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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Accepting Your Own Body.............................

Back when I was in university studying for my first degree, I had a friend who loathed stretchmarks on women. He'd shudder at the thought and claimed it was a total turn-off and a relationship deal breaker for him. I would try to convince him that people had scarce choices in stretchmarks appearing on their bodies or other body flaws for that matter, seeing as we were not actually asked what our specifications were to be at the point of creation.RME Then one day, during one of our protests/strike/things-we-got-to-as-students-involving-placards-and-being-teargassed-by-mopols I saw him wearing a sleeveless shirt. Lo and behold, Mr. hoity-toity had stretchmarks on his back! He didn't even know they were there, trust me I made him know. I almost laughed my head off at the irony.

Fast forward to a few years later and I was preggers with my first child, having been forewarned that pregnancy comes with tummy stretch marks I got all the recommendations I could to avert it. You see, my tummy was smooth and very flat pre-pregnancy so the thought of having it tainted with stretchmarks was a no-no for me. Forgive my seeming narcissistic manner but I went the whole nine-yards, no itching the protruding tummy, bio-oil, shea butter, etc etc.

Alas, one day (I was 38 weeks and huge and a whale, lol) I stood in front of my mirror and noticed a thin shiny silvery mark below my tummy. I stood admiring it for the few seconds it took to register in my brain that whatever it was shouldn't be there! I rushed to show my hubby and he casually said "oh, it's nothing to worry about. It's just a stretch mark"!! SAY WHAT NOW?? O_O  I freaked out! Hubby tried to console me and sweet talk me into accepting things the way they were but I was having none of it. I went to bed pretty upset and woke up to see a full road-map of stretchmarks across my tummy. Yikes!! It was as if a thousand little elves had gone roller-skating across my tummy overnight, just like that.

Sigh. It took quite a lot of counseling to get my head right into accepting it for what it was afterwards. (remember, I was very hormonal then) In the end, it was all worth it because my children bring me joy and they gladden my heart every time. I psyched myself up and saw them as "my motherhood battle scars" rather than imperfections. day by day, I'm loving me for me if you can make sense out of that, hehe and accepting my body hangups.

So when I came across this story in the news about an Instagram account, opened by two mothers, dedicated to making a difference in the world concerning the female body image especilly stretchmarks, it took me back down memory lane. Women all over the world have been using the hashtag #LoveYourLines to submit beautiful images and stories of their "tiger marks". These women cut across race, age, cultures, etc to prove that stretchmarks do not discriminate when they pop up.

I hope this post and pictures will encourage and inspire others struggling with their body imperfections to embrace them and love the bodies they are in. :)

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