There Is Nothing Wrong With My Stretchmarks. Nothing Wrong With Yours.
Stretchmarks, Beauty, Body Art, Tattoos...
I have placed this under the Beauty topic as I feel there needs to be a shift towards adopting a beautiful outlook on stretchmarks.
I have also placed it under the Body Art and Tattoos subtopic because I think stretchmarks are body art and the most natural of tattoos.
At Some Point, I/We Were Taught.
We don't all dislike our stretchmarks, but there's a helluva lot of women (and men) who do, especially in an increasingly body-conscious and body-shaming world.
Aesthetically, are stretchmarks really that displeasing or is it something we've been taught to find displeasing? Why am I looking at lines on my body and feeling ashamed? They're lines. Don't I like lines? Was I born disliking lines? Was I born disliking stretchmarks? Did I refuse to be suckled by my mother because she had stretchmarks? I doubt it.
At some point, I was taught (via messaging) to judge stretchmarks, to prevent them, keep them at bay, to feel ashamed should they start appearing on my body, to try and make them go away, hide them, dislike them.
I live in this body. I cannot spend the rest of my life disliking my stretchmarks, hiding them, hiding from them, feeling ashamed of them.
If stretchmarks and the shame attached to them is something many of us have learnt, then we can unlearn it. Or learn something new. Or at least try. There's fire in trying; a flicker; light.
What If We Learnt To Love Our Stretchmarks?
What would that look like?
It's up to you to imagine what that would look like for you. But I suspect where love's involved, it's bound to look a lot different than it does now. Or maybe just a bit. But it's a change. And it's a try. This way of some of us hiding, feeling ashamed and wishing our stretchmarks away is not the only way. We don't have to accept it. We don't have to accept the script we've been handed, even if we've learnt it line by line, know it off by heart.
Even if I've accepted it for a big part of my life, memorised it, internalised it; even if I've thought that's the only script there is, I can reject the script. I can rewrite it.
If we learn to celebrate and appreciate our stretchmarks, what other parts of our bodies can we learn to celebrate?
Stretchmarks Are Not The Problem. Neither Are You.
I sometimes come up with these characters that I quote. :-)
Ahem. The great Honorary C. Ocoa Butter once said:
"As long as there is skin, there will be stretchmarks. Stretchmarks are like tofu - energy tofu. They absorb the energy one's mind projects onto them. So, essentially, what it boils down to is one's choice. Stretchmarks are not the problem. Neither are you."
How I'm Rewriting The Script
I Write Love Notes About Stretchmarks...
In my attempt to rewrite the script, one of the things I did was write love notes about stretchmarks.
It started off with bite-size thoughts I'd leave every now and then on my Facebook timeline; then I started emailing them to those who requested it - I'd send one note a day over a period of 21 days.
And now there's the site for it.
I feel this is one of the things I came here to do; (re)seeing the beauty in what's not often considered by some to be beautiful, what some of us have been told is not. My work is to turn that around within myself and others I can reach. By reaching others, I reach myself. By reaching myself, I reach others.
I'll Leave You With This... <3
Her stretchmarks stretched all over her body.
No need for clothes - she was covered.
Beneath the moon, her marks glowed silver.
Then, she dived into a sea of glitter;
racing dolphins and mermaids
to the night rainbow's edge.
(c) ebele ajogbe - 2013
We are enough. Complete. Always have been. x