In a new video for BuzzFeed Yellow, women explain why they love their stretch marks. In addition to showing us that we should love our bodies, just as they are, the women in the video make the important point that, contrary to popular belief, stretch marks aren’t only a result of pregnancy. Yes, pregnant women do get stretch marks, but so do a lot of other people — roughly 80 percent of Americans, in fact.
Dr. Jeanine Downie, a dermatologist, described stretch marks on the Early Show as “scar tissue in the second layer of skin” that develops when the skin is stretched. The marks can be caused by pregnancy, wait gain, muscle gain, growth spurts in adolescence, and from the use of topical steroids. In short, stretch marks are really common, and a lot of people have them from a young age. So why not celebrate them?
The women in this video have stretch marks on different parts of their bodies, due to a variety of causes. A number of them report that they first noticed their stretch marks as teenagers, while another says she first developed them after taking up cycling. One woman developed hers during pregnancy, but she explains that she had been surprised when they appeared on her arms, rather than her stomach; and another respondent acquired hers after gaining weight due to depression caused by losing a pregnancy. When they explain why they love their stretch marks, their responses are thoughtful and moving; They show that, rather than view our stretch marks as so-called “imperfections,” we can instead view them as powerful evidence of the lives we’ve lived.
Jetta, Candace, and Sarah developed stretch marks as teenagers.
Ocha developed hers while she was pregnant with her daughter.
Michelle got hers after becoming a cyclist.
Kira developed the marks after having a miscarriage and struggling with depression.
Watch the full video below:
Images: YouTube (7)