29 Things People Want You To Know About Their Stretch Marks



newyearsrevolution

Health

“They represent another part of myself that I’m ‘supposed’ to
hate, but I refuse.”

Posted on January 06, 2018, 19:01 GMT

Kate Bubacz / Via BuzzFeed News

Stretch marks are indented streaks that can appear on the
skin. They occur most often during periods of rapid growth,
such as puberty or pregnancy, but anyone can get stretch
marks, and for any number of reasons. They look different
depending on your individual skin, how long you’ve had them,
and where they are on your body. For most people, they become
less noticeable over time.

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to
tell us what they want other people to know about their
stretch marks. Here are some of their responses.

1. “They represent another part of
myself that I’m ‘supposed’ to hate, but I refuse.”

buzzfeed.com

I’ve had stretch marks for as long as I can remember. My
body grew quickly, and early. I started getting my curves
in early middle school, and gained weight along the way
of course. I don’t hate them. They are a part of me! I’ve
had people question me, thinking they are scratches or
scars. They’ve never been bothersome to me, I think their
silvery sheen is kind of beautiful. To me, they
represent another part of myself that I’m “supposed” to
hate, but I refuse.
They’re on my hips, my ass, my
boobs, my arms, my shoulders, pretty much everywhere.
They’re a part of me, but they certainly don’t define me,
or anyone else who has them!

—jm1031

2. “Once upon a time I saw them as
evil. I now see them as a symbol of courage and recovery from
anorexia.”

My stretch marks are a reminder of my strength. During my
recovery from anorexia, I gained weight and a few stretch
marks on my thighs and around my bum. Once upon a time I saw
them as evil, just another obstacle in the way of me
achieving skinniness: I now see them as a symbol of courage
and recovery from anorexia, and on my darkest days they
remind me I am imperfectly perfect.

—emmas4e10ef189

3. “They remind me of Kintsugi: the art
of repairing broken pottery with gold lacquer and
acknowledging that the piece is greater with that
repair.”

Haragayato / Wikimedia Commons / Via commons.wikimedia.org

It’s your body’s natural response to stretched skin. All
it shows is that you’ve changed, and that isn’t a bad
thing. They remind me of Kintsugi: the art of repairing
broken pottery with gold lacquer and acknowledging that
the piece is greater with that repair. Stretch marks
are just like that. They show that you have changed and
they should be accepted and loved.

—ilianap452f6fff6

4. “I was so sick from Crohn’s disease
that I only weighed 72 pounds. My stretch marks appeared when
I started to get healthy again. I love them.”

When I was 12, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I was
so sick that I was 5’4″ and only weighed 72 pounds. My
stretch marks appeared when I started to get healthy again
and gain weight fairly fast. I love them because they remind
me daily of how strong I was and continue to be.

—chloeeleanor1121

5. “Stretch marks are not just for
women. They affect all genders and all bodies and it’s as
simple as that.”

4fr / Getty Images / Via gettyimages.com

I wish people would realize that everyone gets stretch
marks. They are not just for pregnant women or people
losing weight. Every single person can get them. It’s
just a sign that you grew too fast for your skin. They
are not unnatural — in fact, they are the most
natural thing. They are the scars from growing up, of
change and, of getting older. They aren’t to be ashamed
of, but loved. They show that you did it, you passed
through childhood to being a teenager or adult.
And
men get them too. They affect all genders and all bodies
and it’s as simple as that.

—leeloveshp

6. “I want people to know that my
stretch marks don’t need to make them uncomfortable.

I want people to know that my stretch marks don’t need to
make them uncomfortable. They are human.

—paytonl2

7. “They just mean I’m a person,
specifically, a person who grew fast.”

They just mean I’m a person, specifically, a person who grew
fast. I hit puberty really late and when I did, my hips and
thighs filled out very quickly and the stretch marks came
immediately. Almost ten years later, I still look like I lost
a lot of weight or was pregnant, but all it means is that I
am a person.

—jessebruso

8. “They make me stronger! Never in a
million years did I think I’d work my way into bodybuilding
and step on stage for everyone to see my stretch
marks.”

buzzfeed.com

My stretch marks make me stronger! Never in a million
years did I think I’d be working my way into
bodybuilding, let alone step on stage for everyone to see
my stretch marks. I have them on my stomach so badly that
when I bend over my stomach hangs. I have them on my
lower back, on my boobs, and on my arms. All the spray
tans in the world can’t hide them.

My daughter and I created those marks together while she
grew into a healthy human. I would be lying if I said I
haven’t thought about skin graphing. But through the
years, I learned to accept them. They don’t change who I
am or my work ethic. I am still worthy. I am still
capable of being number one.

—cheerfulk

9. “I’m a guy with stretch marks on my
hips because I grew quickly. But I don’t care. I’m still
handsome.”

