HomeQ&A WednesdayQ&A Wednesday: The Stretch Mark Question

I was gonna have to answer this sooner or later…

Q: What happened to your stretch marks? I know you’ve got some.

Q: What’d you do about stretch marks? My daughter is 11 months old and it wasn’t until after I gave birth that I started getting them. I WANT THEM GONE!

Q: I already have tons of stretch marks, and I currently use bio-oil.  I was considering switching to mederma, but i just wanted to know your thoughts about this, and possibly what you used.  Also, did you have a problem with sagging skin or anything along the way?

Q: when u lost the bulk of ur weight did ur skin go back in the stomach area? I have a lot of stretch marks and the dr said it won’t!

Q: My question is… stretchmarks… what are you doing about them or did you have any? Because I have the most inelastic skin, and I get a new stretchmark just thinking about eating, and even while I’m shrinking I feel like the shrinking is make the stretchmark more noticeable.

Q: i am not sure if you ever answered the ladies question about the stretchmarks I would like to know too

Sigh.

I avoid “The Stretch Mark Question” because, really, I don’t care.

That’s right. I said it. I don’t care.

I don’t care if it looks like I-95. I don’t care if it looks like I-65. I don’t care if it looks like I-465. I don’t care if I’m rocking a small version of the Atlanta Metro system across my behind. I just… I don’t care.

When I was in high school, I realized that I had developed stretch marks all alongside my hips. When I was pregnant with my heathen — er, daughter… I developed stretch marks all across the front of my stomach. I looked down at my thighs and realized my stretch marks had extended all alongside the front and sides of my thighs. None across the booty though. The one place no one was really seeing. That’s just great.

When I first really started losing weight, I had the “sagging skin” issue. If you don’t have some grand amount of weight to lose, you might be spared from it. However, if you have a lot to lose? Face facts. You’ll deal with it too. I can remember doing the downward-facing dog pose in yoga and seeing all my skin sagging and feeling pretty sad about it. I even felt, sometimes, like I wanted to give up because I didn’t want to make it worse… especially since I knew I couldn’t afford a surgery to fix up my skin. I just felt like I was screwed.

That “I’m screwed” feeling didn’t overpower the feeling I got from working out, or the peace I felt from yoga, though. It just wasn’t powerful enough. I still got up every morning, participated in my routines and just filed the skin situation in the back of my mind. I was really and truly embarking on a new life that focused on my wellness above all else… even if it was saggy and strange-looking skin.

But then, I started adding strength training to my workouts and began developing muscle. Sure enough, I wasn’t looking like a deflated balloon anymore. I wasn’t as “moldable” as I used to be. I was becoming more solid. And as the time was passing, I was burning fat, developing muscle… and my skin was slowly shrinking.

I wasn’t even paying attention to my skin like that… and I’ll admit it. I’m horrible with my skin. I just didn’t care. I was too excited by all the other developments to notice.

I guess that’s why I’m so annoyed by stretch mark talk. I don’t even understand why this matters. I just.. I don’t. I’m literally throwing my hands up in confusion, here. I mean, I know why I don’t care… because this isn’t a conversation about wellness. It isn’t a conversation about fitness. It’s a conversation about appearances… and I’m no longer someone who cares to impress others with my appearance. No offense to anyone else, but my opinion about me matters sooo much more… and I’m not impressed by a lack of stretch marks (nor am I turned off by their existence.)

I mean, I get it – there are no chicks in lingerie catalogues or on TV rocking it out in their stretch marks. And guys, ohhhh guys hate stretch marks. We all have “The Photoshop Diet” to thank for that.

But really… come on, man. To what degree do these matter? To the point where you’re willing to not begin, give up or let it color your attitude about yourself? I truly hope not.

Can stretch marks fade? Yes. Are they going to go away completely? Don’t bet anything valuable on it. As a matter of fact, depending on your size.. if you decide to go full blast into lifting weights it’s highly likely that you’ll develop stretch marks on the places where your muscles bulge the most!

Can you go on a three-time-a-day moisture routine to try to prevent the marks? Yes. You’re still 2 to 1 that you’ll get them anyway. Can you go on a successful regimen to rid yourself of them? It is highly unlikely that that’d work for everyone. I don’t like uncertainty. Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. So really… I don’t care.

