Stretch marks: the true story

by Abby O'Reilly // 10 February 2008, 15:08

A friend of mine was recently upset about her “ugly” stretch marks. Apparently puberty had “slashed” a number of silvery-white lines across her thighs and hips, which meant that not only was she ruined forever but also that she’d have to spend thousands of pounds on expensive “reconstructive surgery” to reverse the damage nature had etched across her body. At this point it’s probably worth mentioning that she’s a size 10, with an enviable figure and is an absolutely lovely woman. She showed me these so-called marks of Satan, sliding down her skirt just enough for me to see the top of her hips. I watched her face. She squeezed her eyes shut as tightly as she could could, her lips twisted, and she contorted her cheeks into a number of monstrous painful-looking poses. Had I not known better I’d have thought that either a) she was peeling back her skin to reveal a dermis consisting entirely of slimy silver fish or b) was in the process of expelling a particularly obnoxious turd. For a brief moment I expected to be confronted with a chunk of flesh covered with the remnants of nature’s red silly string (which would have neither repulsed nor disgusted me in all honesty - what difference do they make?). I wasn’t. As far as I could see there was nothing but unblemished skin on show; there was certainly no cause for anxiety. I could, however, understand her insecurities, and the reason why so many women feel that they have to strive for flawless perfection - it’s what we see every day.

Stretch marks are considered a source of shame. It’s something my friend and I had never spoken about before, and something I would not usually bring up over a quiet pint and a packet of cheese and onion. While it’s acceptable for us to speak about our pubic mounds, however hairy, and our intimate grooming techniques (whether we choose to let the fanny forest flourish or to weed the area, removing all stragglers in the immediate vicinity) stretch marks are a no-go area. We don’t want them, and we don’t want anybody to know we have them. They are seen, for many, as embarrassing, nothing more than evidence of a bad genetic constitution, an unhealthy lifestyle and a pathetic beauty routine. So, now for the confession. Deep breath. I have stretch marks on the sides of my breasts. I have had them since the latter half of my teenage years. Why I have them? It’s probably owing to a combination of a surge in hormones in my system during puberty and over-eating. I have quite a substantial chest (proportionate to the rest of me) and so it’s not that surprising. As I’ve grown older they’ve faded from red to white, but they are definitely present. I blushed as I wrote that, which probably confirms my belief that this is a good topic to post about. It’s time to speak about this as not only is it something that affects a large portion of the female population, but because it strangely continues to be a taboo subject. I have felt self-conscious about these marks in the past, concerned that I would never be aesthetically pleasing or feminine owing to the fact I could not emulate the photographs of perfect figures splashed across magazines and showcased on television programmes. I felt I was fundamentally flawed, and could never understand why reaching maturity had left me “scarred” in such a way when every female celebrity as far as the eye can see has emerged from the chrysalis of youth shrouded in supple soft skin that would make a new born babe blush. My skin is not silky smooth or flawless. But learning to accept these marks as a part of my body, albeit an overweight considerably-less-than-traditionally-perfect-body, and realising that they were not impinging on my health in any way made me realise that they really did not matter, even though advertising makes every woman feel like she is the only one “suffering” with this “deformity.” Had I not felt slightly concerned about my friend catching a cheeky glimpse of my pale nipples I would have pulled them out there and then to show her she had nothing to worry about, but as it was she thankfully took my word for it.

We never speak about stretch marks because we never see them. They are traditionally associated with rapid weight gain, puberty and pregnancy, three states of being where a woman is considered to have lost control over her body, be that through greed or owing to biology and hormones (something over which we have no jurisdiction). They appear when the skin has been placed under unnecessary stress, and so not surprisingly loosing a lot of weight rapidly can also cause them to form, since the skin is unable to shrink fast enough to cover a new, smaller frame. Owing to the current demand for self-perfection, with the size-zero remaining in vogue, having the ability to gain or loose weight in the blink of an eye has become the ultimate signifier of one’s self-control. Developing stretch marks are never factored in as part of the plan; they are unattractive precisely because they illustrate a body supposedly working against itself and its owner. Stretch marks develop when the dermis, the layer of skin below the epidermis (which is the outer layer we touch and feel), is unable to accommodate the rapid expansion of the skin. The function of the dermis is to shape and support the epidermis, and so when this breaks down we are, in scientific terms, fucked. It’s a medical fact. Some people may be predisposed to developing stretch marks, others may not, either way that does not make anyone immune. What I have never been able to understand, however, is how everyone in celebsville manages to remain taut and toned, never developing stretch marks, regardless of the fact that the stress placed on the skin through beefing up or quickly sliming down is a primary cause of the tiger effect. This fostered my own sense of inadequacy, and doubtless makes other women question their own bodies. Pregnant celebrities strip to their scanties, and some to their birthday suits, to display their flawless baby bumps, even though 75 to 90 per cent of all expectant mothers develop stretch marks. But then, they are privilege to photo shop. Every blemish is removed, touched-up and gone, promoting the idea that to show these women in their natural state would make them less beautiful, whereas in reality showing the hint of a muffin top or the odd stretch mark here and there would make them seem more intriguing, more appealing and more popular.

Many would argue that this isn’t what we want, that had pregnant Christina Aguilera bared all for Marie Claire in a cropped leather jacket showing an abdomen not entirely dissimilar to a map of the British Isles that she could kiss any chance of re-igniting her sex siren popstress image goodbye. Celebrities have to be flawless, as more often than not their looks and their bodies are their product, their livelihood. They have built a career on looking good, and apparently stretch marks aren’t part of the package regardless of the fact that they are made of flesh and bone just like everyone else. It’s an unfair pressure to place on famous women, especially during pregnancy when the female body has to go through a number of changes to accommodate a growing foetus. The body is stretched and distended to sometimes mammoth proportions in stalk contrast to the usually taut tight appearance of the celebrity midriff, and so the development of stretch marks would be, for some, unavoidable. But so what? It happens and this should not be a source of embarrassment. Bombarding us with photo-shopped pregnancy perfection on a daily basis does nothing but foster a sense of inferiority in the everyday woman, and present an unrealistic idea of what happens to the body during pregnancy. When a woman then does develop stretch marks or an outbreak of spots on her face when she is carrying a baby she cannot help but question her own actions, and wonder what it is she is doing wrong. Nicole Kidman is clearly already feeling the pressure to stay in shape, and has been photographed exercising with a personal trainer to keep those extra pounds at bay, and Jennifer Lopez, when speaking about her pregnancy, was not exactly over brimming with joy and happiness but rather expressed her hope that she would not develop stretch marks. We are told we want perfection by the media, it’s a belief created and maintained by celebrities who are too afraid to show that they are human. Ironically, this means that at the same time as placing pressure on the female population to strive for the ideal body, they are forced to try and maintain the unrealistic self-images pedalled by the press, which perpetuates the problem further. If we saw famous women displaying their stretch marks, something common to the vast majority of women, then we wouldn’t feel like nothing more than distended deflated sags of flesh every time we catch a glimpse of our own supposed imperfections in the bathroom mirror.

It’s precisely because we never see them that stretch marks are considered a big deal. I’m not suggesting that we round up every pregnant or post-partum celeb, or every young woman who has just lost or gained weight, or just about finished puberty, to photograph them in all there stretchy glory to create a giant montage consisting of daguerreotypes of skin that’s lost it’s elasticity. Showcasing them in this way would suggest that it’s abnormal, circus freak skin designed to be glared at through the goldfish bowl as an example of what’s wrong with the human body. What I am saying is let’s ease up on the photo shop, let’s show people how they really are, so that having the odd scar, stretch mark or bit of loose skin is no longer seen as front page news. Some women are lucky, they don’t get stretch marks, they can loose or gain weight without consequence, and can ping back to their pre-pregnancy shape so quickly that they have to be treated for whiplash. But for the majority, this is not the case, and they do not discriminate on the basis of money or attractiveness; if you’re going to get them you get them. OK we'd rather not have them, but if we do, we do, and that's that, it doesn't change us.

Getting a photograph of a high-profile woman who’s considered to be in less than perfect physical shape is now the primary objective of the paps. The standard has now been set so high, that the very people who enforced it are now unable to keep up. I did a bit of googling on the subject and discovered just how narrow-minded some people can be. The man who caught a glimpse of Katie Holmes’s post-partum tummy displaying what looked to be red stretch marks in 2006 must have creamed his pants at the thought of the readies he’d get for taking that beauty. But who cares? She’d just given birth, Suri was just four weeks old, it’s to be expected. Why was this photograph sold and syndicated throughout the world for this specific reason? Especially since many women probably looked at it and thought how lucky she was to have been left with so few marks, which, incidentally, do nothing but show that she had carried a life inside her. But making this news means that it’s considered to be something abnormal - something disgusting. Yes, show the photograph of Holmes, but why make the fact she has a few marks on her stomach a central issue? Demi Moore apparently displays some pretty impressive badges of honour across her stomach in Striptease, which in itself is the topic of many a discussion forum. She’s has been considered one of the most gorgeous women in the world for over twenty years, and yet she is discussed as nothing more than damaged goods. Similarly Cindy Crawford was recently photographed looking fantastic in a bikini. She is a woman in her forties, with a figure that would be coveted by a lot of women half her age. However, she did have some loose skin and stretch marks on her abdomen. This, in my opinion, did not make her less attractive, and yet the Daily Mail thought this image worthy of an entire article. Similarly, in the same daily drag, an article was published towards the end of last year illustrated by photographs of Amy Winehouse, Scarlett Johansson and Kate Beckinsale displaying stretch marks on their breasts. So what? Why write about it? Winehouse is still hugely talented, albeit it troubled at the moment, Jonahsson is still considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, and Beckinsale still has a lucrative career in Hollywood. Nothing changes. Naming and shaming (which is essentially what this article attempted to do) does not make the average woman like myself think, wow, they have stretch marks too, but rather that they truly must be “unsightly” (as stated by the mail journalist) and unpleasant owing to the fact that a national has gone to such great lengths to expose and analyse them. Women are more prone to developing stretch marks than men, but they are not unheard of in the male realm, it’s just that nobody cares, and in reality who does but the person they belong to? The beautiful Jayne Mansfield had stretch marks on her breasts, as did Anna Nicole Smith. We see very few celebs with these marks not only because technology means they can be hidden, but also because they have the money and the contacts to undergo cosmetic procedures to permanently remove the signs of weight change, puberty or pregnancy as and when they please. We may not, but that doesn’t make us any less feminine. A very open friend of mine at university once turned to me and said “we’re women, and women have hips, we have breasts, we have stretch marks, they’re part of being a woman,” and she was exactly right.