I’d guess that most people think stretch marks only happen to
women, but I’m a guy with stretch marks on my hips. I’m too
old to remember when it happened, but I’ve got them. I grew
quickly after being short for most of my adolescence. But I
don’t care. I’m still handsome.

—Simon Ritchie, Facebook

10. “I have PCOS and was told I would
likely never conceive. My stretch marks are proof that my
body was capable of doing the one thing I was convinced it
couldn’t do.”

buzzfeed.com

This picture is from when I was pregnant with my
quadruplets. I have severe PCOS and was told that I
likely would never conceive a baby. At 26, I gave birth
to my first son with a little help from fertility meds.
Fast forward 2 years, and I wanted to give my son a
sibling. After a miscarriage, I conceived quadruplet
boys. I carried them to 33 weeks and delivered all four
safely, with no complications. I was left with what I
call “battle scars,” and I wear them proudly.
They
are proof that my body was capable of doing the one thing
I was convinced it couldn’t do, and not just once, but
twice and in ways I never could have imagined.

—tigersgurl82

11. “They remind me that my body is
impressive. I have pushed it to the limits, good and
bad.”

I was severely anorexic 10 years ago. My organs started
failing and my body hair was falling out. My family was very
supportive and helped me recover really healthfully. I have
stretch marks on my hips, thighs and breasts. They remind me
that my body is impressive. It lifts tractor tires and runs
half marathons. I have pushed it to the limits, good and bad.
But I cherish my body, scars, stretch marks, body hair and
all.

—msbrandylochen

12. “The way my skin looks almost like a
dull opalescent is kind of bewitching.”

Timoninairyna / Getty Images / Via gettyimages.com

I just think they’re beautiful. The way my skin looks
almost like a dull opalescent is kind of bewitching.

—polkadotowl2

13. “My stretch marks come from when I
was put on steroids to treat lupus, which caused weight gain.
They mean I am stronger than anything life throws at
me.”

My stretch marks come from a very difficult time in my life.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with lupus and put on
steroids to treat it. Steroids thin your skin and cause
weight gain, which often leads to bad stretch marks. I fought
hard for a few years, and finally got taken off of the
steroids a few months back. To me, my stretch marks mean I
am stronger than anything life throws at me, and that no
matter how bad things may seem I can persevere.
I am
proud of my battle scars!

—nathansgirl

14. “I just want to think of them as a
regular body part like my ears or knees.”

Calling stretch marks “tiger stripes” or “battle scares”
frustrates me just as much as people demonising them. I know
some people need to think of them that way, but I wish we
could all stop making them seem larger than life, either
positively or negatively. I just want to think of them as a
regular body part like my ears or my knees. I want them to
become something so regular and boring we stop noticing at
all.

—tessinspace

15. “My stretch marks remind me of the
journey my body has been on.”

16. “I feel like my marks make me look
like a mermaid.”

I never noticed my stretch marks until I was 16 and my
friends started commenting on theirs. After that, I remember
looking at my hips in the mirror and thinking that my stretch
marks looked like lightening bolts. I felt powerful and
beautiful and I loved looking at them. They also looked like
untouched pictures of celebrities in their underwear and it
felt like I had a connection to some of those women. Now I
feel like my marks make me look like a mermaid. You know how
the surface of water moves and looks shiny? My hips look like
that and I love it!

—angelicac46b5ea3a6

17. “To me, stretch marks symbolize
growth — any type of growth.”

I have stretch marks on my thighs and I’m still considered
small or skinny. To me, stretch marks symbolize growth — any
type of growth — whether it’s weight gain or just growth
with age. They’re nothing to be ashamed of even though
they’ve been shoved into a negative stereotype. If you have
stretch marks, know that it’s not because you need to lose
weight and don’t shame yourself. Most people get them so
you’re not alone.

—grayceeg

18. “I used to cut on my thighs. My
stretch marks cover the scars. They represent how far I have
come in my mental health.”

buzzfeed.com

In grade school, I used to cut on my thighs. My stretch
marks cover the scars and remind me of roots. They
represent how far I have come in my mental health and
overcoming my depression.

—emilyh4760207f6

19. “Where I’m from, in some cultures,
stretch marks are thing of beauty and the more the stretch
marks, the more beautiful.”

Where I’m from, in some cultures, stretch marks are thing of
beauty and the more the stretch marks (especially on the legs
and thighs), the more beautiful and appealing. With that, I
am extremely appealing.

—chunkycarrot

20. “My stretch marks mean I gave life
to humans who will one day contribute astronomically to this
world.”

My stretch marks mean I gave life to humans who will one day
contribute astronomically to this world.

—leahjm

21. “I look at them with pride. Pride
that I once pushed myself to be the best dancer that I could
be.”

