Sunday, February 24, 2008

Does This Bathing Suit Make My Stretch Marks Look Sexy?

You guys write the most awesome comments ever. They are so supportive, rockin’ and insightful. There was one in the section of the entry “Eatin’ Pants” that I wanted to comment on right away.

But it all became so giganta-loric, that I thought I’d make it it’s own entry. Here’s part of that comment from Anonymous: “…but I have to mention one thing that's never been brought up on this blog. I know it's not a weight-loss blog, but we talk about it. After I reach my goal weight, I will still have these damn stretch marks from the weight gain in the first place. So knowing after all this work to better myself, I'm still going to have these horrible, embarrassing flaws leaves me so depressed. Okay, there, I said it :( Sorry to be depressing.”

First of all awesome reader, you are allowed to say anything you want to say here and I promise you, if you read some of these entries here, you can be sure, I can OUT-DEPRESS you. So never feel self-conscious about that.

So let’s talk about STRETCH MARKS. First of all, women that give birth to babies have them. It’s a beautiful reminder of what love created and that their body housed a frickin’ miracle. Men get stretch marks on their arms when they gain muscle after pumping iron. I see it in the gym all the time. So why do we, as, woman, wearing our own history of bummed-outed-ness or depression weight have to feel so guilty about ours?

When I was at my ideal weight, I had stretch marks. I was in the cutest cherry blossom tankini you ever saw at a work retreat but I was still the girl that wanted to get out of the hot tub last because I still thought my butt looked big. (I would now kill for that butt… I would kill for that butt plus 20 pounds more!!!)

Now, I can’t wait to be that weight again and THE ONE THING I WILL NEVER DO, is be self conscious in a bathing suit again. WHY? Because like a woman who puts on weight for her baby, I put on weight for my own life sustaining reason. I was depressed. I was in the black hole. I lost my cousin, my family was shattered, I lost a job, my boyfriend and my Mom… well, you all know about my Mom.

This weight was hard won to put on and it will be hard won to get off. But when I do, I’ll feel sooooo UNBELIVEABLY proud of myself when I get there that I will not care about stretch marks, whether they are white or red or black & blue.

Now I know some people are not gonna be on board about my “Rah, rah, love your stretch marks!” So for you, I say this, I didn’t always feel this way either. One thing I forgot to mention about that retreat was the HUGE bottle of Neutrogena spray tan I applied before I went to it. And it worked! Stretch marks be gone!

You need the help of a friend, I learned the hard way. I was so desperate to have the perfect J. Lo glow that I applied Spray Tan to my wall and shimmied my naked back up and down to get the good stuff on me because I couldn’t reach there myself!

The image of that makes me laugh and kind of gasp at the same time. But I didn’t know then what I know now... that I need to love myself all the time – Pale and Stretch-Marky or Super Tan with a Stretch Mark Secret.
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21 comments:

Jen said...

You can go ahead and love your stretch marks, but for some reason just knowing that mine aren't from babies, I think I can't love them... LOL! I know mine are from french fries :) I'm not bathing suit ready yet, but I'm getting close... I doubt anyone can see them the way I see them though. Most women have teeny stretch marks and we see them with our own eyes. My husband has never once noticed them until I pointed them out. He wanted to know what the big deal was :)

TwinkleTwinkle said...

let me tell u. i got stretch marks when i was about 11 years old. I was the tallest girl in my grade and i just grew like a weed and then stopped abruptly in the 6th grade. i had stretch marks underneath my arms, on my hips, on the outside of my pre-puberty mosquito bites. i remember a friend pointing at them and going "what the HECK are those?!". i went home crying to my mom but all she could do was buy me some coco butter. since age and skin elasticity was on my side, my stretch marks are all but gone. this little white ghost lines that remind me of the reason that women are so strong. when i became a freshmen in college, swapping physical exercise for brain exercise put me at about 30 lbs more than i weighed on day 1. by the end of the year, i had ugly red stretch marks RIGHT on the front of my belly. they are like little red hands holding up my gut. i hate them. but i know they will fade, if not forever but possibly out of my self-conscienceless . and in the meantime, they have these adorably cute, backless one piece bikinis that are all the rage now :)

ferretspaz27 said...

