Written by Meagan Anderson
I have had a difficult relationship with my body for my entire adult life. I remember developing stretch marks during puberty when my hips and thighs began to fill out. I didn’t look at them as a sign of growth or “women-hood”. Instead, I saw them as a sign that I needed to lose weight and do it quickly. I was twelve years old and starting my first self-proclaimed “diet”. I was so young and looking back I think I simply didn’t realize how common and perfectly healthy those stretch marks were, but honestly, there was no reason for me to. I never saw women in media with these little marks on their body. I am sure they had them and that many other people in my life also had them but it seemed like they, like myself, hid them under clothes.
Eventually, the pink marks on body faded to white and blended in with my fair skin. However, when I went on medication just this past year and began to gain back the weight I had lost from years of disordered eating the marks slowly began to reappear up and down my legs. I remember feeling panicked when I first saw them. I felt like I had lost control of my body. At the same time, I realized that the reason I was feeling this way about my stretch marks was because of mental illness. Even now as I am writing this I find myself falling back into negative self-talk. However, I am in a very different place than I was when I first saw the stretch marks making their way down my body. When I feel my mind slipping back towards a place of self-loathing and body negativity I can remind myself that stretch marks are not a warning sign of any kind, in fact, they are sign that I am growing both physically, and in my strength to fight against my mental illness that repeatedly tells me that body is not good enough.
I want to give an apology to my stretch marks for how I have treated them throughout the years: I am sorry that for so many years I have wrongfully hated you. I am sorry that I ever called you ugly and pulled at the skin surrounding you, trying anything to make your color fade.
I'm sorry I wasted time looking up remedies and products to make you disappear. I’m sorry I put my body through so much just in the hopes that you would fade and go away. I can’t promise that I will never do any of these things again… but I can promise that I will try.