I remember the first time I saw stretch marks on my body--they seemed to appear overnight. That moment occurred back in my adolescence, at one of the most awkward times of my life, and I was horrified. In an instant, wearing shorts was no longer an option, and the thought of wearing a bathing suit around anyone--including myself standing in front of a mirror in the solitude of my bedroom--sent me into a panic.
The mere act of knowing I had stretch marks, even if nobody could see them, caused me shame. I thought I was alone; a strange creature whose body was haphazardly decorated with red and silvery lines.
We all know that's not the case, but it took me a while to realize that pretty much every single woman I knew, and man, had the same lines somewhere on their body, too.
I started looking for them, and finding them, all around me. The strong, handsome guy who flirted with me had some on his arms. The cheerleaders had them on their thighs. And even though they were airbrushed off idols in my favorite magazines, they were certainly there in the gym locker rooms and on the beach. The more I saw them elsewhere, the more comfortable I became with my own body.
There's just some sort of comfort in knowing you're not alone, I suppose. Don't you agree?
I think that's partly why I'm all about the Instagram account loveyourlines, which features artistic shots of everyday human beings sharing their own lines.
I find stuff like this so empowering. Own the imperfections you have, share them with the world, and try not to apologize for them.
Do you have stretchmarks? If so, how do you feel about them today? Did it take you a while to accept, or even love, them? Or are you still reconciling with them? And does a project like this make you feel empowered and more comfortable in your own skin?