Stretch marks, is just one of the occupational hazards of being tall. You most associate stretch marks with pregnancy but tall people get them too, me included. “My Tiger Stripes”, I call them. And they are everywhere. My arms, chest, hips; all over.
According to WebMD stretch marks are known by doctors as “striae” and they are usually caused by rapid weight gain or loss. “They are most common during pregnancy and the teen years, when growth spurts and increased levels of steroid hormones cause significant changes throughout the body.” Growing 7 inches in a matter of months definitely caused a significant change to my body and with it came stretch marks.
In high school, I hated and was very self-conscious about my stretch marks and rightfully so. You don’t see models, actresses and overall beautiful people with stretch marks, do you? The ugly marks looked like old faded wounds and it was hard to see the beauty in them. Someone even asked me once if I got into to a fight, referring to the jagged marks on my arms. I should’ve said “You think this is bad, you should’ve seen the other guy.” (I always think of the perfect comeback after the fact. God’s sense of humor at work.)
But one day, I looked down at the dark, ragged stripes on my hips, and I saw that they reminded me of the stripes of a tiger. And I thought, do you think a tiger is ashamed of her stripes? So why are you? Her stripes are beautiful and are a part of who she is. My stripes came as a part of my growing up and there is no reason to be ashamed of them. My stretch marks are like my badges of honor. The way I see it, I’ve earned my stripes and I should be proud of every single one of them. They are a daily reminder that I am fierce and “fearfully and wonderfully made”. So start looking at those stretch marks in a different way; as your beautiful tiger stripes.
We women nitpick too much about the little things we don’t like about our bodies. Whether it be freckles, a crooked nose, height or stretch marks. We spend too much energy hating those things rather than embracing what we do like eventually loving all of ourselves no matter what.
Love ALL of you no matter what. Because if you don’t, who will?