I’m also willing to admit that perhaps I don’t care so much about skin because my skin has actually began trying to tighten up. Had this not been the case, I’d imagine I would still have the same attitude I had in the beginning – “this isn’t enough to make me stop pursuing better health.”

And lastly… I know this is a bit of an arrogant point – and it’s not really my style to talk like this publicly – but I’m just going to put it like this. I used to look like this:

…and a long journey of hard work brought me here:

So yeah, you might see stretch marks… but trust me. It’s not the most important – or even the first – thing you (or any person who likes girls, really) see, there.

Hey… I’m just being honest.

So, in short… prioritize your concerns. Stretch marks should be the last of ’em.

By | 2017-06-10T11:22:51+00:00 October 27th, 2014|Q&A Wednesday|94 Comments

About the Author:

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and crtified in sports nutrition by Precision Nutrition. She now lives in New York with her husband and children, and is working on her 6th and 7th certifications because lol why not.

94 Comments

  1. ivypearl September 29, 2010 at 12:47 PM - Reply

    I am soooooo glad you said this. So glad. I too lost some weight and now have a flat stomach AND a few stretch marks. You are right to bring the focus back to the weight/size/healthiness issue.

    It is so not about the stretch marks but about the fact that I am healthier and look dang good in my jeans/dresses/skirts or whatever. People always notice how great I look and no one EVER has anything to say about stretch marks that I may or may not have. And if they did, WHO CARES!!

    Keep up the great posts Erika!

    • Jodi March 20, 2011 at 3:54 PM - Reply

      This website has been sooo inspirational. With that being said, I must say I am quite irked by most of the comments. Stretch marks (as well as cellulite) are an health issue. They are indicators of cellular tissue that have been literally pushed/stretched to their limits! If someone had excessive acne, the condition would be seen as a health concern. Someone wrote to you about skin flaps on her upper arms. After encouraging her, you included the fact that surgeries were out there to help correct excessive skin issues. Whatever the statistics or commonality-stretch marks are concern of many, and despite the resounding “give it up, girl!” attitudes-there are ways to treat and help prevent this condition. Just because you don’t care about her stretch marks doesn’t mean she shouldn’t. If you are only concerned about the health benifits of your weight loss, good for you. Ironically enough, none progressive notes that Erika posted were just statistics- she posted pictures of her beautiful new body!!! Look how healthy (and sexy) I feel!! Don’t make that woman feel silly for being concerned about her skin.

      • Erika Nicole Kendall March 20, 2011 at 4:26 PM - Reply

        I’m confused as to whom you’re referring, but I’ll respond to the overall sentiment.

        Let’s look at this logically.

        How are stretch marks a health issue? What, besides distressed skin, do stretch marks signify? NOTHING. As I said in the post, if your muscle development progresses beyond a certain point? You’ll get MORE stretch marks simply from the growth of muscle DISTRESSING THE SKIN again.

        What ways are there to “treat” this “condition?” In my opinion – and Q&A Wednesday is where MY opinion is solicited – this isn’t a condition. If society didn’t prefer women to look like 14 year old girls with no curves and completely perfect blemish-free skin, NO ONE would be talking about stretch marks. At ALL. You know how I know that? Because MEN get stretch marks all the time and not ONCE do conversations about stretch marks EVER involve them.

        So really, I get it that women feel some kinda way about the fact that their skin is “ruined”… but this website is about MY journey and I share what knowledge and perspective I’ve gained along the way. My personal opinion about this is that its silly, that you CAN moisturize to stave them off and considering how stretch marks don’t signify impending doom or the coming of the apocalypse, you’ll have to just accept them if you get them.

        NO woman should feel silly for being concerned about stretch marks. Be concerned about skin maintenance and know that a fruit/vegetable-filled diet will make skin maintenance a breeze! However. A woman should ABSOLUTELY feel foolish for letting the marks deter her from doing what she needs to do, and THAT is my bottom line.

      • Michalet Clark August 14, 2013 at 1:09 PM - Reply

        I think you misunderstood the post Jodi. The subject was about prioritizing. Concentrating on being healthy is more important than concentrating on whether you will get stretch marks. You may be referring to scars due to muscle tears. That’s a whole other blog.

  2. Crown September 29, 2010 at 12:59 PM - Reply

    You are absolutely, 100% correct on this one. We as woman sometimes need to adjust our priorities. Everyone has them, men and women both; and it’s just a minor side-effect that comes with the territory of being overweight. I think some of us women who are considerably overweight cannot assume that after losing lots of weight our bodies will be exactly the same as someone else’s who has never been overweight. I can accept that and also I accept that I’d so much rather be fit and healthy to be concerned about some ole’ stretch marks. Thanks for putting things into perspective.

