I’m the master of smooth lines: come here often? You can become the master of your smooth lines too, babe.
Here’s how one babe learnt to love her stretch marks:
“I started seeing my stretch marks when I was 14 years old. It was a time of change, of does he like me or not, and of what the frank is happening to my body? My friends didn’t have them: that I knew of. So I kept them hidden, thinking they were weird and a sign that I was gaining weight, which I thought was indicative of poor health. Spoiler: it’s not.
It was only when I turned 25 that I started to see them in a new light. It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took a lot of work. Learning to love yourself can be tough, especially when we grow up believing everything about us is a problem; and it’s our fault.
I learnt what was actually happening to my skin.
I did what I always do: I Googled. I learnt that stretch marks happen when skin gets pulled by rapid growth. Skin is elastic by nature, but when it’s overstretched, the normal production of collagen is disrupted. This causes scars, aka stretch marks. It happens during puberty, pregnancy, and rapid growth when muscles grow. Knowing more about them helped me accept them; they’re natural, normal, and not there because I did anything wrong.
I started taking photos of them.
If you went through my camera roll, you’d find memes, photos of dogs, and photos of my stretch marks. Taking photos of them helped me normalise them. Normalising them made me less concerned or scared of them. I used to hide them, now I was putting them front and centre. Click. I was letting them be visible. The more I saw them, the more okay I became with them.
I gave them attention and love.
I stopped using products like scar removal creams, which never worked and made me feel like I was failing. I started using products that nourished them instead: scrubs with hydrating oils that made my skin feel soft alongside natural body creams.
I realised that stretch marks don’t mean I’m “out of shape.”
Changing my view on my stretch marks coincided with me changing my view on my overall body image. I was slowly unlearning what I’d been taught growing up and learnt to love every part of my body, seeing it as a functioning, able object: something that let me move, dance, eat, live.
I grew to love my thighs, my belly, my nose: all the parts of me I previously hated. I saw them for their purpose, along with my stretch marks. My thighs let me sit down and lets dogs sit on me. My belly holds ramen and chocolate and is a nice pillow for friends. My nose lets me smell lilies and lavender and lets me know when I’m getting sick by sneezing. My stretch marks show me I’m growing; physically and mentally.
Like my thighs, my belly, my nose, I still have days where I like my stretch marks a little less. But I no longer hate them.”
If you have more or less, stretch marks are beautiful. They’re a sign of growth. A baby. A booty. A girl becoming a babe.
Whether you keep them or not is up to you. For babes that want to nourish them and soften them, my scrubs are simultaneously exfoliating and hydrating.
They help make stretch marks feel and look smoother, and help you love them a little more.