I could probably make you feel better about this with "if you think your stretch marks are bad" I told you in a previous post that I have sarcoidosis, one of the things about sarcoid is it infects scars and yes stretch marks, mine aren't even hideable, I have to cover them with clothing. I am a mom of a 14 year old so I can say I got them from the miracle of childbirth but they are huge purple and ugly. It's ok though, they look good next to my varicose veins and gigantic surgery scars, two of which are on my neck for everyone to see. I am still here to hide them. When I start to give myself a little pity party I think about how lucky I am to be here to be at my pity party. I hope this helps you are a young healthy girl and I am sure it isn't so bad, but even if it is you are still here to hate them.
hugs,
Laura

Surfergrrl said...

If we are going to do a whole post on stretch marks, don't forget the one on cellulite in the back of the legs. Skinny/Fat, or somewhere in between, most of us seem to have them and for me being a slender girl, I still hate it and there isn't much we can do about it. I guess you just have to embrace what you do have. And bless Dr. Oz when he said, "ladies, men don't really care."

Anonymous said...

tell me more about this Dr. OZ and men not caring! I hope that's true! twinkletwinkle, mine are the same, right like the red badge of courage on either side of my belly button. I can't imagine they wouldn't be a turn off to a guy in my case, but you're right, they will fade eventually, and I actually work to proactively try to get rid of them as well. Hopefully one day there will be a miracle laser! Adventure Girl, thank you for making this a post. It's just what I needed! If anyone needs more insight into these things, this board has a lot of people trying a lot of things to get rid of them. http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/board/about22228.
html

it's a lot of pages, but focusing on the last 20 pages (350-370) has a lot of promising results. And until I get rid of them, I'm going to be grateful that I can go to my own pity party! :)

Mandy said...

I think we all need to remember that we're NOT perfect little Barbie dolls. We all have 'flaws' and we're gorgeous for it.

If we keep trying to make ourselves "perfect" we'll never be happy.

Personally, I have stretch marks and lumps and bumps. But I think my body is beautiful - it's strong and it's healthy.

Stop focusing on the negative because you'll always FIND it. Focus on what you love and you'll be happier for it.
I

adventure grrl said...

ferretspaz27 - Now I need to do a whole blog on you! Thanks for giving me THE MOST AWESOME PERSPECTIVE OF THE DAY!!! Sometimes I forget, even with all the illness and unexpected death, how frickin' lucky I am to be here. So today I say, "Good afternoon stretch marks and chub rub, I am so glad to be here so I can see you." Thank you!

Cheerathlt14 said...

so stretch marks be praised! I love it! I've gotten them from cheerleading...my boobs growing in puberty. Hell I've got em from the weight i lost and the pounds i gained. you're right...they're a quiet reminder

Dee said...

Completely true. 100%. Your body is the physical embodiment of your life story, of your experiences, your pain, your joy, your successes and failures. Embrace it, completely because without that, you aren't embracing yourself.

TwinkleTwinkle said...

Just wanted to add something again after reading the newer comments: I was thinking about what the last poster said, about how its a reminder on what we've been through. thats a good way to think about it. "See this hole? This is where I had my belly button pierced BEFORE i gained the weight. See this scar? Bicycle accident. See these stretch marks? COLLEGE."

ferretspaz27 said...

Hi Adventure grrl,
I didn't mean to humble you or make you feel bad with my comment. I just wanted you to see it from another perspective. You are probably more beautiful than you realize and it isn't just physical beauty. I have a story that relates to this topic. A couple of years ago when I was feeling not too pretty we bought some angels for our christmas tree. While we were hanging them my son pointed to a very beautiful angel and said "look mommy, that one is you!" It had similar characteristics to me but I in no way felt as beautiful as that angel looked. That is how other people see you, they don't look into the mirror and see the flaws we see, they see you as the beautiful angel hanging on the christmas tree. I do hope you have a wonderful day because you deserve it, I really enjoy reading your blog.
hugs,
Laura

mary said...

I have always been able to find flaws with my body. Always. Now at 44, I look back at my body at 23, 28, 32, 36, and think "What was wrong with you?!". "You looked great, or at least good." But I couldn't see at the time. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

I prefer hiney-sight is 20/20.

love,love,love your blog.
mary

Mandy said...