  3. lesismore September 29, 2010 at 1:26 PM - Reply

    *slow hand claps…stands and gives full applause*

  4. breezey77 September 29, 2010 at 1:44 PM - Reply

    Love this post! Even skinny people have stretchmarks. I remember having them in high school when I was naturally 5’8″ & 119 lbs.

  5. ChellBellz September 29, 2010 at 2:48 PM - Reply

    As long as that stomach looks like that, i wouldn’t care about stretch marks either. I use to have really dark stretch marks growing up. I had some sort of stomach issue and it would expand a great deal. So by the time i was 10 i had a belly full of them. I started using Cocoa Butter on a daily basic as my lotion and over a years time they became lighter and less noticiable. So to folks out there its not going to happen over night, but pure cocoa butter, and Shea will lighten it up over time

  6. ChellBellz September 29, 2010 at 2:49 PM - Reply

    You should post that skit by Katt Williams about Stretch marks LOL.

    • Dominique February 8, 2012 at 6:13 PM - Reply

      LOL! I was thinking about Katt while reading this! “Girl you look just like a tiger.” !!!!!!!!!!

    • LBrooke February 8, 2012 at 6:28 PM - Reply

      LOL- just looked up the skit on Youtube— so funny!

    • Chatavia August 29, 2012 at 2:16 PM - Reply

      That is EXACTLY what I was thinking…Quite a relief that men really don’t pay the stretch marks any mind. lol.

  7. Crystal September 29, 2010 at 7:46 PM - Reply

    Same here! I have them, I even have a tattoo on my right hip, on the stretch marks. And I don’t care! I lost 40lbs and now have super saggy boobs. And I don’t care! Because overall I am feeling so much better about about myself and way more confident that…I don’t care about my outside!

    So yay! Thanks for saying this out loud!

  8. Nannette Wade September 30, 2010 at 9:08 AM - Reply

    You are an excellent writer. I feel you about so many weight and body issues you address. I’ve learned from you to honor and love myself more and that has made it easier to eat healthier and exercise more. I have a long way to go, but I’ve lost about 30 pounds this year and will get more honest with myself about clean eating so I can continue on my journey. Thanks for having the courage to say the things you do.

  9. Madame: The Journey September 30, 2010 at 9:30 AM - Reply

    I see harping over stretch marks and sagging skin as an acute form of self-sabotage. I’ve heard of individuals who aren’t willing to lose weight simply because their “stretch marks would look uglier,” or “loose skin is more disgusting than fat.” Both should seriously be minuscule concerns, in the grand scope of our HEALTH!

    Also, I don’t think people give the miraculous healing capabilities of our bodies (coupled with the time component) enough credit. Yeah, I have some residual stretch marks, I’ve dealt with (still am) loose skin issues in the midst of weight loss – but I know, it’s not necessarily going to be the final outcome.

    And if a mark here or there is permanent, that’s okay too. It’ll serve as a nice reminder of my progress in this journey!

  10. Ronnie October 1, 2010 at 7:33 PM - Reply

    As a Mom of 3 still battling the baby belly after four years, I consider my stretch marks “battle scars”. Proof I was in the war and won the fight! Great post.

    • lthurm0409 June 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM - Reply

      @ Ronnie- That’s so funny! I’m a mother to a 6 year old and I always say that my stretch marks are battle scars! I went to war and won! I’m glad someone shares my sentiments. On another note, I completely understand the resentiment one feels toward stretch marks. But, I refuse to let them keep me from my life. I’ll wear what I want, when I want. And if anyone has a problem with my stretch marks, then they can deal with it on their own time.

  11. Lasciel October 4, 2010 at 12:00 AM - Reply

    Well, I’ll never be happy over having them, but they’ll still look better on me if I look fit than if I look out-of-shape.

  12. Word October 4, 2010 at 5:01 PM - Reply

    I will take some stretchmarks over a flat belly any day!

  13. Kimberly December 16, 2010 at 6:14 PM - Reply

    I’ve got stretch marks (you’ll have them when you lose 200 pounds), but I don’t care. The tummy tuck and breast reconstruction will take care of some of them; the rest will remain. I know I’m fortunate enough to have an insurance company that will cover the tummy tuck and the have the personal funds for the boob job.

