12 Women And Nonbinary People Reveal EXACTLY How They Feel About Their Stretch Marks

12 Women And Nonbinary People Reveal EXACTLY How They Feel About Their Stretch Marks
PHOTO: GETTY

Despite the fact that about 80 percent of all people in the U.S. have them, stretch marks remain a difficult, even taboo topic to discuss. Only recently have models and celebrities started to talk about and show off their stretch marks — and when they do, it's often framed a bold, brave move.

I talked to 12 women and nonbinary people about their stretch marks to see how they view them. Some of their statements are beautiful and inspiring; others are entirely too heartbreaking.

Note: All quotes are anonymous submissions from Tumblr users and have been edited for grammar, clarity, and style.

Jessie J running her hands down her arms as though hugging herself
PHOTO: JESSIE J
1 / 12

"Nonbinary with stretch marks here. I LOVE mine!!! They're on my hips, butt, and thighs and vary [in color] from pink to angry purple. I find them fascinating for some reason and I like to trace them. I think they're super cute and they make me feel really happy in my body because it's MINE, with all its kinks and quirks and funnies."

woman with a watermelon bra dancing and eating watermelon with caption don't give a fuck
PHOTO: GIPHY
2 / 12

"I'm a white woman, fairly thin with lots of stretch marks on my thighs and boobs. I was quite self-conscious about them when they first appeared in my teens but I just don't give a fuck anymore. I recently had sex for the first time and it didn't even occur to me to worry about what the other person would think."

avril lavigne punching a mirror so it shatters
PHOTO: AVRIL LAVIGNE
3 / 12

"I am almost 50 years old. Short, overweight, and out of shape due to medical issues. I despise my stretch marks, my cellulite, my fat rolls. I hate my body and always have. I was fat-shamed from the time I was a small child and have never been able to overcome it. I hate the whole fat positivity thing because it makes me feel guilty because I just can't feel that way."

timelapse of leafy green plants growing from the soil
PHOTO: GIPHY
4 / 12

"I never really thought about my stretch marks as something to love or hate. They're just signs of growth, like rings in a tree. The concept of being ashamed of them or trying to get rid of them is just another form of society controlling the way people perceive ... 'beauty.' Your stretch marks aren't ugly or something to be ashamed of and fuck anyone who would tell you otherwise."

three cats with sunglasses on and one pair falls of a cat's face
PHOTO: GIPHY
5 / 12

"Mine have faded a bit but honestly, I've always been indifferent to the marks themselves. I have had issues with being self-conscious of other people seeing them, though."

five diverse women dressed as rosie the riveter turning to the camera and flexing
PHOTO: BUZZFEED
6 / 12

"As a fat, AFAB, nonbinary person who identifies as agender, the more I come to terms with my gender and my body type, the less I give a shit about my stretch marks. I'm pretty indifferent to them. I'm working right now on radically accepting myself as I am. 

"My biggest stretch marks are on my belly, and almost no one ever sees them, so I don't feel self-conscious about them like I did when I was younger. I've done a lot of work over the years undoing internalized misogyny as well as dysphoria, and it's taken me a long time to get to the point where I can be okay with how I look. 

"Also, I'm not really one of those people who romanticizes stretch marks. I'm mostly just neutral about them."

eleanor from the good place saying but i'm trying to be good
PHOTO: NBC
7 / 12

"Mixed feelings. I have them on my arms, across my shoulders, and now I'm starting to see them on the back of my knees and boobs. 

"Mine are from a mix of steroid ointment that made my skin thin, and just being a bigger gal in general. I've started to accept them, but I still try to cover them. I tell myself that everyone has them, and that they’re normal, but it’s hard."

sad girl sitting in a dingy room hugging her knees
PHOTO: GIPHY
8 / 12

"I hate mine. ... A year ago, after a very bad time with a depression relapse, I realized I had gotten more [stretch marks], including some in my stomach, which make me feel like a giant blob. I find myself feeling uncomfortable every time I see them. I am not happy that I have put on weight, but I could deal with that a lot better without incredibly visible marks showing it."

plus size model turning and looking over her shoulder
PHOTO: GIPHY
9 / 12

"Stretch marks have been a constant in my life since I hit puberty. Pretty much as soon as I turned 12, my hips widened by a lot and I sprouted boobs practically overnight, and I got a web of stretch marks on my breasts and hips. Both were covered pretty much all the time and by the time I was showing those body parts to anyone, they had faded to silvery white. 

"I didn't get uncomfortable about stretch marks 'til I was an adult. I had a kid and got dark, wide, asymmetrical marks all over my stomach. I'm pretty fat now, and I'm OK with my size, my shape, but even after four years, they're still there. ... It's hard to feel good about myself because I feel like in all the photos of women who are shaped like me, they all look better than me because they have nice skin. 

"The worst stretch mark [I have] is so bad, it changes the shape of my stomach a little. Some of them itch frequently, and the skin there is still so thin that it gets injured easily. I try to tell myself that the way I look didn't affect my value as a person, and that I earned those stretch marks by growing an entire human being, but when I look at them I just feel damaged."

danielle brooks running her hands over her stomach showing her stretch marks
10 / 12

"I used to hate the stretch marks on my thighs. I really only started to accept them recently, and even now it’s basically a neutral feeling towards them."

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LINDSEY WEEDSTON

Lindsey Weedston is NOT a social justice warrior. Clearly, her class is bard, with extra points in stealth and a little taken out of charisma. She's also a HUGE nerd, and can often be found gushing about video games. She even participated in a LARPing exercise once. Not nerdy enough to know what that is? Google it. You'll see.

Lindsey is a life-long feminist and writer and likes to color in adult coloring books with gel pens. She writes on LGBT+ and mental health issues, and will ruin your favorite childhood TV show with her feminism. Nothing you love is safe. Have a nice day!

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