Now, before you skip to the comments post to ‘advise’ me of the best shrinks in town, I already have quite a few friends who already are shrinks (stop nodding your head!), hear me out or rather read my post.
We, women, get stretch marks for all sorts of reasons, pregnancy is a major cause but so is weight loss. There are so many women who shrink from a size 20 to a size 12; don’t you think that will leave a few silvery lines on one’s body? As a mother of three I can assure you that my belly looks like a very intricate Mayan symbol that has been etched onto my skin! What was once ripped and taut, now is super soft and a little (just a smidge) jelly like! Now that I have shrunk from my pregnancy weight of 90 kilos, I can assure you those silver streaks are not just on my belly. My husband very loving used to call me a baby whale! No, he wasn’t being mean, it was because my one year old while he was in his bath tub and playing with his ‘bath books’ saw a picture of a big blue whale with a giant smile and pointed to it screaming, “Mommy!”
My loving and ever supportive husband fell on the floor laughing and the nickname stuck! Now, 23 kilos lighter I no longer bear any semblance to a whale but I assure you that, parts of my body look like the rippled shoreline of an exotic beach. I was contemplating buying a swimsuit to cover my belly, then I noticed my thighs, I then reached out for a sarong and then I stopped to just think.
The marks on my belly remind me of the three most precious gifts that I have received from God. They remind me that for nine months at a time, I held life within me, it grew inside of me and I nurtured life itself. My stretch marks are my badge of honour, the proud symbol of a mother.
My stretch marks on my thighs remind me of the great battle I had waged with my weight and it was excruciating, I assure you. Every 100 Gms was fought off with a lot of sweat and pain, it is very painful to exercise after running around three kids all day and night long. It is my badge of pride, a badge that was earned for strong will power, after all chocolate fudge looks ten times more delicious when you have been off sugar for a month or worse a whole year, and it is a testament to my struggle.
So why should I be ashamed of it? My husband doesn’t mind, my family and friends look at it as a testament to my character and will power, a road map of my adventurous life. So why am I hiding it? Why am I hiding the one thing I can show off about without being conceited? Emblems of my successful battle against my bulge and my ordeal giving birth to three precious darlings are to be celebrated and not to be hidden out of a misplaced sense of shame.
I’m still wearing a swimsuit as I am a bit of a modest dresser but it’s not because I am ashamed of my marks. I think women shouldn’t be ashamed of their stretch marks, no more than a war veteran who bears a scar on his body from honourable wars well fought. Whether any war is ever honourable or well fought is a topic for another time!