    Celebrate your accomplishments! Don’t let the Victoria’s Secret catalogues and their photoshop magicians get in the way of your success.

    @ChellzBellz: Katt Williams is hilarious. “Baby, you like a tiger…”

  14. Paceon December 20, 2010 at 10:06 PM - Reply

    This conversation has come up repeatedly with my 17 yr old daughter (all 105 lbs of her). I finally just told her that when it comes to stretch marks (or any other perceived flaws), “Baby, when you get to be my age, you’ll learn there are some distinct advantages to being the only naked woman in a room. I wouldn’t even worry about it. What’s your blood pressure? Now that’s important.”

  15. nikki December 23, 2010 at 1:44 PM - Reply

    Thank U. I have a similar attitude about the stretch marks but I am also having the same issue with my skin. Thanks for not being afraid to show the truth about this!!

  16. lvpthemvp December 29, 2010 at 10:43 AM - Reply

    Thanks for the post and the fresh perspective. Both help a lot. I think we are caught up in caring the wrong way about the wrong things. Taking our mind off of wellness and being short sited about it all. Your post helps. prioritize your concerns. Stretch marks should be the last of ‘em. Thanks Erika.

  17. toluvhim January 7, 2011 at 8:01 AM - Reply

    @Paceon…love love love that answer to your daughter…I
    will be using this one in the future! Stretch marks never really
    bothered me…I had lots young. But loose skin is a little scary,
    but when I lost 80lbs before, I so loved how I felt and looked that
    I will take loose, saggy and smaller over tight, full (of fat) and
    bigger ANYDAY.

  18. Cassie January 8, 2011 at 12:18 PM - Reply

    Hi

    Just checking out your site and i have to say this post was very timely for me. I love it.. i am currently pregnant (39 weeks) due next week and I have been thinking about post pregnancy weight loss and stretch marks. i have tons on my stomach and started to freak out about what i’m going to do, but you’re right, i have a bigger and more important fish to fry which is trying to lose the almost 40lbs i’ve gained..

    thanks for this post

  19. Lorrie January 28, 2011 at 3:29 PM - Reply

    Right On sista!

  20. Jerseybae January 29, 2011 at 5:40 PM - Reply

    Yeah, thanks! I see I am not the only one to think stretch marks is a no issue.

  21. Nina March 1, 2011 at 5:32 PM - Reply

    I’m just starting my second trimester and my best friend (God bless her) in her attempts to be helpful has already started asking me about lotion and telling me how she uses Palmer’s twice a day. I am just trying to remember to eat well and take my vitamins every day. Forget about my struggles to drink enough water…but, I digress. Thank you SO much for this post. I know I’m a couple of months late to the party, but I got directed here from another blog because of a turkey chili recipe and I’m so glad I found it. Not just because of the recipes, or even the health and fitness tips, but for putting things in perspective.

  22. anitra June 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM - Reply

    I *love* “The Photoshop Diet”. I remember seeing the lead singer of Morcheeba on stage and thinking her belly, with its curves and muscle and bone, was accentuated by the pale marks that slid up and over her skin.

    Thanks xo

  23. Dee June 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM - Reply

    Kudos to you for having courage. I am sorry…but my stretch marks bother me. I have always been small with a flat stomach, and I developed them above my hip with my son. They are not as bad as many that I have seen, and I do not have them on my stomach…but I will never wear a two-piece again..though they have faded. I was small when I got pregnant so my skin had a long weigh to stretch to hold the 66lbs gestational diabetes put on. I did lose all!! I work out hard and I would look good in a two piece, I just do not want anyone to see my “scars”. It’s not about anyone, it is about me and what I see. I see past my flat stomach to my marks on the side. We all have issues we deal with, and I would rather hide my flaws than show them. Thanks for writing this, it may help someone.

    • Dee June 8, 2011 at 8:29 PM - Reply

      I meant I would look good in a two piece…LOL

    • Erika Nicole Kendall June 8, 2011 at 10:02 PM - Reply

      Lawd, Dee… we’re gon’ have to talk.

      I wish I understood what it is that has y’all so adamant about hiding just because you don’t look like the girls wearing the booty paint and butt paste in the magazines and on the runway. I just… I don’t get it.