From what I understand there’s little one can do to prevent the appearance of stretch marks, especially during pregnancy, and that is not as accepted as it should be. Poor Jessica Alba, who announced she was pregnant at the end of last year, has been subject to the scrutiny on anonymous 'reviewers' online, who claim that now she is "knocked-up" she'll be "runined" by stretch marks and swelling. When a woman who is considered traditionally beautiful is berated in such an offensive and denigrating way, how are the rest of us supposed to accept changes that take place in our body. Alba is pregnant and in a relationship, and yet her partner is not subject to the same physical scrutiny despite the fact that, essentially, it is Alba who is doing the hard work. What makes it worse is that more often than not those who will cast judgement on others are far from perfect physical specimens. So what practical steps can be takne? Right or wrong it's unfortuante that this can affect our self-esteem and, as it seems that the world at this point in time is not going to change, anything that can ensure we're as confident as we can be is only a good thing. Coco Butter and Bio Oil claim to prevent the appearance of stretch marks, although in reality there is no definitive proof that anything applied externally to the skin can do anything but lessen the appearance of already existing blemishes. This is because the damage has taken place below the outer layer of skin, and so taking Vitamin E supplements is likely to be more productive, as is drinking a lot of water, as it encourages the skin to repair itself from within. Exercise is also credited with being able to lessen the appearance, as the muscle below the skin is toned, providing more support. In all honesty, however, I think we are likely to be more concerned about them than anyone else. In reality no-one notices or cares, and if they do they should probably turn their critical eye inwards because, as the old adage goes, nobody is perfect, which is what makes us interesting, even though it is easyto loose sight of this.

Comments From You

SF // Posted 18 February 2008 at 12:04

Most men have stretch marks too, it should be noted.

Jane Purcell // Posted 18 February 2008 at 19:23

I once heard a man refer to his ginormous beer belly as 'relaxed muscle!'

Abby // Posted 19 February 2008 at 11:13

Thanks for your comments :)
SF: From what I understand while some men develop stretch-marks, women have a greater tendency to do so. Probably because through puberty and pregnancy a woman's body will undergo quite significant changes. Although I appreciate that men too develop stretch marks (and I think I made reference to this in the original piece), I think that it's generally ignored as men are not placed under the same sort of pressure to conform to images of the body beautiful to the same extent as women are.
Jane: Hehe..that's an excuse I'll remember for future use about myself!hehe..x

georgina // Posted 21 March 2008 at 15:47

i think everything you said on here was true,and it is about time people started to know the truth that all these celebs and images etc are basically made up.well done

tania // Posted 25 March 2008 at 17:58

i onstly felt really boosted up after reading this article..i too have stretch marks and it honestly makes me feel so unconfident, im a size 10 i cant wear any revealing clothes which affects me having to see all my m8s having a good time showing off their bodies when i cant...but now knowing that not only im aftected by it gives me a bit off self confidence.

Johnny // Posted 02 April 2008 at 00:37

hey im a guy who has developed an atlas of stretch marks all over my body from bodybuilding. i have them on my arms, biceps, triceps, back of my arms (armpit area), thighs, arse and back (back is almost completely covered). People dont understand the sort of affect it has on our lives. without meaning to sound vein im fairly goodlooking and do get quite abit of attention from the opposite gender. having stretch marks this has completely ruined my life as anytime i get close to a girl i always have to back off because i cant let anyone see my stretch marks.

Because i work out it is evident that i have a muscular body and theres always that expectation for me to have an amazing body because of what i look like with my clothes on. whilst i am very proud of what i have achieved in the gym i am still ashamed of my body because of the scars. whenever im out or in a club i see girls staring at my arm/shoulder/chest region and im just completely embarrassed becuase i know what there thinking and i know there just going to be let down when they see whats underneath.

At the moment im just holding out for a cure which i hope to god is gonna be comeing in the next few years so i can start to live my life. i hear that alot of girls have them here and there and it really gets me down becuase i know for a fact tht they are no were near as bad as mine.

(sorry if i came across as vein or arrogant im really not at all ive just got to the point were i really dont care anymore)

Steph Jones // Posted 02 April 2008 at 08:49

The Daily Mail is the biggest 'body fascist' of the lot... "she's too fat, she's too thin, she's got cellulite".

Cherry // Posted 23 April 2008 at 23:44

Hi I'm late to the game here, but thanks for this post. It makes me feel a bit better.

Stretchmarks have completely ruined my life. I am not overweight and yet I have them on my chest, stomach, thighs, butt, and the worst - my upper arms. I can't even go swimming or wear less than a tshirt with generous sleeves.

My life is pretty horrible because of them. I wear so much clothing, even in 100 degree weather. Misery. I can't date because I'm disgusting. :(

yemmy // Posted 28 April 2008 at 00:48

Thanks for the post but i still feel bothered that there's really nothing that can be done about stretch marks. I have them on my upper arms waist and thigh so u can understand my concern bcos i don't feel comfortable wearing sleeveless tops.I wish there's more research to rectify this.

Sabre // Posted 28 April 2008 at 14:25

I used to be a chubby teen, but when I lost weight I got lots more stretch marks. Although I'd rather not have them, they remind me of my weight loss, which I'm quite proud of (it's not all about looks; I'm much healthier now, and my thighs don't chafe in hot weather!) I hadn't realised stretch marks were such a big deal for some people, although I was dimly aware of media pressures. I think this may be because my mother has had them through having three children and fluctuating weight, but she was never ashamed of them (in fact she walks around naked a lot, it's rather embarassing when friends come over) I come from a family where the women AND men all have lumps, bumps and marks.

Unitl I read this article I hadn't really noticed that I have some on my breasts too!

It also helps that my stretch marks are visible to me, but somehow invisible/completely unimportant to my boyfriend. I know I don't need his approval to feel good, but he's the only person who sees me naked so it helps that he doesn't run for the hills every time a streaky thigh is exposed.

Finally, to Johnny, who commented above; I think there are very few women who would shun you for having stretch marks. That's because (almost) all of us have them too! Personally I don't find 'perfect' bodies that attractive. The lumps, bumps and marks make us interesting and individual. Perhaps if we took more notice of the way the people around us look, rather than celebrities, we would realise that.

Jennifer // Posted 25 May 2008 at 12:54

Hi ,

I always had pretty bad stretch marks and red scars around my belly region and abdomen ever since I gave birth to my three kids.I had tried Vitamin E oil and cocoa butter which a number of people had recommended but it didn't seem to work. My Doctor had even suggested a Tummy Tuck. I then recently read an article about a lady who supposedly got rid of her stretch marks using a particular cream. I tried it and it worked really well. Within 4 weeks my stretch marks were very much faded and they soon disappeared You can read more about the lady's article at the link below.

http://stretchmarkszapped.wordpress.com/

Rhona // Posted 25 May 2008 at 14:54

I don't wish to disregard anybody's experiences here, but I was really unaware that this was a major issue.

Are stretchmarks really ruining people's lives, as per some of the comments here? And if so, why? Do people go to great lengths to disguise other scars that can be put down to 'bodily experience', such as scars on knees from falling off bikes, chipped elbows, knocking various appendages off doors etc?

Personally, I quite like many of my scars - they are 'badges' of where I've been and what I've done. Most have a story behind them (sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always interesting - to me, anyway!) and I thought this was the case for most people - stretchmarks, for example, being the story of a successful pregnancy or weightloss/gain, growing up or something similar.

Please, don't believe the snake oil hype - it benefits us all, whether male or female, to love our bodies, 'imperfections' and all. As long as you are healthy, happy and at ease with yourself, your body - marked or not - will serve you well.

Those of us with functioning appendages, organs and senses would do well to remember this.

Shea // Posted 25 May 2008 at 15:33

Great article Abby.

I have them on my arms and even though they have faded they still stand out because I'm darker skinned. I heard a woman say once that they were her "road maps" of all the significant changes that had happened to her body. I like that expression, sort of like Nature's tattoos.

You can get stretch marks lasered, but its expensive and painful. I found that Palmers cocoa butter helped faded them significantly. (So thats my two cents worth.) :-)

I think its really sad that the body facism has now extended to women in pregnancy, as if there wasn't enough pressure to look good all the time anyway. Stuff that. Relax, enjoy it, have the odd glass of wine (that goes for life and pregnancy I think). Most of these celebs are airbrushed beyond belief-- real women aren't flawless-- they are too active & too busy to be!

