Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Those Stretch Marks Run Deep!

August 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Body Image, Loving Your Body, Pregnancy, Self-Acceptance

This post introduces Guest Post author YumYucky to WeAreTheRealDeal. She is the mother of four (who somehow looks like a teenager) but has the battle wounds to prove it!


My children changed my life forever, but please don’t cue the singing birds and violins. I’m not referring to the warm and fuzzy, tender moments of motherhood.

I’ve got stretch marks, doggone-it!

But I won’t complain or solicit donations for plastic surgery. This is a celebration of the stretchy battle wounds women endure to bring forth the spawns that are our loving, well behaved, cereal-inhaling children.

We earn our stripes daily as we grow the child, birth it with joy at 10 centimeters dilated, and sling it on our hip as we multitask and serve Husband refreshing beverages. If you don’t care to participate in this Stretch Mark Extravaganza I won’t hold it against you. In fact, I’ll be happy to hold your hand as they wheel you into tummy tuck surgery.

I’m not so far off my rocker to label stretch marks a reward, especially since they’re infamous for causing a ton of aesthetic grief, but I’m learning to be happy in my skin and I’m exceedingly grateful for the purpose of “the stretch” and what it helped to accomplish. Mothers, don’t scrutinize yourself when you gaze into the mirror. Bodily perfection is a lie and it’s time to catch on to the truth.

There are a few things about my physical nature that cannot be changed naturally and I’m okay with that. I’ve got a stretchy mid-section and it’s a bummer, but I’ll just slip into my sexy one-piece bathing suit and walk in the confidence that I’m still one hot Momma!


aka YumYucky



35 Responses to “Those Stretch Marks Run Deep!”
  1. Teresa says:

    I have stretchmarks on my hips and breasts, and I’m 17 years old, because puberty happened really REALLY rapidly. Almost literally overnight. They’re not proof of any sort of accomplishment for me, they’re just ugly. I feel terrible because I feel by the time I do have children, I’ll be striped like a tiger!

    • Yum Yucky says:

      Teresa, I was “blessed” with my first set of stretch marks on the thigh and booty regions during those darn puberty growth spurts at about 14 years old. Those marks never became worse with pregnancies.

      You’re right, nothing to brag about there, but I also accept those puberty marks and keep it rollin’. I certainly don’t want to downplay your concerns, but I can relate.

  2. MizFit says:

    Teresa? Me as well. I developed early and often 🙂

    my thighs and breasts grew way before my friends and, according to the silver stripes, way before my skin thought they would as well.

    Im with YumYucky and love her term puberty marks.

    I cant say I love the stretchmarks however I love that they are part of what makes me who I am.

    • Genevieve says:

      Agreed. I once had a doctor (who I refused to see after she said this to me), when I was 16, tell me I should consider plastic surgery when I turned 18, because “your breasts are big for your frame and those stretch marks are only going to get worse.”

      Ladies, this was a female doctor. And I was one of those who developed, um, I like the phrase “early and often,” so I’ll steal it. except I have what a friend of mine refers to as “tiny bird bones.” Some people have large bones, I have a very small, but very tall frame.

      So I agree, accept your puberty marks––you might not love ’em, but they sure as hell make you part of who you are, and can go a long way in teaching you to stand up for yourself and for what makes you feel comfortable and secure about your own body.

  3. Candice says:

    Even after a breast reduction, I have stretch marks b/c they don’t go away. And I couldn’t care less either. Stretch marks are one of those things I never would have even thought to care about if I didn’t hear other women complain about them. It’s like complaining about freckles or wrinkles or gray hair. It’s part of life and nothing to feel bad about.

  4. A. says:

    Love your post on stretch marks… though I’m still trying to come to terms with mine (and my weirdly shaped mid-section thanks to them). I’m 4 months post baby #2 and still at the point where a tummy tuck MAY be an option one day. Sigh…

    • mamaV says:

      Hi A: Be good to yourself…let your body settle and live your version of a healthy lifestyle. If the results are not to your liking, and you decide to go the tummy tuck route, no judgments from this side. If you believe the procedure will lift your self esteem nothing to be ashamed of!
      Remember -you know yourself best.

      PS Roni has some great advice on tummy tucks, she went through it, see her site for more info on her experience.

      • clairemysko says:

        I won’t judge anyone’s decision to have plastic surgery either, but I will say give yourself plenty of time to get your body image and self-esteem on track, A. As a mom to a four month old and another child, I’m sure you’re adjusting to a whole new world right now!

  5. jody says:

    I love this post. I was just commenting on my tiger stripes that accrued after first losing over a hundred and twenty pounds then having a baby. I hate the way they look but they just prove the adaptability our bodies have to grow and stretch. And my beautiful little girl is definitely worth it 🙂

  6. lissa10279 says:

    Great post!! Welcome, Josie!

  7. Juniper says:

    Agreed. I don’t have the energy to be constantly negative. Forgive and forget and look for the positive when you can.

  8. Thomas Rosario says:

    “Because only women with husbands have children? There are no single mothers or mothers with female partners?

    Seriously, is no one reading their posts with a critical eye? Even after the inclusion shit storm that was Jellygate? Cripes.”

    Well she has a husband so she is speaking about her life not yours. Man some people are really ignorant and self-centered. Get over yourself!

  9. laurelg1 says:

    I love my one pieces. My kids each identify with my stretch marks and often fight over who was responsible for them.