      But then again, maybe that’s a good thing. If I DID get it, I might have those same hang-ups, too. And quite frankly, I enjoy walking around Buck E. Naked without a care in the world. ROFL

  24. Liaa June 8, 2011 at 8:57 PM - Reply

    Love it! Congrats on your successful healthy lifestyle change.

  25. Tonja June 17, 2011 at 2:35 PM - Reply

    Erika,
    You are so right on this issue. Thank you!;) What is more important your health or stretch marks. To me if your major concern is with stretch marks then you have self-esteem issues to deal with too. You look great but all your eyes see is an ugly body with stretch marks. This is confusing to me too. Sometimes women dont want to face other underlining issues such as low self esteem. Sorry Sweetie, once you have stretch marks, they are there for life.The marks may fade but they are still there.

  26. Daphne June 22, 2011 at 8:00 PM - Reply

    Simply part of being a woman in my world. I don’t know one that doesn’t have any… especially if she’s lost weight or has children. You stated it beautifully… who cares??!!

  27. Keelah July 21, 2011 at 3:41 PM - Reply

    I agree with you 100%. Stretch marks just don’t matter to me either. Nearly every adult human has them…And I’ve been over 200 lbs. AND had children. They were expected. And I’ll be damned if I let them ruin my esteem or outlook. We are so much more than what people can see…I hope we all realize this enmasse soon! We are INSIDE these vehicles, but they are not what we are. No matter what the marketing and advertising giants would have us believe.

  28. Thermidor July 22, 2011 at 6:26 AM - Reply

    Aaaagh, I needed to hear this. My skin tone makes my stretchmarks stand out REALLY hardcore and I have a loooot of them. So many it just looks like I was clawed up.

    But, I would rather have my stretchmarks all over the place at something other than a size 26. And if someone has an issue with them? I don’t think I need to know them, regardless. Now, to just get -myself- to be less conscious of them. But I’m working on it! I wouldnt show my arms to my own mother last year and now I’m rocking tank tops , fat arms and all. Even thin women have them, why should I be ashamed!

    Again, to join the raucous– I LOVE THIS BLOG.

  29. AmyM September 1, 2011 at 10:46 PM - Reply

    I want to say something that goes to both sides of this discussion:

    1) I am glad to see someone saying that it’s OK to have stretch marks — that it’s not the end of the world, or something to be horrified about. And for moms, or those who’ve struggled with their weight, they can be a badge of honor.

    2) I have a problem with just a few of my stretch marks from my pregnancy — the ones down along the not-so-stretchy skin of my lower belly and upper groin area. I have horrible, inch-wide stretch marks there, where the skin is extremely thin, and tears easily. This made recovering from my c-section more difficult, since the incision site (which was placed directly over several of the worst marks) kept tearing open at the ends, where the skin was too thin to support the healing tissue as I moved and stretched during everyday activities. My incision became mildly infected, but thankfully it healed and I am OK now. So, in this way, stretch marks CAN be a health issue. And I WOULD love to find some advice SOMEWHERE that tells me what I do to try to reduce those really bad ones, so that my skin isn’t so threadbare there.

    Oh, and I walk around naked all day at my house most days. 🙂 Keeps me cooler, makes me come to terms with what my body looks like post-pregnancy, and saves on laundry. 😉

    • Erika Nicole Kendall September 2, 2011 at 10:15 AM - Reply

      “Can be,” yes, but in and of themselves? No. I understand, but this is a stretch. No pun intended, lol. Your situation sounds like one meant for a dermatologist’s advice, because that is pretty damned specific. I wouldn’t take general advice for that, anyhow.

  30. CP October 31, 2011 at 11:24 PM - Reply

    What a great website and motivation for real women dealing with these issues of stretchmarks…from life, motherhood and the pursuit of better health.

  31. Aleisha December 8, 2011 at 2:49 AM - Reply

    men cant be that turned off by stretch marks, my husband likes them because they remind him that i carried both of his children for 9 months.

    and also, most men get them too, either from getting to over weight or (in my brother-in-laws case) from body building.