Jamie // Posted 02 June 2008 at 21:31

I have them too, sucks....but whatever! Get fit, get healthy, and get toned! One night I went to a local bar - this was about 3 years ago and I was still pretty heavy. A girl walked in with a mini skirt and a tub tob on. Her hair was long and blonde and she was very rustic looking. She had on little short heels, but when she walked, she took large steps. When she walked she swayed her hips far from side to side. When she walked she carried her chin high and a smile frozen delicately across her face. Her body was toned and beautiful. She had very wide hips however and her hips were COVERED in stretch marks. There is no way in hell you couldnt notice them. But, she had a handsome man on either side of her, and she knew that she worked hard for that body. If someone didnt like her because hes human and has minor flesh - human scars, then fuck them! because there were plenty of people there that night, like myself, that only saw this strong, powerful, confident, independent, gorgreous women walk in that night. The stretch marks and that image gave me a sense of understanding. people - it rarely matters what the little intricate details are about your body - all that matters is your "Overall" image...the air you have around you. the way you carry yourself. if you are eminating confidence, then people will be so awestruck by that that the rest of it just makes you seem all that much more amazing and strong. Shine on!
ps...to the guy with the 'bod' all sexy muscular men have stretch marks - we dont notice then when we are melting in the arms of muscle. soooooooo doesnt matter!

anna // Posted 02 June 2008 at 21:32

hello
I also really enjoyed reading this article. I admit I tend to cringe when I think of the road map on my tummy (twins...). And yet I'm always saying I would love a tattoo - double standards!! So I love the idea of stretchmarks as 'nature's tattoos', brilliant! I just lifted my top for a quick look at my tum and I could swear it looks happier already!
Anna x x

Anna L. // Posted 03 June 2008 at 12:27

Apparently, some men (like my friend) aren't capable of loving damaged goods. Or rather, this one is, but refuses to give me the chance to be his *one* because of my stomach. That's what it all boils down to! This is my first relationship since splitting with the father of my child, and I was more worried about losing the rest of the baby weight... not my stretch marks! What an unpleasant surprise. It's hard enough to get pregnant, muck through pregnancy without killing anyone, give birth, and sort out being a parent. But then to be criticized for not being picture perfect- it's like a smack in the face, and worse! I'm certainly not going to say I'm proud of my stretch marks (More like disgusted) but I refuse to be okay with being put down about it. I can't change it. Hell, I didn't even ASK for it. I've accepted them and is it too much to ask that someone else could, as well? They're there, and anyone that has a problem with them can bite my stretch marked ass.

Anne Onne // Posted 03 June 2008 at 15:38

I don't like the focus people put on stretch marks, because it increases how self-consious people feel about it. The focus on ahving pure unblemished (white, the focus is always on white) hairless skin makes a lot of people unhappy when there is nothing physically wrong with them. I don't think we should blame people who feel the pressure (after all, they're not inventing it, society really is shallow enough to treat them like crap!), but also try and encourage people to try and move beyond it.

I do have stretch marks from puberty, adn used to feel self-conscious about it growing up, but when I realised all my friends also did, and that it wasn't a big thing, it started to matter less. Mind you, I also have quite a few scars anyway. Nothing huge, but given how obsessed society is with appearance, I think it's a miracle I didn't grow up paranoid about them. I'm also getting over having body hair (and I'm not talking about fine not-noticeable blonde fuzz either!), but society and the way we are judged doesn't help people come to terms with their body, and changes in their body. We're taught to rail against age by buying expensive creams, dying hair and having cosmetic surgery, and that we should put all our effort into changing or hiding 'flaws'. Screw that, we should be encouraging people to not give a toss!

claire // Posted 07 June 2008 at 16:30

hi
i got stretch marks at 16. when i was expectin it has runned my life. ive tryed every thing thats out in the markets 4 it. the only thing i feel that woks is use it all when u see them appring.

sarah // Posted 11 June 2008 at 15:15

some of these comments really got me thinkin, i have lots of stretch marks, i got them on my boobs through being pregnant and then when i trimmed down and toned up after the birth i got lots more stretch marks all over my hips, thighs, calves and bum. i looked disgusting, i'm really concious of what i wear, i haven't been swimmin in years not even to take my 4 year old son. . bad i know. But then when i look in the mirror at about 2 metres distance, i can hardly see them and actually look quite good naked. My stretch marks even put me off having more children even though i really want to have another 1. After reading this page, i've decided to go for it. id rather grow up with a happy family, with children and grandchildren coming round to visit me. I don't want to grow old with 1 child, wishing i had more children but didn't just because i didn't want to make my stretch marks worse. Sod it, i'm going to have a bigger family.
sarah

Sabre // Posted 12 June 2008 at 10:11

Sarah, good for you! It's one thing being annoyed by stretch marks (wrinkles, sagging etc... the list goes on) and quite another thing when those worries get in the way of your happiness and stop you achieving what you want in life. It's like denying ourselves laughter because we may get lines around our eyes one day.

BTW if you want to feel comfy about swimsuits try going to a beach in Europe; I find that in France or North Spain plenty of women walk around topless and they come in all ages, shapes and sizes and they're so unfussed about what people think of their bodies. The first time I experienced that my worries about how I looked melted away, because I realised it's not about how you look but how CONFIDENT you are.

I was really uplifted to read your post (and those of others on this page) and wish you all the best with having more children and living life!

sara // Posted 13 June 2008 at 17:19

I get so so depressed about my stretchmarks. I had a really nice figure before i had children, though i do love them to bits. I work out every day and i'm a size 8 to 10 and have a really good figure but can't show it off because i am covered in stretchmarks. I tried to get a mini tummy tuck to remove some of them but was told i didn't have enough skin. Wish their was a cure, theyve ruined my life.

Coralie // Posted 13 June 2008 at 22:24

Congratulations Abby - a thoughtful piece to challenge our seeming obsession with the body perfect. From what I've seen - most women's stretch marks do fade over time. Thank God for my fabulous husband who once described my post-baby tummy as 'a map of our lasting love for each other and for the child we created together'.

Matt // Posted 20 June 2008 at 09:52

I am a body builder and I got stretch marks on my biceps and under arms. I have a really nice body too, it's a shame that I'm hiding it because of these stretch marks. I feel for those with anxiety because of them, it really sucks. I have anxiety too. I have to wear long sleeve shirts all the time, even in the summer, and I'm sick of it.

I'm either going to get lazer surgery or cover them up with tatoos or both. Seems like one of these options has to work somewhat. Btw, I consider myself to be a positive person, but stretch marks aren't fun for anyone. A cure would be bliss.

Kerry // Posted 03 July 2008 at 14:30

Hi, I dont know why but i feel really upset about my strechmarks on my Tummy. They are hidous and make me feel like a red and white tiger. Its odd because i only seem to be the one getting upset about them. I feel bad cus i havent got kids and im in my early twenties. I feel like its my fault they just appeared. I think its because i over indugled in cooking last summer and then cut down maybe too quickly. I really hate them but my boyfriend doesnt seem to care ( he has them too but they have faded) and still says im beautiful. I have talked to my friends and they have them too in different places but yet i still seem to be really bothered. I feel like someone is going to shout at me or critique my figure for having them. I feel this pressure that i shouldnt have them but yet most people dont know and the people i care about dont care. Who am I trying to prove? I feel being a young person in my twenties that i should have the perfect body , because i dont i really feel that i have lost something. I cant really describe it but I feel this kind of pressure an that i have failed. I dont want to make people worry and think i spend all day crying about it, i dont and i do have a life but it is something that bothers me in the back of my head. Does anyone else feel this pressure?

Sabre // Posted 04 July 2008 at 10:31

Kerry,
I know how you feel. I'm in my mid-twenties now and do feel the pressure that at this age I should look amazing all the time. You know, before the sleigh-ride into the 'horrific' ageing process! And because I'm not slim, toned and with flawless skin (hooray for teenage acne scars!) I'm supposed to feel like a failure. I don't really know what to say that would help. I'm just trying to learn to accept and love my body the way it is. I have a good supportive boyfriend too, and that does help. Your tiger analogy made me smile because that's how I think of my stripes, but in a good way! (my boyfriend doesn't have stretch marks but he has zillions of freckles so he's a leopard) :-)

Tash // Posted 08 July 2008 at 18:57

Hey, im 16 nd have stretch marks on my theighs, i hate them, nd am scared to go swimming cos i dnt want ppl to stare. I cnt seem to fade them, any ideas?

Anna // Posted 12 July 2008 at 16:22

I have resently obtained stretch marks in the thigh and buttocks and i hate them. It's
not from gaining or losing weight as i have stayed the same sort of weight as normal and im not over or under weight and its not because im pregnant... its due to puberty. Do they last forever? i really want
them to go :(

Amy // Posted 14 July 2008 at 13:12

Hi, after reading this article i realised that many other people suffer from the embarrassment of stretch marks. As a child i was very chubby, typical case of 'puppy fat'. I had dreadful stretch marks at the age as well. As I became a teenager, i started to lose the weight. However I got became obsessive about eating, which eventually ended up with me attending counselling and going to an eating disorder clinic. Around this age my stretch marks got worse and at the age of 14 i also suffered from cellulite. I hated myself and my body which has subsquently made me extremely self conscious and insecure. This self loathing still carries on, I am now 17 and the feelings are 10 times worse. I hate people seeing my body and do my best to cover it up. I'm so shy around boys and doubt i will ever have a relationship where i feel comfortable about myself. I now have Stretch marks all over my chest, bum, thighs and hips. Not to mention serious cellulite in the same places as well as all over my legs, leaving me with saggy, unsightly knees. I know that this will never disappear and I will never feel attractive. I rarely ever go out with my few friends as i know boys would compare me to their slender, unblemished bodies. My mum says that I should be grateful that i am healthy and that i should stop being obsessed with my body, but i can't help it. I am constantly on diets, resulting in binge eating and making myself sick. I run and go to the gym, but i always feel as if there is no hope. If i ever have a daughter, i hope she never, ever has to go through what i have. I blame todays society for making me and thousands of other women feel so insecure about themselves.

