Beauty

Bye-Bye Stretch Marks?

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It’s about time to admit it: I have stretch marks on my legs, and they suck big time! I wasn’t bothered by them until high school, when most girls start to become self-conscious and seek approval from everyone else, especially boys. What’s worse was that while other women with stretch marks still went out in public in short shorts and sexy skirts, I couldn’t.

Bye-Bye Stretch Marks?

I’ve had my stretch marks since puberty. While science says they were caused by the tearing of the dermis, I used to believe my grandma’s idea that they happen when a female steps on a thread during her first menstruation. Ridiculous, I know. What’s true, however, is that I used to do a lot of stretching when I was a teen. So if I believe in science, my marks could be the result of the severe pulling force on my skin way beyond its elasticity.

Bye-Bye Stretch Marks?During summer outings, I secretly become anxious at the thought of wearing swimsuits. My friends would console me by saying it doesn’t really matter. Of course it doesn’t matter – for them – because they’re my friends. But in my mind, it mattered very much – to other people. It was during those times that I’d try to think ways to remove my stretch marks so I could finally stop being so self-conscious.

My first plan was to have tattoos on my legs, right at the back of my knees where the ugly stretch marks are lurking. I could put some tattooed roses in there with the word “rebel fleur”, ala Rihanna. Or I could ask the artist to just trace the stretch marks in black ink. Maybe it’ll be cool and original, especially when I’m bikini-clad on the beach, but my fear of needles hindered me from pursuing this “ingenious” plan.

Bye-Bye Stretch Marks?

I’ve scoured the world, via the Internet, looking for creams to cure my “embarrassing stretch marks”. Sadly, none of them have actually removed them. Minimizers? I don’t know if some of the creams have really minimized the stretch marks or I just imagined them fading away because I’m so desperately hopeful of a positive result. All I know is that they’re not gone and are still coarsely visible.

Then I discovered that laser treatments can help treat stretch marks. Fractional laser therapy is quite an expensive procedure but is said to produce good results for white stretch marks like mine. Laser therapy will create a number of vertical injuries to the patient’s skin (the diameter of a hair shaft) with non-treated, uninjured skin in between the treated areas to help heal the wound and replace the area with new skin.

Bye-Bye Stretch Marks?

Shall I undergo laser treatment for my stretch marks? I may or may not consider it someday. But right now, I’ll just keep my options open. Yes, they bothers me, but I don’t see them as a life-or-death situation. Besides, I’m certainly not a beauty queen or a model with the necessity to have flawless legs.

I’m just a normal woman with stretch marks on my knees that the media deems “shameful” to have. And as long as commercial advertising says it’s “shameful” to have stretch marks, many women like myself will be too self-conscious to show them.

The good news is that many celebrities have now stepped forward and talked about their cellulite and stretch marks, among other body image issues. One day, I might be influenced by their resilience and will finally come to accept my flaws as part of me being human.

Originally from Denver and now living in NYC, Angie has been writing since she was small. She lives in the Flatiron district with her partner Tanya and their mutt Sparky (always adopt!) In her spare time she loves to paint (mostly abstract) and talk to random people on the street to find out what's interesting to them.

10 Comments

  1. Hannah Meyers

    I’m barely out of the university but I have stretchmarks as well! 😀

  2. Seriously people. Everyone has stretch marks. It’s absolutely normal. 😀

  3. While there would be a lot of options to remove stretch marks and totally eliminate them, I think that being confident and loving your body the way it is, is the best way to treat them. We have to embrace our imperfections and not care about what others think about us. That is your body, not theirs, who else would love it?

  4. I love that, unlike other magazines, this article is balanced and the moral of the story is to accept yourself. Other magazines would just compare removal options, and not talk about it being OK to have stretch marks. So, Bravo!

  5. I just realized how stretch marks are the kind of thing I worry about in myself but never notice in other people. It's weird how we worry so much about things in our own appearance that other people probably wouldn't notice otherwise!

  6. Jen Spillane

    I also don't remember a time when I didn't have stretch marks although, like the author, I believe I got them at puberty. They are very frustrating because they seem so out of your control. I just try not to think about them too much. Sometimes that's easier said than done but it's a good effort : )

  7. I don't remember a time that I didn't have stretch marks. I had them prior to puberty. When I was heavy child I had them after I lost weight I don't even know if I received more. After so many years of wishing and searching for my zebra strips to leave, I gave up. I accepted the fact that I may have stretch marks for the rest of my life (unless lazer surgery) and I'm fine with that. No one is perfect.

  8. Courtney Watson

    Stretch marks are so frustrating but SO common. Now that I've had some of my own, I notice them on everyone and it makes me feel better. You can even get stretch marks from LOSING weight, so in a way you kindof can't win!

  9. Sandra Brown

    I have stretchmarks on my waist, hips and arms. It’s because I lost a lot of weight. I don’t know what to do about it. It bothers me sometimes but I most of the time accept that it’s just a part of who I am now.

  10. Randie Cadiogan

    I have lots of stretchmarks on my waist too. I don’t see anything wrong with it. I think of it as a “map” of where my body has been. Or something.

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