Learning to Love Your Stretch Marks: LADY LINE LOVE

I just googled “stretch marks.”  This topic was the first thing to pop up:

Chrissy Teigen Embraces Her Stretch Marks to Prove She’s Awesome

(I didn’t know who this “Chrissy Teigen” was – she’s a Sports Illustrated model.  Got it – that’s why the media is freaking out.  But I’m glad this is the first thing to pop up.  Stretch mark love!)

Life&Style Mag titled their article Stretchies Say Hi”: Supermodel Chrissy Teigen Shows Off Her Stretch Marks, Proving She’s Just Like the Rest of Us!”

Of course she has stretch marks just like the rest of us!  The onset of puberty gives even the smallest looking people stretch marks.  Stretch marks do not demarcate “FAT.”  They demarcate GROWTH. (That being said, “Fat” does not mean “bad” or “less worthy.”)

Women and men alike have stretch marks for various reasons.

  • Possible Locations: belly, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms, lower back, butt, calves, shoulders – basically, you name it.
  • Possible Reasons They’re There: pregnancy, extreme weight loss, extreme weight gain, puberty, quick muscle gain from working out, etc.

A lot of remedies exist to get rid of stretch marks.  Lotions, creams, and surgical methods are all ways to try to get stretch marks – but, personally, the best remedy is to change your mindset about your stretch marks.

STRETCH MARKS ARE BEAUTIFUL!
Love Your Lines Campaign was “started by two women who want to celebrate real women, real bodies, and real self-love.”  
Here are some photos from their Tumblr.  The photos all have quotes from the women who shared their lines.  Check out the link to see more photos and their positive notes.

MY STRETCH MARK JOURNEY
I’ve recently learned that my booty is much bigger than I realized.  Which I find AWESOME.  All this time, I thought underwear just didn’t fit me right (you know where the cloth liner on the inside it supposed to line up? It never did).  No, I just needed a bigger size.  I learned this when ordering period panties off-line ONE MONTH AGO and they said to order by hip-size.  I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!  Geez, all this time.  So I ordered an XL, which seemed crazy to me, but they fit great and are super comfy, so who cares about the size?

I went to Victoria’s Secret to get a free pair of undies yesterday (and didn’t get ANYTHING ELSE.  How’s that for self control?).  I used to always get mediums (that never lined up right with my cuntie poo), but yesterday I decided to get a large.  And THEY LINE UP WITH MY CUNTIE POO!   It find it incredibly hilarious that, at 24 years old, I just realized how I was subconsciously in denial about my great booty.  I decided to take a good look at my hips yesterday, too – HOLY SHIT – STRETCH MARKS!  AWESOME!  I never noticed THOSE before!  I just wonder when it happened!

I love the (new and late discovered) stretch marks on my thighs the way I love the stretch marks on my right breast.  When I noticed I had stretch marks on my bigger boob I WAS ECSTATIC!  That meant that that boob GOT BIGGER!  SWEET!  I have stretch marks on my hips – must mean those got bigger, too!  AWESOME!  I am not a girl, I AM A WOMAN. ROAR.

KATE’S ON-THE-FLY TIPS TO START LOVING YOUR LADY LINES

  1. Follow “Love Your Lines” on Instagram.  Seeing other women’s stretch marks in a positive light will help you see your stretch marks in a positive light – no matter how or why or when your stretch marks got where they are.
  2. Look at your stretch marks.  Give those lady lines a good look.  Think about the journey your body has taken to get those stretch marks.  Pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, puberty – these lines tell a story.
  3. Think about the story they tell.  What does that story mean to you?  If it’s something positive – like bringing a baby into the world or growing into a woman – accepting that story can be easier.  If it’s something negative for you, accepting this story about your body might be more difficult.  Perhaps you gained a lot of weight in response to dealing with trauma.  Be patient and kind to yourself.  This may be a good time to start getting to the root of the trauma you experienced, so you can heal your mind, spirit, and relationship to your lady lines and the rest of your body.
  4. Hell, name those lady lines if you want.  You could go with actual names like “Edna, Mary, and Louise.”  Or go with more of a group idea – “Gloria and the Gang,” or “Destiny’s Children.”  Or name them by body part – “Titty Tats.”  Or name them by their shape – “Zebra Print,” “Lightning Strikes,” “Tiger Stripes.”  Or name them something lovely – “My Lady Lines.”
  5. FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT!  Keep saying and thinking positive things about your lovely lady lines and eventually you will believe yourself.  Because you are a credible person to believe and you deserve to love every single part of you. :)

Remember that learning to love parts of yourself won’t happen overnight.  It all takes time.