Jennifer // Posted 14 July 2008 at 23:33

Hey all!!, I first want to start out saying Thank you so much for this article! I have never read anything like this about stretch marks and it REALLY made me feel so much more confident. I first noticed my stretch marks when i was 14years old on my love handles, on the inside of my thighs, and hips and as I got older I noticed more developing on different areas. I was EXTREMELY self conscious about them when I was in highschool, always worrying about what to wear, and what people would think of me. I'm 18 now and still self consious about them, but not nearly as bad as I was when I was younger. I'm learning to accept them, and do what I can to improve the appearence of them. It is tough still I know. Not feeling confident enough to wear shorts, or skirts, a bathing suit, I mean I know I can wear those things, I just don't have the confidence just yet to wear them. What really helps me to get over it is just realizing that yes ok i have stretch marks, but i know that there are soo many other people out there who have it a million times worse with other situations, diseases, or who don't even have legs, or arms, and that I don't have the odacity to complain about my marks. I have a great family, I like to see myself as a happy, positive person, and even though I have stretch marks and it affects my appearence and my self confidence I know that i will be okay and that it is not the end of the world. I am self consious about realationships and if a guy will look past my stretch marks and see me for me, but i'm coming to the realization that if someone is not going to go out with me because of what i look like then I DO NOT want to be with that person. That is not who i am. If you're going to judge me, judge me on my character and the person i am, not on what I look like. (I firmly believe that)
I have always been an accepting person but i must say that me having these marks has made me more accepting of others with their insecurities.
Inconclusion all i have to say is to everyone out there dealing with these marks as I am, just stay positive and know that it IS what is on the inside that counts! as cheezy and repetitive as it sounds I always think about that because it is SO TRUE! ...... :)
best wishes oxo

LysiLoo // Posted 16 July 2008 at 17:54

Heyyaa,
Just like to say what a wonderful article this is! I too have stretch marks on my breasts thighs and hips. Im only 13years old and am a size 10/12, its dreadful to have to go swimming with them and now i just avoid it compleatly. I hate them, and have been using Boi-Oil on them and its doing ok, but i have heard a lot of good news about Co-co butter.
Anywayss,
thankss alot!
x

Emily // Posted 16 July 2008 at 19:51

I wouldn't say I like my stretch marks, in fact I don't really notice them. When I first got them, in the firm grasp of puberty, I was devastated. I felt ugly, disgusting, and just wanted to die. The thing is, I never noticed them on other people, it was just something that made them, well, them.

Now, at the ripe old age of 19, most of them are the pearly white healed colour, and they don't bother me so much. My body is far from perfect. I'm still a few pounds heavier than I'd like to be. I battle with hirsuteness and acne because of PCOS. Then to top it all off, I've got self inflicted scars on the tops of my arms, my stomach and my thighs. Yet I'm perfectly happy strutting about naked, in my own home of course.

I think imperfections are beauty. It's the little things that make someone different from everyone else. Besides, if you love someone, it doesn't matter if they have stretchmarks, or a hairy back, or anything.

Ruth Moss // Posted 17 July 2008 at 08:04

What a wonderful article. Interesting to hear it isn't just pregnancy that gives you pronounced stretch marks.

I have stripes all over my tummy. I hated them when I was pregnant because they were bright purple but now I call them my silver stripes and I don't mind them because they remind me of the fact I carried my child around in there for nearly ten months.

I would strongly suggest to anyone who has a bad self-image surrounding pregnancy stretch marks to go and look at Shape of a Mother. It's a revelation and will make you realise just how totally normal you are.

Society doesn't like mothers much I don't think, and as stretch marks are often a badge of motherhood, they have to be hidden away, so we don't realise how normal they are.

Ffion // Posted 18 July 2008 at 16:02

I'm 14 and i have stretch marks on my thighs and bum. When I see them they make me feel very very unhappy, and I want to wear a swimming costume and go swimming but I feel that I can't because of the marks. I always wear black tights with skirts, even when it is quite hot. I am scared that if I go to the beach with my friends, they will see the marks and think "she has ugly stretch marks" even though they might also have them. It reminds me of when I see someone with a really hairy neck or back and think "they are quite hairy." i am not really in any position to think things like this, as i have very dark hair and therefore a fairly prominent moustache, yet I still judge people when I see things like that. I dont know why - i am not a mean person, I just think it in my head. Thanks a lot for the article - it made me realise how absoloutely atrocious the media is for making people (pregnant people sometimes - the thought of the media cutting into pregnant people for natural things like stretch marks really makes me feel quite sick) feel that they have to have blank, plasticcy skin. Its unfair for the media to make a big thing about looking like this, as nobody can ever achieve that (you cant computer edit real life as it happens) and it's strange to think that the people who write about these kinds of things must have body insecurities themselves, and are only making themselves feel worse by unnecessarily exaggerating normal things about people they dont even know! phew...thats me done. Now i will save up for some cocoa butter - I would like to enjoy my holiday thanks very much, stretch marks!! xxxxxxxx

Jane1 // Posted 18 July 2008 at 23:21

Interesting article. I hope all the girls can find a way to improve their confidence. I am now 45 years and first developed my inner thigh marks at 17. My very tall dark and handsome boyfriend, who I couldnt beleive was happily going out with me did not care about them at all. He even asked me to marry him. So at 18 I was married. We have now been married 26 years. I two boys and did get one or two extra ones, which I dont care who sees. But, I keep my thighs covered and
pretend to all I hate the sun and swimming. But, I dont dwell on it.

Rosie // Posted 24 July 2008 at 22:23

Even though my weight has gone up and down over the years I never really suffered from stretch marks. This was until after my first child when i lost loads of weight and became a size 8 which was a size i never thought i would ever be, the down side of this was stretch marks and lots across my back and thighs

I can't say they ever bothered me that much until i started reading about them as research for my website. Now i must admit to being on the hunt for something that will at least reduce the appearance of them.

I used cocoa butter during pregnancy and in reality i wish i have used something a bit more proven as it didn't do much for me.

Anna // Posted 25 July 2008 at 01:29

I've just turned 16 and i have stretch marks on my boobs, hips inner thighs and behind the knee, there everywhere!.
my legs are terrible, ive got stripy red and silvery skin starting from the top of my ass to the top of my calf - and its terribly depressing, especially at my age when i want to run about in a bikini without a care. but the hips and boobs are the worst, as soon as they fade, i get new ones, i went to the beach today, it was so hot but i couldnt take off my three quarter length shorts and t shirt because i hate my body so much. My friends know i have them, and say it doesnt matter go crazy anyway. but they dont understand, they all have size 6-10 bods with flawless skin. My boyfriend of three years doesnt care, and he made a great deal of kissing every single one he could find on me one day because i got so distraught - so i have great support there!. but still, i know i should just get on with it but being a young woman i just cant. too much damned pressure! my mum is going to buy me bio oil too, shes getting worried because its not helping my depression which i already have.
i just hope they fade intime to give me at least a few years with an "acceptable" body :(
i wish luck and happiness to all women/girls out there with the "wrong" bodies. We are the real females!.

Kirsty // Posted 25 July 2008 at 10:30

I never had any stretchmarks until I was 16 - mine appeared when I gained weight while I was recovering from an eating disorder. I hated them for a little while (mostly because other people's reaction invariably fell into the 'oh no, poor you, what terrible stretchmarks you have'), but actually I quite like them now. They remind me that my body now is much nicer and more comfortable to be in than it was when I was thin. They don't bother me any more than any other scar or mark on my body.

Kirsty // Posted 25 July 2008 at 10:35

I also really wish I hadn't opened the links to the Daily Mail articles. I can't believe that anyone would call a couple of stretch marks 'unsightly', or even 'a girl's worst nightmare!'.

Laurel Dearing // Posted 25 July 2008 at 13:14

i gots a couple on my inner thigh. noone would see them because my thighs are larger and so dont make many public appearances.
i really wouldnt care if anyone did though. but theyre pretty tiny so...
im shocked at those jessica alba comments! not only about her body, but about her "not even being married" or that she probably got knocked up to trap her man! honestly! i cant claim to know much about the woman but i really doubt that the commenters know quite that much either!

Alicia // Posted 25 July 2008 at 13:31

Gosh, what with my fat, cellulite, body hair and spider veins it never occurred to me to worry about my stretch marks as well. Isn't it a minefield trying to look like a marble statue?

Aimee // Posted 25 July 2008 at 17:19

I've got stretchmarks! I've had a baby, I think I can be 'excused' my 'bodily imperfections'. I'm not ashamed of them. I quite like them, I think they look like tiger stripes and my boyfriend says that there's no way they can be ugly because they're a remnant of having grown a baby, which is by no means an ugly thing. Personally, anyone who feels the need to make me feel as though my body is imperfect can piss right off.

Em // Posted 25 July 2008 at 20:54

I just wanna say how nice it is to hear many of the readers accepting their bodies.:) I'm only 17 and I have stretch marks, when I was younger I used to worry about what boys and other girls would think of me, but I'm happy to say, the boyfriends I've had in the past have never complained and my girlfriends know what it's like because many have them themselves.
I think the best way to 'tackle' them is to try and stay as fit as possible and use products such as Bio-Oil, and also stay positive, most of the time people don't even know they're there.

x

Cruella // Posted 26 July 2008 at 00:50

Mr Cru has stretch marks on his shoulders from the rapid development of his muscles when he was training for boxing matches in his mis-spent youth. Of course no-one would go "oh how gross, a guy with lots of upper body strength" but a woman being pregnant is as natural if not more so than a guy spend a lot of time training for sport. Unless of course you're a massive misogynist who finds the very state of femaleness akin to a medical condition... There is a great website called something like "this is what a mother looks like" where women post photos of their post-pregnancy stretch-marks and take some pride in them. I don't have the link but it is up, I think at Anji's place (Shut Up, Sit Down!).

