How to get rid of stretch marks!
Did I get your attention?
Good. This is important.
How do you get rid of stretch marks? You can’t… they are permanent. They will be there forever and there’s nothing you can do about it, (not without going under the knife or partaking in some pretty expensive and invasive procedures at least.)
Some people claim they’ve been able to improve the appearance of stretch marks, but let’s just be honest okay? Regardless how much oil you rub in, how hard you exfoliate or how much you can get them to temporarily fade. They will always be there and more importantly YOU will always know that they are. So let’s stop scrubbing ourselves raw and let’s talk about learning to live with them instead.
Truthfully I rarely discuss my stretch marks like this, if I talk about them at all, it’s usually as a throw away remark or as the punch line to a really bad joke. However, so much of our confidence and self worth seems to be dictated by these scars, I think it’s important we have a real, open and truthful conversation about them.
People comment a lot about my stretch marks on Instagram, usually in the most amazing ways. They call them my ‘strength marks’ or my ‘tiger stripes’. They ask me how I got up the courage to show them because they themselves feel so ashamed of them. They call me brave and inspiring because I display them (seemingly with confidence) in such a public forum. It’s a painful topic for so many and I know from personal experience, how much they can change the way you feel about your self and your body.
So let me tell you how about my stretch marks. How I live with them and what makes their appearance better to me.
Firstly, I am not a poster girl for stretch marks and I don’t aspire to be one. I set up my Instagram account despite my scars, not because of them and I struggle on a daily basis with displaying them in photographs on such a huge and public platform. My stretch marks look like a run/ladder that you would find in tights, they go from one hip, right the way over to the other. They are worse on my right side than they are on my left and in real life they are large, wide and deep.
I am not ashamed of them, but neither am I proud of them. They are just something unfortunate that happened to my skin from having my 1st child.
I do not personally believe they are battle wounds, (let’s just say my stitches already took that title). Nor do I see them as a representation of the miracle of life (that, in my eyes is dedicated exclusively to how I feel about my beautiful kiddos). To me they are just the same as acne scars from your teenage years… nothing remotely heroic about them, they just happened.
Stretch marks destroyed my confidence for a long time, especially coupled with some overstretched skin. Having them in my twenties meant I felt older than I was, I felt less attractive especially compared to other women my age, and I have to admit I felt like the person I was, had been slightly ruined by them.
These days, some ten years later; I think I have learned to accept their place on my body and I choose to work with them not against them.
It’s funny. When I think about it, I don’t ever aim to cover them up, yet I am not happy to show them off. I’m somewhere, struggling in the middle, in a sort of ambiguous no mans land. So to try and make peace with the situation, I figure I just have to be greater than my greatest flaw.
After embarking on a fitness program and for the first time in a long time, beginning to take good care of myself. I quickly realised that the fitter I am, the fitter I look, the better I cope with them. The stretch marks don’t look any different, but the body they are on does and that helps my perspective tremendously.
When you have an area of your body that is permanently scarred, or changed in a way that is detrimental to your confidence. It is so easy to give up on yourself. To believe that there is no point being fit and healthy or striving to build the body you’ve always wanted. That having stretch marks inevitably means your body is no longer entitled to look amazing. This has been MY biggest learning curve… and like I said it probably took me ten years to figure it out.
Having stretch marks should be our incentive, our motivation to find other ways to feel incredible in our bodies. They SHOULD NOT be self inflicted restraints that hold us back from fulfilling our potential.
On a personal note, I do think my tummy looks good now, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I’ll never be modelling swimwear or taking up-close, HD images of my stomach. But I still think, despite the scars, that my body is worth the work and worthy of my love and approval. It is important for people to see that it’s still worth working on your self even when you can’t change the things you don’t like.
One of the biggest most welcome surprises to me as my instagram account has grown is that swimwear companies have approached me and want to work with me – I never in a million years, (regardless of the number of people who follow my account) thought that any brand would want a scarred, wrinkly tummy like mine to promote their bikinis. But they do. They see other positive attributes in me and apparently having stretch marks makes me no less attractive as candidate for their business and brand image.
Believe enough in yourself to become your best self.
Build your body, your strength and your self esteem. By investing time and effort in YOU, by achieving your personal and physical goals, you can shift your own focus. When you look in mirror you will no longer be looking directly at your scars, you will see all the things you love about your hard earned body.
You will discover that your confidence becomes attached to ALL the things you are proud of, rather than the ONE thing you were so ashamed of and there, in its all its hard fought glory, lies the key to acceptance.