Keep being patient and kind with yourself, ladies!

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Learning to Love My Body Hair

My journey with body hair has been a rollercoaster.  This is still something that I am trying to work through.

A LITTLE ABOUT MY STORY
I had this fascination with shaving from a young age. At age 10, I was so eager to start shaving my legs.  I asked my mom for permission all the time.  Some other girls in the fifth grade had started shaving and I wanted to as well.  At the time, I felt my legs were SO HAIRY.  Which they weren’t compared to now, but for a little girl, yes, they probably were – I have very dark hair.  In sixth grade, my mom let me shave my legs.  Hooray.

My eagerness to shave grew the second I had armpit hair.  I didn’t even ask my mother about that one.  I just started doing it before I even had to do it.  (Which I now think is really sad.)

It BLEW my mind when I learned people shave their pubes. I was about 16.  WHAT?!  I was all stoked when I could finally rock the full bush because it demarcated womanhood for me, only to learn years later that shaving it all off was “expected.”  I tried it.  If you’re going to do it, GO WITH THE GRAIN. FOR GOD’S SAKE.  I learned this lesson the hard way.  Twice.

Things changed though.  By Junior year of high school, I was known for not regularly shaving my legs.  My hairy legs were a comical topic for my lunch table, to which I gladly whipped my leg onto the table to show everyone how much I didn’t give a fuck.

WHERE I’M AT NOW

Six week leg hair in 2013- the longest I’ve gone.  I’m damn proud of it, too.

At 24, my ambivalence towards my legs continues.  I shave about once a month.  I even question why I do that though.  I question why I shave my arm pits, too.  (I grew them out for six weeks once.  Shaved them when I returned to the Western world.)  I think a big reason is that I know my manfriend wouldn’t be too into it.  Which, from my feminist perspective, is really fucked up.  But when it’s all I’ve ever known too, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it for him.  As for my cuntie-poo, she rolls with the tides.  Whatever my current mood is.

LESS ABOUT ME – MORE ABOUT WOMEN
Some may think of women’s body hair as only pits, pubes, and legs, but there’s SO MUCH MORE that we are self conscious about as women.  Ahem, a list:
– armpits
– nipple hairs
– legs
– arm hair
– pubes
– facial hair
– belly hair (“treasure trail”)
– mole hairs
– widow’s peaks
– toe hair
– finger hair
– butt crack hair
– bikini lines
– the fine thigh hair
– (Leave more examples in the comments!)

Life would be substantially easier if we could let go of most – if not ALL – of the things on this list.  Society may think that being feminine is being hairless, but as this guy put it:

“I noticed on these beautiful naked bodies how most women’s leg hairs begin to considerably thin on her thighs. What I saw was that the way a woman’s hair is on her body is distinctly feminine in arrangement and it is gorgeous, it really is.” – Damien Bohler

I honestly had never thought of it that way before.  Even if a woman were to go shave-free, she’d still look feminine in the way that her body hair is patterned on her.  We just don’t see that in the media or any women around us anymore. (In a future blog, I’m going to go into the origin of women’s shaving – spoiler: it’s not a very long history.)

HAIR IN THE MEDIA
Women’s Body Hair is Sexy is a great little article by a guy who changed his mindset about lady’s hairy everythings.  He went from not-so-interested to these-chicks-with-hairy-everythings-are-really-awesome-I’ll-get-over-it. (His quote is above.)

I found it inspiring.  It makes me consider taking my hairiness to the next level.  Perhaps I’ll give it shot and see if it makes me happy.  If it doesn’t make me happy, I’m not going to do it.  Or maybe I’ll continue the ways things are – once my body hair grows out, I cut it short.  Then I let it grow out again.  And then I cut it short.

It’s a journey.  It’s all about being patient with myself.  (Literally patient, because I have to wait for the hair to grow.)

This topic is to be continued … :D