Beauty & Style Advice

Stretch Mark Frenzy! At First There Was Just One…

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My weight once fluctuated between 101-105 lbs. And that meant one thing: I didn’t have any body issues and I ate everything in sight. Mami often warned me that the fat would catch up to me, but I didn’t listen. I never pictured myself gaining weight.

One day I noticed my jeans fit a little snug. I was no longer a Size 0 but remained unbothered. What freaked me the hell out was my very first stretch mark. Once one appeared all its brothers and sisters showed up EVERYWHERE. It was like my skin hosted their family reunion.

When I complained to Mami, she lifted her blouse to show me her pregnancy stretch marks. Great, now I felt guilty and I know they are hereditary, I thought.

My stretch marks began to consume me. Every time I looked in the mirror I saw bright red lines. Whenever I’d show them to my boo, Stephen, he’d say he couldn’t even see them. I was convinced he lied to make me feel better. So I began searching for natural stretch mark remedies. I tried castor oil, vitamin-e, cocoa butter, aloe vera…and even potato juice. When I heard about Bio-Oil on YouTube, I went crazy. I wanted it so bad that Stephen bought it for me. I was convinced it would work. I was going to kiss those suckers goodbye! Unfortunately, Bio-Oil was a fail.

By this point, I felt irritated, hopeless and hideous. I felt so insecure that when I wore crop tops, I was convinced others stared at me. So I sold all of my crop tops on Poshmark. If a shirt didn’t pass my booty, I didn’t buy it. Bathing suits were also an issue. The good news? I’ve always loved high-waisted jeans. Farewell, low-rise!

Yes, I was that dramatic. Unfortunately as women, we are bombarded by the media with images of unrealistic body perfection. Whether it’s your favorite magazine, movie or television show, the images are everywhere. We wish to look like our favorite celebrities and because we don’t, we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be the best we can possibly be – in other words, perfect. And that isn’t the healthiest or most realistic option.

PLUS: The Growing Pains of Rejection: To Love and Value Myself

As for me, six months ago I stopped obsessing about my stretch marks and haven’t used any products since. When I look in the mirror my stretch marks don’t look as bright red anymore. They’re actually hard for me to see. Because when I stopped trying to look perfect, I started to feel perfect. After all, stretch marks are a sign of growth.

Alanna is an aspiring writer and editor. Currently a student at Lehman College pursuing her degree in Media Communication Studies, she spends her leisure time hopping from beauty shop to beauty shop, comparing natural hair products for curly gals. The proud Afro Latina was often told she had “pelo malo” (bad hair) and she wants to put a stop to the damaging idea that straight hair is the only hair that will land you a dream job or man. A promoter of self-love, Alanna also encourages women of all backgrounds to love themselves and to not conform to patriarchal norms.