Recently I read an article by a young mom who was ridiculed at the beach, because of her stretch marks, and it made me both sad and angry. I have stretch marks. Actually, I have A LOT of stretch marks; my abdomen is covered in them. And visually, they are not much to look at, they are bumpy and shiny; even if I was in top physical condition, I wouldn’t look “good” in a bikini. They feel weird too; paper-thin skin stretched between ropey silver scars. I could probably do a pretty good impersonation of a raisin. But I still think they are beautiful.
I have accepted and embraced my stretch marks. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I love them, but I’m trying to. You see, they are reminders of who I am; of one of the most important roles I play in my life. I am a mom. Those scars and that too thin skin are physical reminders, that I carry with me everywhere, of love. I have carried love inside my body, I experienced it’s growth and movement everyday; anxiously awaiting it’s arrival into the world. And I have had the privilege of witnessing that love grow from a flutter in my stomach into a beautiful young woman; twice.
I have two daughters. They are amazing. One of them is an incredible artist, and the other is a talented musician. (and this isn’t just “mom talk” I can offer proof if necessary!) They are both beautiful physically, but more importantly the are beautiful on the inside; where it really matters. They are kind, and compassionate. They are silly, and funny. They make the world a more beautiful place.
So, when I look down at those marks, instead of grieving the loss of my smooth tummy, I try to remember to celebrate all that they represent; and I hope other moms will do the same. We earned those scars, so instead of being embarrassed by them or ashamed of them, let’s celebrate them. They are beautiful.