Right now if you searched "stretch marks" on the internet, advertising, blog posts, social media and "how-to" articles which are about how women should love and be proud of their stretch marks however the same person then offers ideas and special "solutions" on how to remove them.
Please know right now, that you are allowed to dislike a part of yourself. It is completely okay and normal, however, if you are obsessing over it and/ or are doing unhealthy habits to try and "resolve" the dislike, then please seek professional advice as your dislike shouldn't be your every thought.
Medical News describes stretch marks as "long, narrow streaks, stripes, or lines that develop on the skin. They occur when the skin is suddenly stretched and are extremely common.".
Now, I would like to again say that they are extremely common, I have them too! Both men and women can develop them and they can appear on a huge array of body parts, including the stomach, thighs, bottom, breasts and back.
Stretch marks come down to genetics, your skin and the changes in your life (pregnancy, weight gain/ loss ect).
While there are some "treatments" available for stretch marks, there are none that are scientifically proven as effective, plus they are often expensive. So, if you're like me and a little sceptical of all of the "treatments", then what else is there to do?
You live with them.
I'm sure you remember the first time you noticed your stretch marks, for me, I was 26 weeks pregnant with my son (who was my first child). I had just had my usual night time shower and was looking in the mirror as I brushed my teeth in just my bra and underwear, that's when I noticed the little purple marks on my hip which now tattooed my skin. I remember feeling upset and disappointed, my whole pregnancy I worried about stretch marks and then I got them. I just stared at them in the mirror, hoping they'd go away.
My pregnancy went on and I had my son, the first thing I did when I was home from the hospital was looking in the mirror to see if I had any other stretch marks or how bad the ones I'd previously noticed were. I didn't find any extra stretch marks, however, the previous ones were darker and more noticeable now that my stomach didn't have a baby inside it.
It took me quite a few looks in the mirror to accept that they are there and they most likely would be for quite a while. Honestly, I don't like them and I don't think of them as "tiger stripes" for growing my son, and that's okay. I don't have to like them. But I also don't let them stop me from wearing what I want or how I feel about myself overall.
I'd like you to imagine you have a plastic bag, now I would like you to stretch the bag. What happens? The bag stretches and lines appear, the lines are a different colour and may also get crinkled or rough in the stretched lines. How would you suggest this is fixed? If you tried to squish it back together, or even cut and re-glue it, it will not be the same again. But guess what? The bag still works the exact same as before.
Stretch marks aren't the end of the world so I'd like you to stop dreaming and imaging your body without them. Stop comparing yourself to the models who are lucky enough with their genetics to not have them. Stop staring at them in the mirror and wishing a different stomach.
Stretch marks don't have to make you happy or proud, but they shouldn't make you feel as though you aren't beautiful.