When I first discovered my stretch marks, I freaked out and showed my mum the tops of my thighs thinking I had some sort of disease. My mum told me they looked liked stretch marks and they were never mentioned between us again. I was so embarrassed- the only things that registered in my mind- wrongly, of course, but I was 13- were ‘fat’ and ‘pregnancy’ and I certainly wasn’t pregnant so I had to be ‘fat’, didn’t I? I honestly believe that is where my weight issues started. Nobody ever spoke about stretch marks or body confidence when I was growing up and although I know not everybody has stretch marks, I also now know they are more common than 13 year old Molly thought. Over the years, the old ones that have faded and are now barely visible have been replaced by new ones caused by my weight fluctuations.I finally summed up the courage to mention my stretch marks to a friend over the weekend, whilst we were watching a crappy film and already talking about body confidence. I was so proud of myself for bringing up my biggest insecurity and awaited her answer. She didn’t answer, turned back to the film and started talking about the characters like I didn’t even speak. I wanted to cry, I wanted to leave her flat, go home, bury myself in my bed and never see another stretch mark again. I didn’t. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she was caught off guard, maybe felt awkward, and didn’t know what to say.
So when the conversation came back around, I mentioned them again. Her response was, “can I see your stretch marks?” I don’t know what I’d expected. I didn’t want her to tell me I was beautiful or that no one would care/notice them, but I certainly hasn’t expect either of her two reactions. Not matter what her reaction had been, I wouldn’t have been comfortable showing her them, but I certainly wasn’t going to after that response.
I guess the reason that I’m writing this post is because of the lack of information there was about this subject when I was growing up. If anybody, at any age, finds themselves in the position I did, I don’t want them to think that somethings wrong with them. I don’t want them to think that they are overweight or ugly because of a few marks on their body. It took me 6 years to mention these to someone and their response was less than ideal. But that’s ok. I am ok. My body is ok. My stretch marks are ok.
Some people call them ‘tiger stripes’ and some people see them as a representation that they grew a life, that is beautiful. I guess to me, the represent that I’ve fought a war with myself and I’ve won. X