Sometimes I’m not always caught up on the Internet. In fact, I can be just as behind with social media trends as I am with watching Game of Thrones. While Season 7 just came out, I had to watch ten to fourteen hours worth of television, and I generally spend three hours on Netflix max. Speaking of being behind on social media trends, it wasn’t until now that I’ve truly understood a physical characteristic that most people deem undesirable: stretch marks.
In my post regarding self-love, I briefly address how I woke up one morning to see stretch marks all across my upper thighs and rear for the first time. But I want to elaborate more on how I felt and how I decided to go about living with my stretch marks. My stretch marks are long, limp, almost twiggy like brittle branches on a lawn tree in autumn. Fortunately, they are the silent kind, as in they don’t protrude with the common red or purple shade that many other females have. Instead, my stretch marks are incredibly pale and almost blend into my skin. It’s the main reason why I had trouble seeing them during the school year.
So, how did I feel when I first saw these stretch marks? To tell the truth, a heavy mixture of clashing sensations hit me. All of these feeling tried to overpower each other, one by one. It was a battlefield of anger, sadness, apathy, frustration, and confusion. The boils of these overwhelming sensations were too much to bear that I kept closing my eyes and waking up again to see if my stretch marks would disappear. They never did.
The buildup of my temper was all too real in my mind. I thought I was an exception. Why? Why ME?! Why do I have a trait that so many girls consider to be unattractive? Why do I possess something everybody wants to get rid of? Why do I hold one more quality to worry about and feel insecure about? The madness exhausted me so much that I fell back asleep for a solid half hour until I woke up with a completely different mindset. This mood was more calm and more objective. Okay, I have lines on my skin. But they’re just marks. I won’t die if I have them. I have a whole body of bare skin to love.
After some further research, I concluded that stretch marks are merely just scars on the dermis layer of the skin that result from the skin not being able to catch up with rapid growth or weight gain. Heck, that means I might have had these stretch marks since seventh grade! Makes sense, since that time period was the mark of my heaviest days (no pun intended)! Anyways, this source listed weight training and bodybuilding as causes for stretch marks besides pregnancy and quick weight gain. Does this mean that I’ll stop lifting weights and eating carbs? No way!
If I was to say that I’ve completely embraced my stretch marks and love them the way they are, then I’d be lying. I started rubbing coconut oil right on my stretch marks to heal my skin and at least reduce the appearance of my stretch marks. In particular, coconut oil absorbs into the skin much more deeply than most creams because of its composition. While I have seen pretty wonderful results, this remedy is bound to only work for some people.
This absolutely does not mean I hate my stretch marks. I pride in them for showing that I’ve worked incredibly hard at the gym to put on muscle and reach a healthier state. No matter how much coconut oil I slather onto my legs, the stretch marks will always remain. They are the natural tattoos of my fitness story. I wouldn’t show them off to the world, but I’m grateful for them.
I really love this picture of painted rainbow stretch marks! Also, if you’re wondering, the stretch marks around the upper behind look pretty much identical to what I have.
Whether you want to get rid of stretch marks or wear them loudly and proudly is up to you. Let any insecurities be insecurities. It’s okay to not like stretch marks, just as it’s okay to not like any other physical characteristics. What makes the concerns unhealthy is allowing them to deteriorate your ability to be truly happy. But if you do plan to perform any cosmetic procedures to rid of these imperfections, just remember that trends come and go. Who knows? Stretch marks might be the next beauty marks.