Apoorva // Posted 26 July 2008 at 13:29

whoever is calling stretch marks dreadful, horrible, not fun etc, quit worrying.. stretch marks are no big deal. its all in the mind. i look at it as prrof that i am tigress. just think, at some level, if ur stretch marks do get cured, would you beat all other odds in life and be happy forever. those who are obsessing over stretch marks, probably obsess over a lot of other things too. its just a reason to be unhappy. be naked for a whole day and feel the beauty of your body. every body is beautiful.. :)

Aimee // Posted 26 July 2008 at 15:12

... Excellent! I think i'll post mine! I think a lot of women (and men) have a very funny idea of what 'beautiful' is... it seems to mean 'without a 'blemish' in sight', but quite frankly, I think 'blemishes' make you unique. Scars are something to tell stories about and stretch marks show what's happened to you throughout your life. I think we should be more interested in the little quirks and marks and lines all over people's bodies instead of critical of them.

Lynn // Posted 26 July 2008 at 23:29

I have had stretch marks since I was 13, and I have never been over a size 1 (I'm asian... my entire family is tiny). My body just didn't like the growth spurt. Neither my father or my mother have stretch marks. My weight gain/loss never fluctuates more than a pound here or there, yet every time i work out (JUST CARDIO MIND YOU) i develop eve more stretch marks!! I went for a 2.5 mile run 3 days ago and i ran 3 miles today.... As I got out of the shower I noticed 3 new purple stretch marks. It seems as if I get them for absolutely no reason at all. My body didn't undergo any excessive stretching or weight loss yet I still develop them... FOR NO REASON AT ALL except that my body sucks.

Everyone that gets them from losing lots of weight or gaining muscle is extremely lucky and be glad that you are at least developing them for a reason, because there are those of us out there who just get them because we are simply alive and cursed... so it appears.

Kristy // Posted 31 July 2008 at 23:28

I have so many stretch marks on my legs, i'm 16 and they've faded quite alot. but they make me feel uncomfortable if you can see them wish shorts or a skirt, so i usually just tights to hide them, then i feel fine.

rose_hasty // Posted 01 August 2008 at 01:10

I'm 8 1/2 months pregnant and used almond oil my whole pregnancy to prepare my skin for the stretching. I have just recently developed a few stretch marks and I suppose I was quite excited to see them.
Reading these comments has made me determined to get em out as often as possible! I'm not embarrassed about it so hopefully the more of us who show them off, the more normalised they'll become and then some of the people on here will feel happier with theirs!
We do have the power to counter the negative affect of magazines full of airbrushed, starving and tortured bodies. Just existing in public, unashamed of our appearance makes us walking adverts for the joy of having stretchmarks, curves, eyebags, spots, scars, hair etc. The joy of NOT torturing your body in the endless persuit of a satisfaction that will never be attained.

Jane // Posted 05 August 2008 at 18:10

Hello all,

I am 18 and have been with my boyfriend for the last 10 months and I am blissfully happy with him. I am a size 8 and have some cellulite on my thighs and chicken pox everywhere but I always felt confident naked because of my boobs. They aren't massive but they are pert and He adores them.

Yesterday I noticed that I had stretch marks on the cleavage side on both. Now this I find unfair, if it was on the other side I wouldn't mind as much.

I just stopped typing to go and put on my favourite and sexiest black bra. I could still see the stretch marks so put on a simple low cut vest top and this didn't hide them either. The effect it did have though was that I felt more confident. I hadn't applied hundreds of pounds of cream or oil or stressed or worried about them but I felt just as attractive as I always felt in this top and bra combination.

I read the main article and it made me relieved that I am normal and angry that the media will cripple people's self esteem in the pursuit of money. I looked at the Katie Holmes picture mentioned above and what I saw disgusted me. A grown man or woman was purposefully bending down to try and capture on camera the belly of a brand new mother. He/she didn’t focus on both Katie and Tom Cruise looking happy and smiling but her belly. What has happened to the world? It’s a shame.

I also read all the comments and I would like to thank all the contributors because every story made me realise that women are women and men are men and all of us, all shapes, sizes, colours and genders are all human and if part of being human is that we have stretch mark then sod it! lets encourage people to celebrate them. In fact now that I think about it I have always longed for bigger boobs and if stretch marks could be a sign that they are growing then I bloody will start celebrating.

I know I am going on a bit here but I must say to both the bodybuilding guys who wrote above that I find a muscular man horrifically attractive and if ever I am staring at either of you it is because your biceps will be mesmerizing me not because I can see any marks creeping down your arms. Like I am going to celebrate my marks as a sign of bigger boobs (fingers crossed) then I hope both of you and anyone who has stretch mark will celebrate them. Stretch marks are obviously a sign of change and that should be applauded. For example if someone loses their adolescent puppy fat and gets them, someone creates a new human life, someone puts on weight having overcome and eating disorder or someone spends dedicated time in the gym and comes out with abs of steel people would congratulate them in my eyes the stretch marks gained from these feats are a medal of honour, a certificate of achievement that your own body awards you to say “look what you and I did, and now we have the marks to prove it”

I have to say that reading what everyone else has said and letting their words enable me to write this has banished any potential self-doubt in my mind. Thank you everyone.

Ruth // Posted 05 August 2008 at 22:12

Rosie, honestly it is almost certianly nothing you did or didn't do. I've had two strapping 9 lb babies and was the size of a house both times (I'm only 5ft 1). Never used cream, no stretch marks at all on the tum. On my boobs, stretch marks here and there for no apparent reason.
Fretting over stretch marks and other body issues is like worrying that your house isn't clean enough. There is no one standard that will be good for everyone, so find your own and who cares what other people think, eh?

sarah // Posted 09 August 2008 at 20:05

Hi, i would just like to say that this brought a smile to my face. I am 17 and I have stretchmaarks in every possible place. I sometimes hate myself for them and they do trigger depression. I've let them get me down so much and prevent me from doing things but when i stopped and thought about it i realised nothing will ever stop me from getting them and they are just faint lines. I think there are so much more important things in life that we forget about because of minor problems like this. I also think of all the possible things i could have wrong with me and i feel that puts it all in perspective.

I have a boyfriend that i have been with for three years the only thing that bothers him is when i get upset and depressed about my stretchmarks. He says that i'm beautiful and sexy and even though i find it hard to beleive sometimes he wouldn't still be with me if he didn't find me attractive (inside and out)

I am going to cyprus next week with him and i am going to make him proud of me. I'm going to have fun and ignor the stretch marks and scars i have because those who look and judge aren't worth my time let alone me wasting my holiday.

Oh and to all the guys who posted on here my boyfriend is 20 and a bodybuilder he lost alot of wieght and now has an amasing body with huge muscles. He has stretch marks on his arms and tummy and i don't find him any less attractive, in fact it helps me realise how little they really matter as he wears vests and t-shirts that show his marks and body and still every guy i know envys his body. Trust me any girl worth your time won't even care or notice your stretch marks.

My message to everyone is go and live your life before its too late cause i know i am.

rosemary // Posted 11 August 2008 at 11:12

i want something that can remove my strecth marks at back of my legs because i cant wear something short and its hurt me i want to be like other ladies please help me

Stretch Mark Cream // Posted 12 August 2008 at 19:18

Hi..
Thanks for the info. In my opinion.. stretch mark can happen in any people and in any age. the most important thing is how we can reduce the visibility of the stretch mark. I got the stretch mark after giving my eldest kid. it looks terrible and i try a lot of cream and oil to soften it. It make me tense and at the end I just let it and thank god.. when the time goes, the stretch mark will fade on its own. You have to be patient and keep applying the cream or some oil to the stretch mark area and it may works in long run.

Sara // Posted 22 August 2008 at 17:35

These stretch marks just sneak up on you!!! Such a bummer, they are. Thanks for the post and all the comments though. It's nice to know most of us have them and it's not just me.

striae // Posted 14 September 2008 at 21:14

From my experience, many stretch mark reduction creams do work very well. When used during pregnancies, they able to reduce the severitiy or even prevent stretch marks from forming.

Steph // Posted 22 October 2008 at 14:58

Hey, thanks for this website i feel alot better knowing im not alone!
I got stretch marks at the age of 11! I have never been over weight and now have them on my hips, bum, thighs and worst of all back of my calves! I miss being able to go swimming or sunbathe properly...im hoping to go on holiday next year my my bf...its gonna be a huge challenge for me! Im more bothered about people i know seeing them than i am strangers. I have been with my bf a year and a half now and iv tried hiding them best i can, im sure his seen then but we havent ever talked about it.
I have been going on the sunbeds regularly and have found a tan makes them look alot less obvious. So with a tan and regular use of coco butter or bio oil you can make them as disgused as poss! x

sherrie // Posted 27 October 2008 at 06:10

When I put moved from size 8 to size 12 i missed the skinny me (LOL!) and would not do things like wear skirts without pantihose etc because i did not like the way my legs looked...now I would give anything for how my legs looked back then...I wish also that at the time I lived in the moment and didn't worry about it, because it wasn't as bad as what i thought. Now, even though I do struggle with the way i look with lose skin and stretch marks to my ankles...I think to msyelf...would it be a conselation to me if I lost my legs in a few years time, and didn't use the time I had now to go to the beach, have fun and feel the sun on my legs? I think i would look back and beg for my stretchmarked legs!!! So I try not to let it affect me! Also I want to show my daughter, not to let anything stop you from having fun including yourself!! -about me..