Mary - I LOVE it - I'm SO using 'hiney-sight' from now on.

Anonymous said...

Awesome perspective, I'm sending this around so all my friends will shut up about their "imperfections."

Elle

SF said...

I am late to the party, but I have read every single post til here without a comment, didn't want to "butt in." But today's post made me literally LOL - I have shoulder issues, and I have put lotion on the wall and shimmied up against it to get it to the places I can't reach! I also have no qualms about laying down naked on the carpet and writhing back and forth like a fish, when i can't quite reach the itch.....we find ways to get around/past/over/through everything that comes our way.....

thanks for all of the thought provoking words - I know alot of them have come from pain and your depression, but as a writer, you have found such an eloquent, universal, understandable voice...as a theatre artist, I am especially drawn to the vivid tactile pictures you "paint" with your words. i am looking forward to reading the rest of the year!

brony said...

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headspin said...

You want stretch marks.. I had Twins one was 5 lbs. 9 0z. and the other 6 lbs. So my stretch marks are deep and huge they go half way up my belly. Also I get this wonderful leftover skin that won't go away. I just want a bathing suit that will hide it all.

Mystical_Dreamer91 said...

No matter how many posts I read about embracing your stretch marks, and how you are still beautiful even with your flaws, i still can't seem to accept myself. I was about twelve years old when I got those hideous things. At first I wasn't quite sure what they were, so I really didn't do anything about it. I didn't think it was possible for someone who was as skinny as me to get them. I used to just believe in the typical stereotypes about stretch marks that only overweight or pregnant people got them. Everyone I tried to tell about them, would laugh at me and tell me to shut up because I'm as skinny as a stick and there was no way I had them, boy everyone was wrong. I guess I got them from just getting taller, but I didn't know that could happen. I just wish I would have acted sooner while they were still red/purple so that they would have a chance at going away. Now I am stuck with them forever and it's not even something to be proud of. They aren't the result of a beautiful little baby or the success of overcoming weight loss. I have nothing to be proud of about them, and that's why I hate them so much, they have no story behind them, no purpose. In reality, I know that no one can even see them, unless I'm completely naked or in a bikini, but for me just seeing them myself is enough to make me go craxy! I'm not trying to be perfect in any way, I have plenty of other scars and imperfections on my body that I am fine with, because I feel as though they are battle scars from something important or special. But there was no reason for me to have these and I hate them with every fiber in my being. It makes me even angrier that I only have them on my left hip, and not my right. I don't even understand how that's possible since both of my legs are the same size. I just think it's ridiculous and I can't stop kicking myself for not doing something about it sooner.

Strechie for life?? said...

Mystical_Dreamer91 i know exactly what you're saying. I knew this girl who was pretty heavy in grade 6, and she had strech marks all over her, and my mom had strechmarks from pregnancy, and those were the only ways that you could get strechmarks, or so i thought. When i was 12,i started getting strechmarks inside my thighs, i was so confused, but i just tried to ignore it, it was winter after all. Summer is my favourite season, and the pool is part of that, but im so uncomfortable in a bathing suit now. i was always that tiny girl, the girl that they would lift up, i was active, involved in soccer and track, why was this happening to me?? a year later i decided that it was really bothering me, so i looked it up and apparantly you can get strechmarks from puberty D:. As if it wasn't enough, bleeding every month, my breasts were really sore, and now , for the first time in my life, i'm self concious. now i have strechmarks on the upper portion of my thigh, and on my hips, iand i find it extremely noticable. I'm 14 now, and i'm just thinking wow, i'm stuck with this for the rest of my life. the hard part is, there's nothing i can do about it, because i can't go out and buy creams and stuff. My mom doesn't know about it, i'm too embarassed to tell her. Right now im just worried about my trip to cuba, where i'll be on the beach with these intense strech marks. Thanks for your support guys, makes me feel more confident, a boost that i really needed. Love you girls STRECH MARK SISTERS!! <3

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Anonymous said...

Wait so are you saying the neutrogena spray tan helped you hide them? I ask bc I'd love to be able to wear a swim suit. Believ me I haven't won them. Ever!