Love Thy Stretchmarks
By: Reenita V
In a world where white bodies are the norm, it can create quite a complicated journey to find comfort in our bodies. Our bodies are othered, exotified, ridiculed and loved: we can be coveted for our life long tans while simultaneously being rejected for it. It is this rejection of the norm where we pick apart the package of perfection and find our beautiful brown bodies. There is a specific aspect of bodies where some light must be shed- stretch marks. As warm weather surrounds us we may shed some layers and while doing rediscover parts of us which we may have been hiding for many months.
Marketers have this desire to sell us products that we must drown in to achieve the ideal body. Products to tighten lighten or erase evidence of our growth. Some may choose to spend countless dollars and hours erasing a line which will never disappear. Perhaps that line on your body may fade but some aspect of it will remain. These ideal body types have curves, and crevasses yet we are supposed to remove and ignore the evidence of the journey our bodies took to achieve such wonderment. So, your breast must be firm, perky and supple but any stretch marks showing this development must be shamed and hidden? Let’s throw this idea in to the over bubbling pot of unrealistic body expectations placed on women.
We know these ideas of how a woman should look are ludicrous but that does not mean some women are affected in some way or another. Those lines we try to erase are not just obvious evidence of grown and/development, they are evidence of a journey, love, hardship. There are lines on my arms which I distinctly remember the exact moment where I noticed the stretching of my skin. Those lines still remain, on my arms, visible to all. They are evidence that I once fit in the box of which I have stretched outside of. These remains are reminders of a difficult time which I have gone through, like a batch of honor, so why are we shamed of them? What about the people whom have grown, stretched and brought life to another human? Are those lines not to be envied and cherished? Stop covering them in potions, show them, embellish them, love them.
Discourses have built this plate full of unrealistic ideas of what a woman’s body should represent, look like, feel like, encompass. We pluck, pull, squeeze and attempt to scrub away some of the most unique, beautiful aspects of who we are. In a world where brown bodies are already outside, why do we allow these prototypes to dictate what is normal or beautiful? Enjoy the natural treasure map outlining and showing your empowering journey with your body.