During my pregnancy i put on a whopping 50kgs and managed to get stretch marks. I can't pretend i am happy at all with the sight of them. I do struggle with the look of them even as i lose weight, I also struggle with the excess skin. I'm not talking about a few hidable stretch marks, mine go from my upper arms right down to below my carves...obviously not all a long line lol! I find it difficult to be intimate, and have done things like wear 'onesuites' so my shirt doesn't ride up from my jeans so you can see it. Or wear long pants...but I am coming to terms with it.
I challenge you to sit in the sun!!!

abby // Posted 27 October 2008 at 14:04

Omg,i hate my strech marks,i think i hav e had them since the age of 10 or less (i dont remember) i dont like to wear short skirt or short in public.But when there is a wedding or a birthay party or something, i want to wear a short dress. I dont have strech marks on my belly,but i have them on my thighs and back of my legs. and when i go to a wedding or something i get really upset because you se all these girls with short dresses all confident and everything,and trust me i am really young so they have totally taken control over my clothes and how a want to dress(it's horrible) and is there nothing at all besides laser surgery. and my problem is that they dont match my skin at all they are red.but at the same time am thankfull that i dont hve them on my arms or my belly.

Darlene // Posted 13 November 2008 at 06:48

I am 32 yrs old and have 2 children 13 and 11. With the pregnancies I developed the normal stretch marks on my lower belly which didnt bother me at all. But then I got extremely ill and with the medications ( all of them caused severe weight gain.) I gained over 130lbs. Now my stretch marks are all over my belly up to the side of my breasts. I have them on my inner arms to my elbows so I''m always pressing my arms to my body so they dont show as much. And living in hot FL its hard to hide. I separated from my husband a few years ago and now he is in Puerto Rico and we've been talking for 4 months over the phone and realized that we trully love each other and want to start our life together again. We are still legally married. He is aware of my weight gain and my weight loss. I am only 25 lbs to my ideal weight. Yes I am proud of loosing over 120lbs but am very concerned that he will be disgusted by my new tiger like body. Yes he loves me and I love him and he said that it doesnt matter, that he has a few of his own. But Its not the same. I have an extreme case of them and I am very self concious about it. He says he will love me with them, if I lose an arm, leg or whatever he will be there and always love me for me. But he hasnt seen me and I only send him pics covering myself. I have them on the side of my back, my inner thighs and right where the buttocks start. They are white so I cant afford surgery to at least reduce them. I know this is wrong of me but we willl reunite soon and I'm embarassed for him to see me naked. I dont know what to do because the problem is my way of thinking. I even though of getting a loan to solve this but lucky for me I came to my senses. Also I am Puertorican with that caramel tone of skin so they are very noticeable. I wish that ther was a LARGE cream out there that will reduce the appareance of old marks at least. That will make feel so much better.

sheila // Posted 18 November 2008 at 07:05

reading this comments make me feel a tad better. its nice to know that im not alone suffering from stretchmarks!!! thank you!

Edmund // Posted 22 November 2008 at 09:26

I'm a bodybuilder and for the past few months due to rapid growth I've stretch marks on my chest, arms, forearms & inner legs. As I'm pale the red marks are very noticeable. My self esteem eventually went down. Seeing other muscular guys with beautiful skin makes me envious & hatred towards myself even more. It's like my dream to have the perfect bod like them smashed into pieces. I guess I just have to accept the fact that I'm stupid to put on muscle mass quickly w/o knowing the consequences. A one time mistake can really mess up your live forever.

Mallory // Posted 27 November 2008 at 03:07

I have zebra stripes! I'm white skinned, and the stripes are sort of silvery. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I hate them. I don't show my stomach due to surgical scars, but I don't hide the rest.

(Yeah, scars are normal too, but I have a lot, and get tired of the questions. )

Celeb and porn images give women the wrong impressions of what a 'normal' body should look like. No one looks like that - they've often had cosmetic surgery, and are usually photoshopped.

Erra // Posted 27 November 2008 at 03:21

To those who are ashamed:

Love the skin you are in. It is not perfect, but no-one's is. The models in magazines wear all-over make up, and are then air-brushed. The celebrities and porn stars are surgically sculpted, and photoshopped.

We have saggy breasts, that don't always match, cellulite, pudge, excess skin, body hair, stretch-marks and scars.

We are not plastic dolls, we are not 'perfect', we are not an image. We are women, and our bodies are real.

The man (or woman) whose opinion you fear, is also real, with his own imperfections and insecurities. And the other women he has been naked with? They were probrably not porn-star perfect either.

laurie // Posted 10 December 2008 at 16:17

Im so happy I stumbled across this blog. I developed pneumonia in July and it has left me housebound with a heart condition ever since. Obviously, with the mix of medications, not being able to walk/excercise I have gained a lot of weight and with that, stretchmarks on my upper arms, breasts, stomach, hips, outer and inner thighs. They are ghastly, and some are so deep they have blood blisters in them. Disgusting. If I am well enough, Im due to go on holiday in may, and there is no way in the world I will show any flesh. Stretchmarks have such a huge psychological effect, the extra weight I can deal with, but the permanent scarring I cannot. Such a shame they are permanent, and it seems the majority of us develop them through no fault of our own, just by living life! Really sad. Im hoping I can regain some confidence soon :-)

Damian // Posted 14 December 2008 at 03:12

I have them everywhere! Arms, underarms, chest, belly (and it looks like I gave birth), thighs, hips, everywhere... and I'm a guy and not really big just tall. I just hope someone out there is watching that can do something, in short my life is ruined.
The ones on the belly really f**** bother me so much!!!!!!!!!!

All the best

:) // Posted 23 December 2008 at 19:33

thankyou so much for writing this article. im fourteen and a dancer, im a size 10 and are a normal weight and height and everything yet i've got stretch marks on my thighs and some on my hips. I absoloutely hate them and like other people have said, hate going swimming, wear tights, hate the thought of going on holiday or getting intimate with anyone and it's awful. i've been using bio-oil too and hopfully its wokring a bit =/ but i feel a bit better now knowing other people are the same as me, and celebrities too. we are shown so many fake images in the media and expected to be as perfect and un-flawed as them and its well, practically impossible. Hey maybe by the time im older there'll be some kind of treatment of them but if not i'll just embrace it because it actually is normal, anyone can get them. thankyou :)

amy x // Posted 03 January 2009 at 00:15

heyy x im thirteen and i got strech marks on my belly under my arms my boobs an on the sides of my stomochh :(
i only started putting on wieght relli fast when i was eleven because of the presure of famaly and school but before that when i was in year 6 i started to get them and now im in year 9 im still the only one in my year who has them and i feel all alone an i cant even talk to my mum about it because its to unconfatable. But now i had read this i feel a little bit better and i onli started to use co-co butter but it doesnt seem to workk. If you have any segestions about what other stuff can i use pleasee and i really mean please can you tell me because itss just made my life a living hell !! :(
amy x

Shea // Posted 03 January 2009 at 09:45

@ Amy X --try a really good quality cocoa butter- Palmer's or the Body Shop because this makes all the difference and you need to apply it regularly and when the stretch marks are purplish. Its unlikely to stop them but it can help them fade to a white much more quickly and become less noticeable. (Bio oil is also supposed to work wonders but I can't say it has done much for me).

You can have them lasered, but this is painful and expensive and I would wait until after puberty when your physical development is finished.

Please don't get down about them. They do fade and become much less noticeable over time and they are perfectly natural. My family are dark so they are very noticeable on my skin, but I have learnt to love them, as I wrote above the are sort of like nature's tattoos, like seams of marble.

I promise you that no man (or woman) you are with, who is worth anything will ever make a big deal of them.

Andy // Posted 09 January 2009 at 04:51

I'm a twenty-one year old man, average height and weight for an American male of my age (5'10", 170-ish pounds), and consider myself to be in average physical shape. I have stretchmarks on my knees, the sides of my chest, on my stomach, and on my arms. Just thought I'd mention that, b/c yes, men get them too. It shouldn't be as big of a deal as people make it, but unfortunately with how things are today people make it one.

May // Posted 18 January 2009 at 23:05

First of all, I'd like to say: I have NEVER noticed stretch marks on ANYONE in my WHOLE life. So don't be afraid to get out and show your body. You are not perfect, but come on, who is?

That's also why I never worried about getting them. But I got em. I developed stretch marks when I was 19, a year ago, I am 20 now. After going on the pill I gained 4 kg, but my skin was flawless still. After high school I stayed at home a lot (I was in university, but I hardly ever went to classes because I could learn the theory by myself) and hardly ever exercised. I thought to myself: I can always start exercising when I want to. Truth was, I didn't want to go to the gym all alone, and I didn't have much contact with my friends anymore since they went to different colleges. And besides, I liked my beautiful curvy body. Why exercise?

But THEN I suddenly got stretch marks on the outside of my thighs. I blame myself for them - because I didn't exercise. I ignored them for a while and they got even worse... Now I can't stop looking at them, I'm going crazy here, hating myself... I'm FINALLY going to exercise to get my body into shape again, but I'm so freaking scared I will get even more stretch marks!

At least it helps to know other people have it too. I think, even though we see the scars as ugly, we should learn to accept them because we have no other choice. And not let our lives be ruined by them. I am trying to accept them. Hopefully one day soon I will.

