Hello. I have stretch marks.
Dictionary.com defines stretch marks as, “streaks or stripes on the skin, especially on the abdomen, caused by distension of the skin from obesity or during pregnancy.”
I have never been pregnant, nor have I ever been obese. I ran a marathon. I run hundreds of miles a year. Why do I have stretch marks?
I have them because I am human. Period. Our skin goes through so much throughout a lifetime. It stretches and, therefore, has to adapt as we grow and that can result in these marks. I never even thought twice about or even noticed my stretch marks until I kept seeing ads about ways to treat them. When I noticed them the first time, I didn’t really mind. “Oh I have stretch marks too. Cool!” was my first thought and then, I went on with my life.
Photo by Jessica E. Relyea
No negative thoughts surfaced in my mind because there is nothing negative about the things your body holds. Old scars, cellulite, bruises, stretch marks, etc. are storytellers! They show progress and growth. I used to hate that I bruise so easily because I thought the bruises made my legs look unattractive, but now, I actually kind of like them because they show what my skin has been through.
Did you know that 80% of Americans have stretch marks? There is no way to “fix” your body, and why would you want to? Can we stop talking about things “ruining” our bodies? No one should ever feel like the body they wake up in every morning is ruined just because of some lines on their skin, regardless of what caused them. You are not damaged; you are art!
Our bodies are our canvases. As we go through life, we get paint splattered on them. We get marked up and cut up and sewn back together. Bodies are here to show everything that we’ve done and everything that we’ve been through. They are evidence that you have lived.
My point is that you should never be too harsh on yourself, or let your body stop you from doing whatever you want. In the end, our bodies are literally just flesh and bones, functioning as a vessel for our souls.
I’m here to tell you to fully embrace your own body in all its glory. I’m here to tell you that your body deserves love and respect. It’s easy to forget that everyone has thigh jiggle and scars and body hair and tummy rolls. I say you are still so worth loving.
Moral of the story: there is no wrong way to have a body. I have stretch marks. Life is the most incredible thing I will ever experience, and if that means being a little marked up, then I’ll take it.
If you have stretch marks, who cares? Embrace your magical tiger stripes. Love your lines. You are a piece of art. You are a map. You have hills and valleys and you are a city waiting to be explored.