I’ve got stretch marks for days and it’s taken me quite a while to be okay with them. I know some people like to think they’re much like “battle scars” from being able to be pregnant and carry that pregnancy to term. That one should be so lucky to do so and have those “scars” as a reminder. I get that. I’ve had two kids. For others, stretch marks may be a reminder of the hard work that might’ve gone into losing weight or perhaps their strength and dedication to body building.
But do they have to be so…visible? Do they have to be that light, stretched-out colour that stubbornly stands out and refuses to blend into the rest of my skin?
A couple of years ago, while scrolling through my social media feed, I found a kick ass role model for good looks who is also curvy af. She is unapologetically beautiful inside and out: Ashley Graham. She inspired me to do something that I thought I would never have the courage to do after giving birth. For our first wedding anniversary, I gifted my husband a collection of boudoir photos of myself. I won’t lie, it was embarrassing and uncomfortable at first — but as I looked at the finished product, I breathed a sigh of relief as I came to realize: I am beautiful. Yes, stretch marks, extra rolls and all.
[Photos by: Angie Anderson]
It hasn’t been rainbows and unicorns since that realization, of course. It’s a daily struggle to love myself, but I must say it’s one that I am proud to say that (on most days, cuz we all have those “other” kind of days, if you know what I mean!) I am winning. And I am not here to say that you should do a boudoir shoot to get over your body image issues, if any. I am here to say that despite what you think of yourself — whether it be about your body, intellect, talents, etc. — get yourself out there anyway. One step at a time. (Although, I’m an avid believer in the “rip it off like a band-aid” method!) However you do it, know that you are beautiful — inside, and out. 💕💋