This summer I am going on vacation with my boyfriend and his family and I am going to wear a flashy bikini. I cry because I miss my beautiful curvy body. But I'm not going to hide. No way! If I would hide I would have ruined not only my body but my life as well.

If only I could let go of my guilt!

jody // Posted 21 January 2009 at 20:40

i got stretch marks through puberty on my hips and on my inner thighs.
ive had them for about 3 years now and ive always been extremly concerned about them. i never get my legs out or even show my legs. i always wear tighs, not matter the weather. its so hard looking at girls my age with flawless bodies, and i havent got one. but you know ive began to become at ease with my self now, these marks make me unique. and reading this article has really boosted my confidence and im still always going to wear tights, but im no longer ashamed by them. being a size 14, not skinny at all, i know it wasn't through weight gain, it was through puberty and not many girls my age realise that they're caused through puberty, they think they're fat because of them. i did think i was fat but now i know WHY i have them. i can finally move on with my life. thank you so much for writing an amazing article, your an inspiration.

rosie // Posted 27 January 2009 at 09:05

Stretch marks seem to be a certainty as does cellulite and yes I have both. There are lotions and creams you can use, finding the one that works for you is the trick. I have to say cocoa butter was not for me.

Tai // Posted 12 February 2009 at 20:49

Awww man! You guys dont even know the half. I have thick, ugly terribly stretch marks that completely criss cross and cover both knees. In high school, I could get away with wearing panty hose, which minimized their appearance and made me look "classy" to all my teachers (ha.)

But after high school, of course, it was a little weird to be wearing pantyhose with short skirts in 5000 degree weather. I looked like a librarian. Its hard for me because I am always told how beautiful I am...and when they see my legs, their faces actually drop. Which hurts. And then, to add insult to injury, when I got pregnant with my daughter...I got stretch marks on my upper arms that extend lenghwise from my shoulder to my elbow (nice, right?)

I watch all the women are girls who take shorts and dresses and skirts for granted simply because they have never known the shame that comes with legs that look like mine. I was feeling brave once and decided to show my therapist my knees and she tried to pretend it wasnt a big deal at first...but couldnt stop staring and then said..."How did that happen??" Thanks. So its NOT in my imagination then???

I was thinking of trying Cosmetyn, but dont trust that they entire me into some VIP program and no one ever answers the phone. Not even for customer service. The only option is to leave my info on a mailbox. So as much as I was tempted to try...I could already see visions of $90 charges showing up on my credit card every month. Has anyone tried Cosmetyn? Someone who's had stretch marks their whole lives and for no known reason...whose experienced drastic results from using this product??

Please! summer is coming and I wanna wear cute skirts, dammit!!!! And feel goooood about it.

Please somebody...tell me if this stuff works.

Katie // Posted 24 February 2009 at 21:23

heyy im 16 and have stretch marks because hey im a big girl im not happy that i am im a size 14 & depending on the clothes 16 in tops sometimes...even though i have got a boyfriend who says he loves me for who i am and he loves the way i look, he has not seen my "Marks" and i dont know if i want to tell him i have them they make me feel really self conscious though i already am about my weight i want to lose it but to be honest its really hard though everyone on here has a family im just really tired from work, college and the nursery that im in as im training to be a Nursery nurse. The way i look really makes me upset *sniff* im not looking for sympathy just a basic answer if i can ever get rid of them in a way that there not that noticeable lol...And btw this article really made me think and im glad im not the only "Big" person with these horrid marks on my body :( x x x x

Christopher Smith // Posted 16 March 2009 at 19:44

I'm a 23yr old man who at 6-foot and 24 stone is covered in stretch marks. Sadly, they aren't the half-tolerable silver ones but extremely deep into the skin and an ugly red. I have them around my armpits, my arse, down the entire length of my upper arms, around my middle and on my belly. I’m also beginning to see them around my knees. My doctor once told me that they were worse than those belonging to a woman who's had quads. Great(!) Thankfully my girlfriend doesn't mind them and therefore I've grown used to them. I really liked this article because I know how it feels. In an odd way, having stretch marks has allowed me to help other people suffering with them through (as in my case) obesity to try and accept them as a crappy but inescapable part of life. I never realised just how many people out there suffer with them. It’s good to know I’m not alone. An ex-girlfriend once told me that one of the main reasons she was attracted to me was because I had them – as a result, she knew that I wouldn’t think less of her for having them.

Silver linings, eh?

Ann // Posted 25 March 2009 at 14:59

I know alot of muscly, big-headed buys who are covered in stretch marks but still find every opportunity they can to whip off their shirts and show off their bodies. they don't give a damn about their stretch marks so why should we? Also, while watching the olympics last year on t.v. i caught glipses of stretchmarks on alot of male athletes. I also happen to be covered in them, chest, hips, ass, thighs and back of calves. They ruined my confidence for a long time. I'm a size 8, I exercise every day and I eat a very healthy diet so my figure is great and I've worked hard for it so if i want to wear a skirt or bikini I do. If i see someone with a flaw like stretchmarks I feel better and more confident and admire that person more for their confidence, so if by letting people see mine I hope I'm helping them to feel better about themselves and letting them know its ok to let stretchmarks and other flaws be seen. Who cares?! Its not like they're contagious! xxx

neda // Posted 03 April 2009 at 11:33

i am 7 month pregnant. i was a size 6.i always had a good diet and exercised all my life.
since beginning of my pregnancy i have been using massage cream for stretch mark and relevant products, on month 6 of my pregnancy stretch marks appeared on my breasts and Tommy and they getting more and more every day. it s nothing i can do to stop them. i have stopped looking at them on the mirror. it s only make me upset.
i couldn't do anymore. i am going to enjoy my pregnancy and i wont let them to spoil my beautiful experience.
it s so out of control to be shamed of.

Kerry // Posted 11 April 2009 at 19:12

I dont think its fair to say that women are under more pressure than men about their bodies etc. They have feelings too and worry just the same, probably more.

My boyfriend has them and its ruining his self confidence and hes always unhappy, if you have any suggestions as to what can help fade them, please let me know ?

Thankyouuu (:

dee bee // Posted 10 May 2009 at 23:19

Well if women want to change the way women are looked at,stop buying into the imagine of what women are suppose to look like.
Stop buying the magazines with the airbrushed pictures.Stop watching the sexy television shows ,that show women as sexual objects,stop buying your young daughters sexy cloths.Make a difference and we would see a change.

Bree // Posted 27 May 2009 at 22:02

I hate to seem mean, but I scoff and roll my eyes at women like the two of you. Its ridiculous the pains you go through to disguise those evil red lines. I gained 100 pounds with my son. I have horrible stretch marks from where the hair starts to where the boobs end. I have them all over my inner thighs, over my hips, on my calfs, and on my boobs. I lost all the weight and I am back to a happy 120 pounds. But they are still there. And that will never stop me or slow me down. I wear bikinis. I wear size appropriate clothes and no one has ever said anything about them to me. I have worked damn hard to fade them and they aren't too pink any more, but its only been 2 years and I know I'll have them until the day I die so it's either get the heck over them or let them rule my life, my mood, and my wardrobe. And what, if some girl came up and laughed at me while I am sunbathing with my baby at the beach I would look her right in the eye and tell her how shallow she is, thinking I am any lower than her because my stretch marks. I have the brass balls in my panties to get out and do this, I think my skin is thick enough to handle a stick figure with perfect skin laughing at me. PUT A BIKINI ON. PUT IT ON AND STAY STRONG. we allllll have them, stop covering them up and pretending you don't. there is nothing wrong with them. CELEBRATE YOUR BEAUTY MARKS. its time to change the way the world thinks about them.

emily // Posted 15 June 2009 at 16:51

I loves this blog :) It has really helped my confidence!

I am 16, size 12ish (quite toned from gym) and have stretch marks and cellulte on my bum and upper thighs...Which although i know is nothing to be ashamed of; It does get me down and a bikini is a bit of a leap of faith for me! But to be honest, reading here about all the other girls who also got stretch marks has made me realise I am not alone!
It disgusted me to read the comments left on the...Its the comments and opinions like that which leave us all feeling awful. Some people really are so shallow!!
I was also interested to read about the men (mainly bodybuilers) Who were feeling so selfconcious about stretch marks! Honestly boys, a decent girl wouldn't care. Or i wouldn't anyway :)

I send love to everyone esle out there with 'less then perfect' bodies because we are the real people!!

Teresa // Posted 19 June 2009 at 22:02

I am eighteen years old, a US size 2, and I have stretch marks.
I developed stretch marks when I grew 3 inches over a period of about 3 months.
I am now almost 5'10", and I have stretch marks on my inner thighs from growing too fast. I also have slight stretch marks on my breasts, even though I only wear an A cup. Now the marks have faded and almost match my skin color, ( I am very pale, so the whitish color sort of blends in ) but they can still be felt.
So, anyone can have stretch marks, and I sort of prove that, just like your slim friend. Even "skinny" people have them.
I have always ,however, been very self-conscious about them. My dream has always been to become a model, but growing up I always believed that they were "perfect". When I developed stretch marks, I though I would never be able to model. Now I know that many, or most actually, models do have stretch marks. Isabeli Fontana, who is a top-paid model right now, even has them. Tyra Banks has admitted that she had them when she modeled. Though I know this, I still sometimes feel marred by these marks. Reading this article made me feel better about the whole stretch mark business. Thanks so much for writing this!

