Do you have stretch marks or scars? Most people do.
I have both. Yes, I know stretch marks are scars.
I’ll be honest. I have gone back and forth on rewriting this or sharing it at all. It’s touchy with some, especially myself. If you know me, I can come off confident and strong at times and act like I don’t care what others think, but there is a lot going on underneath it all. I’m human too, as we all are. Unless one of you are hiding something I don’t know about???
Some mom’s say “tiger stripes” instead of stretch marks which is kind of badass, but I haven’t referred to them as that because the first ones I got were on the inside of my thighs in high school. I had thought they were the worst and people would think I was fat and this or that. I’ve learned to love my legs as I’ve grown older since these legs of mine have carried me so many places, allowed me to play sports, and never let my phone fall into the toilet. (HA!)
I also have several scars. The scars on my legs are from the glory days of playing softball when I would slide into bases and get cuts from that lovely kitty litter style dirt. I owned those bad boys the second I got the cuts.
Then there is the other scar I have. It is dead center of my left cheek. I absolutely hated it when I got it. Quick backstory. I was snow skiing with a bunch of my guy friends. One of our buddies fell and he came sliding into me. Before I knew it, I was in the air and landed on top of him. I never saw someone’s face react so intensely before. His ski had sliced my cheek wide open and I was lucky to not feel it at all. While the boys all panicked, I skied to the bottom of the hill, we got my butt to the ER eventually, and I had 12 stitches to tie that sucker back up. I attempted to find a photo, but I believe it’s long gone since the cell phones then didn’t have backup storage like we do now. (You’re probably glad I don’t have that, it was pretty gross.)
It took me years to own that scar and tell fun stories with it. Stories like, “you should see the bear that got me. It’s stuffed in my home now,” “Oh, I fought a wolverine,” or even, “don’t worry about me, the other person is still in the hospital.” I guess I had to find a way to avoid the perfectly random strangers asking what happened, as if as a young lady I wasn’t self conscious enough. I remember not going to classes at college the first day back because I had those stitches in. It was terrible.
Now I barely notice it because I’ve accepted it… to an extent.
Two photos below show how a scar can be. They were taken maybe 2 weeks apart and have no filters or edits. Mainly because I don’t know how to do all that fancy shit with photos like people do now. Some days it stands out and other days it’s much more faint and less noticeable. I think that relates to the way we feel about childbirth & our stretch marks on our stomachs.
Why are scars seen as something that’s “wrong” or “not in the right place” on someone? I am still self-conscious of my scar and when someone points it out, especially, I try to play it off as if it does not bother me. Of course it does. It’s an imperfection on my face that I didn’t ask for and someone pointed it out as that.
It’s the same reason most moms wear a tankini or one piece bathing suit after having kids, to hide the scars and changes in our body after creating our babies. We hide what we believe is not the “perfect” image to others when in fact our society is what built this into our brains.
Here’s the thing about all of those scars, they’re my stories. My life that I have lived. It would be kind of boring if I didn’t have at least one story to tell because we were too busy trying to be perfect and not have some fun.
Not many women like to own scars because the society we live in makes women want to appear to be perfect and perfect is seen in so many different ways. I do realize other scars come from things we wouldn’t want to talk about, but we do still live with them.
Truly, the way you are is perfect. Perfect because they make you who you are today. (Believe me, I fight myself on this as well. It is easy to write it and tell you, but telling myself is another story!)
There is something about my stretch marks from pregnancy that I don’t want them to disappear entirely. Call me crazy, but I have a different view of them than the scar on my cheek since they are from pregnancy and not on the center of my cheek from something I didn’t ask for.
I grew my son inside my body and brought him into this world. Those stretch marks show that I gave him a safe home for 41 weeks, that he clearly didn’t want to leave. My body, that has allowed me to live the life I have thus far, has the scars that can always remind me of my pregnancy with this little boy that will be a man one day and not think his mom is cool.
If I convince myself to get back into that bikini, I will own those scars no matter how bright they stand out on my belly.
I do still put on my lotion to help heal them; however, I smile when I see them.
If we are able to have another child and my stretch marks get bigger and more prevalent, I hope I can say what I’m saying now. I want to love what I was able to do and I hope you can too.
Scars and stretch marks tell stories. I know there are so many reasons for them, but I hope you can find a way to enjoy them for whatever the reason may be. I still work on that myself, but they are things that hold memories and stories.
This post below is one I read recently that really made me feel all the feels about my postpartum body, that includes the stretch marks. Her husband wrote it so perfectly.
Check it out and follow her on Instagram. She has lots to share!