I’ve gotten a lot of messages lately admiring my confidence showing off my stretch marks. Women who have carried and given birth to a human life but see their stretch marks as marks of shame instead of strength. All I carried was weight and while it took time, I now see my stretch marks as trophies. Battle scars from a war I won. Reminders of what I have created. I don’t look at my scars as what was once broken, but as markings of success. What I survived. A life I choose to see as beautiful.
Who defines beautiful? The media? A specific person’s point of view? There is no one answer. While many of us have different preferences of attraction, confidence has to be the most agreed on attractive quality. I choose to see my stretch marks as unique. Just like my freckles, or my red hair, they are something I possess that make me special. The difference though, I was not born with them. I gained them through perseverance.
For almost 15 years I carried up to 90 extra pounds from medicine I was put on as a small child. Medicine that made me suicidal as well. So while I didn’t carry a baby and my stretch marks don’t represent motherhood, they do signify a new life I brought into the world. My own.
The bottom line is we have the power to decide what we see as beautiful. To find more beauty in everyday things. Surround ourselves in positive light instead of darkness. So if it’s a decision to see a permanent marking on my body as beautiful or shameful, I find every reason to love them. Eventually, any reason to not gets buried. I used to hate my stretch marks. Now they’re one of my favorite features.
Whether it be stretch marks, cellulite, an 11th toe, or whatever has you questioning your beauty, find more reasons to love yourself because of these differences. Appreciate what you can’t control. The only thing that needs fixing when you’re feeling down about these healthy, lifelike qualities, is your attitude. Transform the way you see yourself and others will see you the way you wish. Be proud of your authentic self.