Amy // Posted 03 July 2009 at 03:53

Teresa, I have a similar problem. I am 15 and I grew very rapidly in the past year (7 inches) and now I'm stuck with ugly stretch marks on my hips and butt. I hate them so much, and I know people always say "they are only human" when you are a teenage girl it is hard to see it that way. Especially because they aren't just little white ones, they are red and purple-ish color. It is hard for me to even be in a swimsuit because I am afraid people will see them. I have been using coco butter & vitamin E but who knows if they will fade.

Michael // Posted 24 August 2009 at 21:26

Well I'm a guy, and I've got stretch marks on my shoulders from bodybuilding - I obviously don't want them....and I do feel quite self concious about them, and I feel especially sorry for women with stretchmarks, as today's society thinks that everyone should have perfect skin (especially with women). However, I went on holiday, and when I took my shirt off (lol...I took it off in the pool after everyone started yelling at me - how sad is that???) no one cared/notice whatever. It's all about confidence and how you carry yourself - if you have a good body and are healthy then it doesn't matter. Oh and btw, the water in the pool or sea kind of disguises them =) stretch marks are harder 2 see :D

Olivia // Posted 10 September 2009 at 17:55

This article is great! I have been feeling rather depressed about my stretchmarks lately, especially since mine are darker than my skin. I wish they would fade and disappear. Thanks for the article! I feel so much better!!

kerry // Posted 16 October 2009 at 19:35

Thanks for your article it did a lot with my self esteem.I was always embarass to change in front of my family or friends, whenever i visted them.I presently look at my scars on my belly as a blessing of three beautiful children.

Leah // Posted 25 October 2009 at 20:21

I'm 23 and I also
Have marks on my thighs, knees, and back. It used to bother me a lot and still
Does but not as bad as it once did. I remember my sister telling me I was crazy
For not showing off my slim figure. I explained that I had to many stretch marks to wear a short skirt. She said that when she lost weight she was gonna wear whatever she wanted and it wouldn't matter how many marks she had. That made me feel better and made me realize that you really are your own worst critic. Also, my boyfriend doesn't mind them at all. He has some too on his arms and his sides. I still am very attracted to him with or without. Doesn't matter to me. He walks around wearing his swim shorts and no shirt and doesn't care what people think of his marks. I think that helped me deal with them. Also I think it helps to stay fit. It really builds my confidence. That way I can focus on my good traits rather than flaws. Also, if people have noticed my marks they don't say it. I gotten more compliments in my life. And I feel that people who say hurtful things most likely feel bad about themselves. Besides there are people who are worse off. Don't let them ruin your lives. Be strong and embrace your flaws.

Leah // Posted 25 October 2009 at 20:27

I'm 23 and I also
Have marks on my thighs, knees, and back. It used to bother me a lot and still
Does but not as bad as it once did. I remember my sister telling me I was crazy
For not showing off my slim figure. I explained that I had to many stretch marks to wear a short skirt. She said that when she lost weight she was gonna wear whatever she wanted and it wouldn't matter how many marks she had. That made me feel better and made me realize that you really are your own worst critic. Also, my boyfriend doesn't mind them at all. He has some too on his arms and his sides. I still am very attracted to him with or without. Doesn't matter to me. He walks around wearing his swim shorts and no shirt and doesn't care what people think of his marks. I think that helped me deal with them. Also I think it helps to stay fit. It really builds my confidence. That way I can focus on my good traits rather than flaws. Also, if people have noticed my marks they don't say it. I gotten more compliments in my life. And I feel that people who say hurtful things most likely feel bad about themselves. Besides there are people who are worse off. Don't let them ruin your lives. Be strong and embrace your flaws.

Desiree // Posted 27 October 2009 at 02:31

Thank you! I'm 18 and I have stretch marks across my butt. I've always felt so self conscious about them, to the point where I don't want to wear a bathing suit in public. Let me also mention that I'm a size 2 and have been for most of my life! What you said has helped me come to terms with that fact that having stretch marks doesn't make me less beautiful and I shouldn't be afraid of them!

Hugh // Posted 06 January 2010 at 15:46

I'm 19 and I've been living with stretch marks since I started to become a teenager. I have been overweight my entire life and I didn't actually started getting fit until I was 17-18. As I enter the puberty age, I started to develop massive stretch marks everywhere (literally like arms, armpits, abdomen, thighs and even the popliteal are) that utterly depressed me whenever I see them. I always think nobody would ever accept me because of this. Although I have lost a total of 70 pounds in a year my skin started to sag a lot more. Having said that, I became proud of myself in achieving that and I consider it as a big accomplishment.

I just hope and pray I'll get over with this and hoping for everything to be better in the future. And I hope people won't judge a person by his / her physical appearance. Everybody deserves to be loved.

Amanda // Posted 07 January 2010 at 19:39

I don't think it's so bloody important to hve perfect skin. I'm 14 and I have strechmarks too and I don't bother at all! I'm going to wear bikini this summer on the beach anyway! I'd be verry happy if they dissapeard (but I know they'll never do) or at least faded with time and I use products as well but I just don't wont to be so ashamed and be afraid that people might see them. I stil love my body and think I look sexy in a bikini and if a guy don't find me attractive just because of some silver (some maybe a little bit red :P )on my breast, buttom and thies then he sould never become my boyfreind anyway, with or without the scars! I do try some different product thougt to make them less clear, but it is not going to stop me from feealing great about myself, and you should really not be either. Those who did't get them when they were in puperty are almost for sure gona get then once they get pregnent!

LisaR // Posted 13 August 2010 at 07:13

I had stretch marks on my lower back since i was 9, then at puberty i got them on my breasts. around age of 25 i got them on my hips and inner thighs, and last summer behind my knees and all over my butt and last month on my knees and they started crawling down my thighs toward the knees. its freaking me out.

i have always been 130 pounds, sometimes i gain 5 pounds then i lose it, no big deal. last summer i went to a dermatologist who attempted to use laser on my hips marks, they didnt come off, maybe i can say my skin got firmer but thats it.

its hard for me because i work on photo shoots with supermodels for major magazines and the are almost perfect and i do get excited when some have stretch marks. most of them do have cellulite even though they weight 100 pounds.

basically its not about fat, being overweight or losing weight. if you are prone to them you will get them. nothing will stop them. if you ask a dermatologist he/she will tell you that your skin is lacking elasticity and there is nothing you can do about it. my dermatologist after my visit a week ago with tears in my eyes told me to not lose weight, she doesnt understand that i didnt, iust changed my workout routine that focused more on legs and new muscles and my skin couldnt handle that.

thats the story. if you read up on stretch marks, they are scars and nothing will get rid of them. there is no technology right now to cure them or even prevent them. i would ask a doctor for maybe suggesting vitamins to get your skin more elasticity.

believe me i understand all of you, i fall into crying spells over this all the time, i stare in the back of girls knees walking down the streets looking for stretch marks all the time, i feel like a freak and feel very jealouse when they all wear short shorts and skirts.

got, i even couldnt go see a boy i am crazy about because he dates models all the time and wtf will he do with me when i look like a tiger.

sad sad sad.

Jules G // Posted 11 December 2010 at 04:29

Thank you for sharing this! Just tonight I was looking for ways to "peel" these marks off of my body. Makes me cry to think how ashamed I secretly am of them. I want to not care. I want to wear a bathing suit...
Without people looking at my stomach like I have a road map with their destination on it! These articles are needed by woman like me. Who just want to be normal. Whatever that means.

realgirl // Posted 25 December 2012 at 06:31

STRETCH MARKS??? WOW!! thanks for this post. Im a female. I have pretty much been the same size for the past 6 years. (may be gain or lose 5-10 pounds in between). I started having stretch mark at about 12-13 years old. when I really didn't even notice or care about them. with time and as i grew older i become more conscious of my body (obviously), unfortunately for some reason started spreading. I have never been pregnant. I Don't know why, but i think its some sort of epidermic or something (:) lol).

Now Age 19. At first, I only had them on my waist, then later a very little portion on my thigh, then in less than a year i started noticing them at the back of my knees and it also started spreading downwards my thigh. Geez... that sucks. At first i was satisfied that i didn't have them on my boobs like i noticed many ladies do. Now, i woke up one morning and dom dum dom dum, them were all over my boobs. its not so bad because i have fair colored boobs. but the rest on my body are pretty noticeable because the light colored stretch marks do not match my ebony skin tone.. WHAT to do??. I really DO NOT KNOW. It is there. Cocoa Butter and all those mombo jombo do not work. It is quite disheartening because it give me a lot of insecurities (obviously, I can't do certain things because of them. its kind of positive because it keeps me from being ''out and about ;)''). TRUST ME, I'm a very confident person, and lucky to be blessed with a beautiful face, pretty features and a real nice figure, but when it comes to this stretch marks issue, I take it seriously. I watch what I wear. I hate low waist pants, crop tops and now low cut tops for this reason. My fashion and social life has been reduced to modesty.

Truthfully, i fear the arm stretch marks. i just noticed one. Maybe its the food or water (inorganic or processed) we consume these days. May be its the polluted environment. But in all I am VERY GRATEFUL that i'm a fully complete human being, i'm not missing a limb or anything. Hopefully, research will find a solution. its all about knowledge. BUT till then, remember you ONLY have ONE life to live. Don't waste time crying and living in misery over something you cannot change. YOU really do not know when your time on earth will end. AND to the Ladies and gentlemen with this unwanted, unfair and heartless skin condition, LOVE AND BE LOVED, LIVE YOUR LIFE and make the best of YOU. Remember it is ''SELF RESPECT'' Its all about you. Stretch marks is not contagious, there is nothing to fear. If a partner/friend/family doesn't appreciate ALL-OF-YOU, then he or she does not DESERVE ANY-OF-YOU.

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