I have always looked at my mothers’ stretch marks with great respect. As my friends started having kids, I looked at theirs in the same way. And now that I have my own, I oftentimes stare at them in the mirror, shocked and amazed at what my body managed to do.
Surprisingly enough, though, I am constantly asked what I am doing to get rid of my stretch marks. And, when told that I do not want to get rid of them, I am often met with confused looks. In one case, the woman I was talking to patted my arm and told me that I didn’t have to give up, there was always plastic surgery.
As Mindy Lahiri would say, ex-squeeze me?
That comments made me think of other physical marks of a life well lived, some of which I am still struggling to accept as such and not as something to fix or hide. For example, bags under your eyes are a sign of hard work. Hopefully you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night for the sake of your health, but oftentimes, those who work really hard still manage to have bags under their eyes. Another one are hands that are roughened by work, be they chores or as part of one’s job.
After all, our bodies are the instrument with which our souls are able to acquire virtues before passing on to the next world—shouldn’t they, therefore, bear the marks of this work proudly?
6 thoughts on “Learning To Love Your Stretch Marks”
Yep, most of us have them and I have more than I care to want! But it is me and I wish that society didn’t worry so much about all this stuff. Our bodies are beautiful and we should learn to embrace them more. xx
I totally agree with that! It’s something that I am working hard on achieving for the sake of my children. I don’t want them to waste time on something that doesn’t matter — i.e. achieving a certain body size — but rather focus on keeping their bodies healthy and useful!
I have always admired scars, as they tell stories of what someone has gone through and the experiences she has lived. Stretch marks are similar!
I was so sad when my linea nigra disappeared—I missed that physical sign of my pregnancies. (I wrote about it here if you’re interested: http://tenthousandhourmama.com/2017/02/27/my-linea-nigra-is-gone/
Just read your post, Catherine — loved it! Thank you so much for sharing it. The grief over losing your linea nigra is very touching, and I feel grateful that I am never going to lose my stretch marks!
This makes me think of that song… about the lines on her face being the path she had in life…and I truly agree with that – your body, the scars, the stretch marks, the dents and bumps, each laughter line…they each represent an experience or even a chapter in your life. Why erase it or try to change it? Although I strongly believe in taking care of your body because you’re only given one in your lifetime, I think as a society, we need to re-visit our idea of ‘beauty’ – why can’t stretch marks be considered as beautiful?
I agree — our conception of beauty is, ironically enough, not conducive to health at all. So these days, when we are taking care of our bodies to attain current ideals of beauty, we are usually negatively affecting our health. And oh so ironically enough, many women who are taking care of their bodies really well and are very healthy are not considered beautiful!