    Be proud, because every scar tells a story, including stretchmarks 🙂

    • Kaija February 15, 2013 at 6:04 PM - Reply

      I’m glad you mentioned that men get them too. My partner has them from when he hit his growth spurt in puberty, which is the same time/same way I got them (growing nearly a foot in one year will do that). He also has them from building up his shoulders with weight lifting…

  32. taaj January 1, 2012 at 10:21 PM - Reply

    I LOVE YOU FOR THIS!
    I have about 80lbs to loose but for what ever reason, I’m terribly prone to stretch marks… They make me sad but at 33 I DON’T CARE! I just wanna loose the weight and live aong and healthy life.
    Thanks for speaking on it!

  33. Gizzle February 8, 2012 at 6:36 PM - Reply

    I love that you don’t pull punches and keep the priority on health and not the (literally) superficial stuff. Amazing blog!

  34. MissMel February 8, 2012 at 8:37 PM - Reply

    #truestory I’ve finally gotten serious about my weight and health and am on the path. No less than 2 weeks ago I noticed stretch marks creeping up above my belly button. I’ve never noticed these before! I knew I had them but have they always been there that high up? But woot! woot! I realized I was seeing them because my core is getting tighter and I am losing inches in my midsection (planks, planks and more planks!) hence it is not stretched taut to where I don’t see them. I am STOKED! So yeah, bring em on. This is my hard work paying off. I am literally seeing my results 🙂 but my final thought is “so, what? who cares?”

  35. Angela February 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM - Reply

    Ok, I am trying to get some work done but cannot stop reading this blog. Thanks for all that you do, Erika! I have a ton of stretchmarks but they have faded significantly over the years, so this too shall pass! Thanks again.

  36. Freeeeeee April 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM - Reply

    This post on stretch marks is EVERYTHING! You are awesome Erika!

  37. Kathryn April 25, 2012 at 1:15 PM - Reply

    THANKS!!!!!! This venture is about health not vanity… get over it. My (male)friend has stretch marks and he’s never been overweight. Brown skin (as beautiful as it is) has marks that sometimes can not be explained. If it’s someone else complaining about your stretch marks tell then to keep pushing, nobody is perfect.

  38. Dani April 25, 2012 at 1:22 PM - Reply

    Been married 19 years… hubby told me A LONG time ago that when I’m naked, he could care less about the stretch marks. He made me laugh. After a while, I realized that when I’m at my best and my attitude is right, I don’t notice them all that much either. So THANK YOU for sharing that. 🙂 Great read.

  39. Loretta April 25, 2012 at 11:04 PM - Reply

    Here, here. I agree with this. I have a starburst on my tummy…used to look like dried bicycle tire tracks….at least to me..it transformed into a starburst.
    I always ask myself am I in the race for health or the hamster wheel for today’s ideal.

  40. marie July 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM - Reply

    How do you take care of your skin? Like do you moisturize religiously every single day? Did you notice some visual improvement on your skin as you move forward in your journey? ( i.e. No need to moisture, softer skin etc) ?
    I am so lazy with my skin sometimes lol.

  41. Tang August 29, 2012 at 6:39 PM - Reply

    I love this article! I have a million stretch marks all from losing a ton of weight in high school. I have a ton of them on my inner arms. Up until recently I would always wear long sleeve shirts or sweaters(in the summer too). One day I just got so fed up and said “Eff all of this! I’m done covering myself up”. So this has been my 1st summer in all of my 26 years that i wasn’t covering my arms. I’m soooo with you, thats just really not a concern of mine any more. I’m more interested in how I’m gonna lose 50-70lbs!

  42. Kay September 24, 2012 at 8:42 PM - Reply

    Love the article, Erika!
    I’ve lost forty pounds and am pushing for twenty more; going from 190 to 130 on my 5’2” frame. It may sound weird but I find my stretch marks fascinating to look at when I actually note them in the mirror and since I’m terrified of getting a tattoo these are the only battle scars I’ll be able to display. Plus, when someone says, “How could you understand? You’ve always been skinny, what would you know about my struggles to lose weight?”, I’ll just show them my trim waist and silky marks.

    Also, thanks for telling it like it really is when stating that stretch marks will be ever present and discussing their different causes.

  43. Charey November 21, 2012 at 3:12 PM - Reply

    I’ve had stretch marks every since I was 15 (size 5/6)! So I pretty much came to terms with them a long time ago. No one has ever made fun of me for them or even called them out thank goodness, but maybe I’m just one of the lucky ones. I am 25lbs over weight now with double the stretch marks after the freshman 15, having kids, and not exercising. Lathering oils and Palmer on my body seemed to only help the road map grow easier.

