Despite a large majority of the population having stretch marks, we very rarely talk about them— except in a negative way. The scars — which come in various colors — are the result of your body going through physical changes and your skin not quite being ready for them. You can get stretch marks from gaining and losing weight or naturally during puberty as a result of height changes — so no, it’s not just a “fat people thing”. Stretch marks don’t discriminate based on race or gender, anyone and everyone is able to get them.
Don’t let this freak you out though, stretch marks are beautiful. I call my own scars my “tiger stripes” because I think they’re totally fierce.
Of course, you wouldn’t think that based on the way the media talks about stretch marks. They’re seen as a flaw and a quick google search will show you just how many products are available to try and get them to go away. Most companies will photoshop these scars out of photos and leave their models looking unnaturally “perfect”.
But clothing company, ASOS, isn’t.
The brand — which was already one of my favorites — has recently garnered attention for not airbrushing its lingerie and swimsuit models. The women are beautiful and confident, all while rocking their own “tiger stripes”. This is the kind of thing the media should be doing. Normalizing what’s natural and even making it look beautiful, not trying to convince people they don’t exist or shame them if they have them.
I wish more companies would follow in ASOS’ footsteps and stop with the photoshopping — it’s time.
As an insecure teen who used to be embarrassed about her own stretch marks, being able to see this sort of representation in the media could’ve made a world of difference.