I am 24 years old, and for a good eight years now, I have bothered myself about ‘flaws’ like my stretch marks.
Mine first showed up when I was about 16, and then created ripples of waves when I was 8.5 months pregnant a few years ago (imagine my surprise after rubbing my belly twice a day with special oils for well over 30 weeks!) After the baby came, I liked to think of them as tiger stripes, or something amazing that went along with the great feat that my body had just achieved; thunderbolts even!
I thought they were coolish, but still there was that odd voice that comes from god knows where, whispering to me, “Get your body back!”
Now, with hard work one can certainly get in shape again.
But skin? What can realistically be done about that?
Not much, yet the standard is maintained; skin must be ‘smooth’.
I want to blame the media and the super-hot celeb moms for planting this idea into my head, but at the end of the day, the buck really stops with me.
When I think of all the remedies and oils and special massage techniques I’ve bothered myself with for years and years, genuinely believing that the results would show over time; it makes me want to hit myself.
Meeting unreal beauty standards seems to be a common waste of youthful energy, and when it comes to stretch marks, I doubt anyone even really cares! Does anyone actually even care about stretch marks or is this idea something we impose upon ourselves; an imagined imperfection that we believe to be in big need of ‘fixing’?
They say that women grow and blossom in confidence and sexuality as they hit their 30s, or so. I certainly do not want to arrive at the peak of my life still carrying hang ups about my body image. And now that I have a daughter to set an example for, it means even more to me.
So it is with a heavy heart that I unsubscribe from the standard of beauty and surrender my dream of android skin. The truth is my stretch marks are not going anywhere. I might as well throw out the oils and make an attempt to embrace them.
So here’s to self-love; stretch marks and all!