  10. Yum Yucky says:

    Read by bio page. I’m not gay (but do have two gays in my family) AND I was a single mom with two children for 9 years. Nine very long years. Nine years that were hellishly long. You see?

    What I did here is speak from my own personal experiences as they are right now. What I will NOT do here at any point is add extra made up fluff to please everyone.

    And this post isn’t about Husbands. I’m just making the point that us women can pull out awesome strength and multi-task the hell out of a situation in excellence…and still be beautiful.

    • lissa10279 says:

      Amen, Yum Yucky – you’re speaking to your *own* experience — it’s all any of us can (or should) do.

    • LY says:

      I did read your bio page. However none of that was reflected in your post. While it’s a step to bring in a diversity of backgrounds what good is it if none of it is reflected in the writing?

      I just, again, find it disheartening that there’s been such a dialogue about inclusiveness and yet… Boom, Husband (as God, no less). Much of your post was written in the singular first person, by the way, until the sentence about husbands which was written in the plural first person–implying you were speaking for a broader audience.

    • Peepers says:

      I try to avoid marginalizing people who are not like me when I discuss my own experiences. There are several strategies by which I make that effort. I am not always successful, but the effort is at least as important as the result. This is not more than I can or should do.

  11. Clare says:

    I’ve often felt like a freak for this, and I’d like to admit it here.

    I have stretch marks.

    I have no kids, no pregnancies and –so I’ve been told, at least- no excuse.

    They are about half the way down my thighs and there are some smaller patches in my stomach and breasts. When I first got them, around 13, they where bright, bloody red. Now they are white.

    For me they aren’t a badge of honour, they aren’t a symbol of something gained, or lost. They just are.

    • mamaV says:

      That’s interesting Claire, and thanks for sharing. I’ve heard this from many other women, and guys get them too! Yet another hereditary feature we carry.

      I’ve spoken with several individuals who are unsure where exactly they came from, likely just from puberty, size changes, muscle growth?

      Who knows…but I always ask — why are they bad or ugly?

      I compare them to cellulite in my mind (since I don’t have stretch marks, but do have good ole’ cellulite) — stare them down and learn to love them as part of YOU.

      When I see other women with stretch marks/cellulite…I don’t think ugly, I think WOMAN.

      Time for a mind shift!

  12. julia says:

    No kids, but stretch marks and many scars of all kinds – I consider them badges of honor, proof that I’m actively living my life!


  13. clairemysko says:

    Welcome, Josie! It frustrates me that we get so few examples of what different women’s bodies look like at different stages of life (including motherhood). The glossy, retouched versions of beauty are in our faces so much. And even if we know logically and intellectually that those images have nothing to do with what most women look like in reality, I think they still contribute to this sense of shame that we should be smoother, younger, more toned, etc. Thanks for putting your “stripes” out there!

    • Yum Yucky says:

      I love to read the tabloid mags with the paparazzi pictures of celebs in their bathing suits. That’s when you see the real woman!

      Cindy Crawford was in a 2-piece with the whole stretchy mid-section look (and workin’ it by the way), then I see her on the cover of a fashion mag with the smooth, toned stomach of an 18 year-old. It’s very magical.

  14. Peepers says:

    @Juniper. That was not an agreement, but an addition. Your opinion about the purported constant negativity does not resemble my opinion about the effort required to discuss intersectionality on a blog that is hostile to it. Those are two different points.

  15. Mackenzie's Mom says:

    I was looking at my very recent stretchmarks last night with husband reminiscing how the baby used to kick so violently in my belly (she now kicks Daddy’s belly with brute strength while he’s changing her!). I pointed out my stretchmarks and husband said “those are Mackenzie kisses”. So true 🙂

  16. MizFit says:

    I love your simple sentence Clare that they just are.

    for me thats my vision with food.

    it isnt good. it isnt bad. it merely IS.

    I dont empower my silver marks in that same way.

  17. Susanna says:

    Saw part of a travel program about Brazil yesterday. A swimsuit shop owner said Brazilian women of all ages buy her bikinis because they are proud of their bodies. They showed a shot of random older women on the beach with their bums and tums pooching out, wearing their bikinis without a care in the world.

    I’m glad I saw that this week – it will make going to the beach next week with my postpartum pudge seem easier.

  18. FatNSassy says:

    Good for you. I think it is obscene the way women gripe about what their natural bodies look like. No one stops to think about all the unprecedented opportunities there are for women today. All they can do is focus on what they don’t have (unrealistically perfect bodies) like spoiled brats. If there is a silver lining to the depression, maybe it will help us re-prioritize!
    “Fat can be beautiful! Intolerance is ALWAYS ugly!”

  19. Michelle @ A Shade of Gray says:

    I’ve been getting stretch marks since puberty too and I honestly think that since we have been acquaintances for so long, they are simply part of me.

    I’ve never thought about trying to fade them (because I know time will do that for me and for free) or hide them.

    I didn’t get too many more stretch marks during my three pregnancies surprisingly enough (even when I gained 80 pounds and looked as though I was carrying triplets) – just a saggy-baggy-deflated-sack of a -tummy that will always be just that.

    Now cellulite, that is a whole other story …

  20. jv8 says:

    Wow! I guess since I don’t have any children I should feel excluded?

  21. Geosomin says:

    I have stretch marks from gaining too much weight when I was younger. They drive me nuts sometimes, but in the end they remind me that I’ve managed to get healthy and shrink back down. I wish they’d tan along with the rest of me, but what can ya do?


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