    I’ve NEVER heard a man speak negatively about stretch marks, though. When you said that in your post I was shocked. I always say to myself and my friends “If I’m standing butt naked in front of my man/current lover or whoever and he sees my stretch marks and tells me to get dressed and leave then HE has a much more serious problem than I do!” #wheretheydothatat

  44. ATR November 22, 2012 at 8:48 AM - Reply

    I got dark, raised stretch marks on my hips in high school and they always bothered me. Then when I started to gain weight they just got worse. When I really started to pick up weight I got them on my arms, the ones on my hips spread, and I had a tiny one start on my stomach. The one on my stomach was one of the last straws for me, lol. Then I lost weight and I could see the really light stretch marks in all kinds of other places. It bothered me for about 1 week and then I stopped caring. I know my journey and what all of those stretch marks “stand for.” They are a reminder of where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. There isn’t much I can do about them so why stress over it.

    And really…I’ve never had a man say “ewww stretch marks…put your clothes back on.” LMAO If he’s that bothered by stretch marks then I need to keep it moving. He’s silly and isn’t worth the time.

  45. ConventionalDee February 13, 2013 at 7:53 PM - Reply

    BRAVO!!!! I was prone to stretch marks before I got pregnant or put on weight. I can’t do anything about them, so I’d rather be fit with tiger stripes. Grrrrrrrrrr!!!

  46. seejanesweat February 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM - Reply

    I have stretch marks and I rock them. As a mother of three, I think of them as my badge of honor. I’ve delivered three beautiful kids to this world and I am OK with that. I have workout videos that I post on the internet and I rock my shorts and bra top with my stretch marks in full view. I am not ashamed of them and by the way not all men hate stretch marks. Not mature ones anyway. Thanks for this post.

  47. Tina February 20, 2013 at 11:11 AM - Reply

    I have had stretch marks since my teens. They are actually a good indicator of my diet, because if i gain, they turn red! I have NEVER had any man say a thing about them, not even the tomahawk one that extended off both ends of my appendectomy scar when i was pregnant with my son. My boyfriend has them too, and ironically doesnt care (he is very self-conscious otherwise). Im fascinated by the fact that your flabby skin DID shrink with weight-training. That is awesome!

  48. Lee February 20, 2013 at 11:21 AM - Reply

    When I was about 16 I hated my stretch marks. I always hid them as best as I could when I had to take showers at the gym. Now? SHooooot I don’t care lol. Ppl can either look or not look at them. They’re only marks on my skin and they don’t define me. Heck would you like to see the scars that I got from a bad road rash? smh. Loved this blog post!

  49. bigdede April 17, 2013 at 7:08 PM - Reply

    I lost 75 lbs when I was 19 and afterward, I didn’t notice any stretch marks on my arms anymore. I started wearing sleeveless shirts and everything. Sadly, 10 years later I gain the 75 back plus 40 more. I have lost 45 so far but I have more stretch marks now. Once I lose the weight again (for good) will the stretch marks go away like they did before?

    • Erika Nicole Kendall April 17, 2013 at 10:37 PM - Reply

      Chances are high that they won’t. Just make sure your nutrition – leafy green vegetables and fat intake – is on point. That can help.

  50. Ceej April 20, 2013 at 12:55 AM - Reply

    I heard someone at the gym say her stretch marks were “stripes, like on a tiger”. I like that outlook.

    Also, the term “cellulite” was coined by Vogue magazine in the 1960s (google it). Before it was just regular old fat. And since 80%-90% of women have cellulite, including very healthy and/or thin women, it really isn’t an indicator of anything. Scientists agree that there is no “cure” for cellulite OR stretch marks. Meaning, you can be a perfectly healthy person and still have one or both of them.

  51. Jewell May 15, 2013 at 3:09 AM - Reply

    Soo…I hear you, but…
    My skin is lovely. Lovely. And my body is big but firm. …and it is important for me to keep it that way. If there is a way to minimize sag, marks, ect. – sign me up As long as I know I did everything I could to love and support my skin as I shrink…the rest will have to be surgically addressed. Real talk.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall May 15, 2013 at 7:34 AM - Reply

      If there’s a “but,” then you don’t hear me at all. Let’s not fool ourselves.

      Good luck with all that, though.

