Viva is powered by Vocal creators. You support Emily Emily by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Viva is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Stretch Marks

You are who you are.

In art, there is beauty.

Stretch marks are ugly, hideous, I wouldn't want them—so I've been told. Why is everyone afraid of their own body? You should love yourself for who you are even if it's hard sometimes. I had stretch marks from a young age onwards. I was only 10 years old when I spotted mine and I didn't care what anyone thought of me or my body, I was pure and innocent. I did not hate my stretch marks or myself for having them, in fact, I thought everyone had them.

Now, I am 19 years old, not innocent or pure anymore. I don't like my stretch marks anyone, but why, what changed? It's just now I am so influenced by social media and the ideal beauty standards being portrayed on the internet.  I don't like it. I can't go out in a bikini anymore, like when I was younger. NO, I can't. What will people think? Will they laugh at me or talk behind my back? I can already feel the whispers on my skin. I want to be like the other girls who don't have stretch marks, or at least not visible ones. 

It's funny because boys have stretch marks too, but no one really seems to be bothered. Why doesn't anyone judge the boys for having stretch marks? (Not that anyone has the right to judge anyone, but it's interesting, isn't it?) I never read about a boy who feels insecure about their stretch marks, good on you, boys, please help us girls to feel more confident. 

A lot of influencers, Youtubers, and celebrities talk about how normal it is to have stretch marks but I ask myself, if you weren't in the spotlight, would you still love your stretch marks? A lot of girls post pictures with captions saying 'I have stretch marks on my ass and inner thigh and I'm not ashamed' but why can't I post a picture of my stretch marks and my body? Why am I so afraid to share who I am?

I have stretch marks almost all over my body, that's the difference. If I had stretch marks only on my ass, I don't think I would complain. Maybe here and there I'd have my ups and downs, but overall, I'd forget I had them because I can cover them by wearing trousers, skirts, leggings, you name it. It's different if you have them all over your body. I think no one understands that better than oneself. I can't wear certain tops or trousers because all my stretch marks would be exposed. I don't feel comfortable showing them to everybody. I would feel naked.

I talk to my friends about stretch marks but most of them don't know I have any. I am not comfortable around them, they might judge me. Wow. I don't even feel comfortable enough to tell my friends how much I struggle with my stretch marks. Are they even really my friends? I have opened up to one of my friends and I told her I had stretch marks on my breasts. She understood, didn't judge, and said that everyone has stretch marks and that it doesn't matter. A few months later, we had a sleepover and she said that her breasts were getting bigger and she has stretch marks on her breasts also and immediately after she said: "I hate having stretch marks on my breasts, it's so ugly." Well, well, I guess I saw her true colors after all. Thanks for that fake support you gave me. If had said to me that you also wouldn't want to have them on your breasts, I wouldn't even have been sad, mad, and whatever else I felt in that moment. You said it's okay that I have them but as soon as you had them, you considered them as ugly. How do you think that makes me feel?

I'm better now, I feel happy in my skin. I wear a bikini occasionally when I'm feeling good about myself. I am very proud of the progress I made. It's still hard at times but I'm getting there step by step. To all of you readers out there that struggle with exposing their stretch marks, just think to yourself that you are who you are. You can't win by putting yourself or others down. If you have a friend struggling with her or his stretch marks, make sure to listen and be supportive. I have learned that you have to focus on yourself and the thoughts in your head more than anyone else. You can live your life however you want to live it. Life is short, beautiful and scary at times, but confidence is key. No one can force confidence upon an individual, so don't feel pressured by anyone. Sooner or later, you will learn to love yourself and you will experience a whole new world out there. Everything is more fun when you can be who you are and share your body with the world. Don't be afraid to be who you are. I am happy to say that I love myself and I'm learning to love my stretch marks too.