Images Say More About Me Than Words. / Getty Images / Via
gettyimages.com

I was in dance growing up, and in high school I pushed
myself harder than ever to be the best dancer that I
could be. My thighs became more muscular, causing my skin
to stretch faster than it was ready for. I never even
noticed my stretch marks until my mom pointed them out to
me one day when I was in shorts. I hated them for the
longest time. I did everything that I could do to make
them disappear.

Now that I’m 23, I’m finally confident with them. They
don’t bother me anymore, and I look at them with pride.
Pride that I once pushed myself to be the best dancer
that I could be and I did it to my body because I love
dance more than anything. I would do it all over again
given the chance.

—alexachristena25

22. “They represent beauty to me. If I
didn’t have stretch marks, I wouldn’t have this shape that I
love so much.”

They represent beauty to me. I’m a thinner person with a
large ass. When I went through puberty, my bum practically
appeared overnight and so did a lot of stretch marks. All
through high school and college, I tried every cream and
serum. I was embarrassed to wear a bikini. Now I love them. I
have a body shape that makes me feel confident. If I didn’t
have stretch marks, I wouldn’t have this shape that I love so
much.

—ca1ta

23. “I wish people understood that they
are as natural as having 10 fingers or two eyeballs.”

buzzfeed.com

I never knew there was something wrong with my stretch
marks until my father told me I needed to lose weight at
age 10. I cried and obsessed about it. Then my mother
told me there was nothing wrong with them and that
everyone had them. Since then, my stretch marks don’t
mean anything to me because they don’t actually
mean anything. I wish people understood that they
are as natural as having 10 fingers or 2 eyeballs.

—lexiet2

24. “The marks are a reminder that I am
a warrior and overcame something that could have killed
me.”

I got them on my thighs, hips, calves and bum during my
recovery from anorexia with bulimic tendencies. When I
finally decided enough was enough and it was time to give my
body permission to be what it was, I threw myself into my
volleyball. My lower body grew quickly as I finally ate
enough to sustain my body through the sport. At 28, and as a
wife and stepmother, I still struggle, but not because I
don’t love my body. The marks are a reminder that I am a
warrior and overcame something that could have killed me.

—jap006

25. “My body is a canvas and all these
marks are beautiful colors that make my body unique.”

I never had perfect skin. I have scars on my body from when I
was a child (I was a troublemaker) and I don’t regret any of
them. I have moles and birthmarks all over my body that I
inherited from my mom and from my dad. My stretch marks
are just another masterpiece that has been added to my
collection.
My body is a canvas and all these marks are
just beautiful colors that make my body so unique and I
couldn’t be more grateful for them.

—melaniesanchez38

26. “They look like lightning bolts;
hence a proof of how lit I am.”

Phanuwatnandee / Getty Images / Via gettyimages.com

My mother has always tried to convince me to get them
treated and removed. They’re my tiger stripes as I call
them. They depict what I’ve been through all these years
and how has my body changed. They look like lightning
bolts and hence a proof of how lit I am.

—aditibaldha001

27. “My stretch marks are a constant
reminder of how hard I’ve worked to get where I am
now.”

My stretch marks represent a time in my life when I was at my
lowest. They run down the side of my hips, all the way to my
calves. I had fallen in to a deep depression and ended up
gaining 80 pounds, which just added to my mental issues. I
finally hit rock bottom and opted for the long, hard road
back to sanity.

Ever since that low moment, I gained an interest in physical
health and personal fitness. I have become certified in PT
and secured a culinary degree. I cooked for myself to lose
the 80 pounds of body fat and have physically trained myself
to gain lean muscle on top of that loss!

These stretch marks represent a time in my life that I never
want to go back to, and are a constant reminder of how hard
I’ve worked to get where I am now. I would never want get rid
of these bad boys. They are my motivation to never
stop.

—kylei481587296

28. “They symbolize being beautiful,
voluptuous, and a piece of art.”

When I was younger I didn’t understand and thought they would
disappear. Now an adult and they are still here. I embrace
them now they symbolize being beautiful, voluptuous, and a
piece of art.

—hallieb4cc3c8b87

29. “I used to hate them. Now I wear
them like beautiful, color-changing battle scars, marking how
far I’ve come.”

Vladimirfloyd / Getty Images / Via gettyimages.com

Through middle school, and now in high school, I’ve
struggled with my eating disorder. When I went through
recovery the first time, I gained weight pretty quickly
and got these purple-red stretch marks on my inner
thighs. I used to hate them. Now I wear them like
beautiful, color-changing battle scars, marking how far
I’ve come and how strong I am and how recovering and
having a healthy body with curves is a good thing. My
skin is a reminder that I am a survivor and I am unique
and beautiful and enough.
I love my stretch marks.

—taylorrosee

[Responses have been edited for length and clarity.]

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