use to think they was sooo beyond ugly! i kept covered up while my friend where looking all cute in a two piece and i had a tee shirt on and shorts but honey NOT NO MORE! this is old people thinking your body is ugly if you got them and its not. i wear me a two piece now! and will continue to if someone doesn’t like it OH WELL is what i say i had a child and i am a woman and only human its going to happen but now i’m proud of them:) and this just made me smile when i read this:):):):):):):):):):):):):)…

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