  52. Sharisse June 12, 2013 at 3:32 PM - Reply

    Stretch marks fade over time and look smaller as your body gets more tone and tight. Stretch marks will never go away; however, and people should just accept that and celebrate the strides they are making in their weight loss and fitness journey. Also, please understand that print models are so airbrushed they don’t look like themselves. So please stop basing self worth on a retouched photo. PLEASE! if it makes you feel better do a photo shoot and have the prints photo shopped.

  53. Nai June 12, 2013 at 4:05 PM - Reply

    As a mom whose stretch marks are affecting her mental/social/sexual stability, I find this particular article to be extremely disheartening and isolating. I understand that bc of the nature of your particular weight loss, stretch marks are your last concern but damn.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall June 12, 2013 at 4:51 PM - Reply

      It’s disheartening and isolating to read a woman say that she refuses to let the presence or lack of stretch marks on her body or others affect her ability to love herself?

      Is your implication that MY POST is the problem, or that the problem is the fact that something like stretch marks is affecting your mental, social and sexual stability? Because my NEXT question for you would be why stretch marks matter so much to you. They happened to me. And I’m not going to let them interfere with my ability to love myself and enjoy my body. I’d encourage you to do the mental and emotional work required so that you can get to a point where you can say the same about yourself, instead of letting their presence overwhelm you.

      I’m not budging on this. I think there’s a fundamental problem when women are left feeling “disheartened” by another woman choosing to call this foolish. It IS FOOLISH. Take a deep breath, work on being the best you can be regardless of the presence of stretch marks, and eventually YOU will stop giving a damn about them, too.

      I understand society forces women to feel guilt about not being perfect and all, but damn. If a fascination with airbrush-smooth skin is causing you sexual instability, wouldn’t critical thinking demand us learn to let go of that fascination?

      • Nai June 12, 2013 at 5:05 PM - Reply

        I definitely said nothing about stretch marks affecting my ability to love myself.

        I’m not sure why you’re going so hard. My comment wasn’t coming at your blog. It is simply commenting on the fact that you’re obviously interested in empowering other women to appreciate and care for their bodies (hence the public forum). There has to be a way to do this when discussing a contentious topic (i.e stretch marks) without making some of the audience feel like shit for being affected by their stretch marks. It may not be that big of a deal for you bc, based on your pics, you’ve made a drastic weight change. But, those of us whose stretch marks are our biggest hurdle, have a different relationship with stretch marks and it would be nice to find an outlet that can appreciate all of these different relationships/issues. When this article posted on my newsfeed I zoned out of this 2 hour mtg to read it bc i thought “finally, someone/something that can speak to an issue that I’ve been faced with since giving birth.” After reading it I didn’t feel empowered, I felt like me and my issue were shat on.

        That being said, this is your blog. Maybe you have no interest in empowering a person such as myself. That is both fair and fine.

        • Erika Nicole Kendall June 12, 2013 at 5:38 PM - Reply

          “Maybe you have no interest in empowering a person such as myself.”

          It’s not about having no interest in empowering someone; it’s about making an active choice to not enable an obviously harmful trope.

          Your original comment talked about your inability to maintain emotional and sexual stability. If you don’t think that directly correlates to self-love, then not only are we at a fundamental disadvantage in this dialogue, but you’re only further proving my point.

          Listen. I’m “going so hard” because this is irritating. It’s frustrating to me that of all the thousands of women that come to this blog daily, at least half believe that weight loss is worthless unless they come out of the ordeal looking like a Victoria’s Secret model.

          But guess what? THOSE WOMEN HAVE STRETCH MARKS TOO. It’s airbrushed out. Wanna know how they “airbrush” their stretch marks away on the runway? THEY USE BODY PAINT. (And that’s a direct quote from Selita Ebanks herself.)

          What kind of empowerment do you get from being encouraged to feel bad about your skin? Your skin is beautiful REGARDLESS of how it looks in comparison to someone else’s. It is YOUR skin. How is that not encouraging you to feel more comfortable in it? Did you want me to tell you to go find a creme and slather it on religiously until they go away, only for you to hate your skin even more when that creme fails you? Did you want me to tell you to rub your skin with some abrasive brillo pad and squeeze lemon juice on the wounds so that the marks could go away and then come back, only for you to damage your skin and cry because you put yourself through that much pain and STILL didn’t get the smooth skin you wanted?

          Or do you think you should read the blog post of a woman who refuses to feel bad about her stretch marks REGARDLESS of how magazines, the media, and general purpose patriarchy and come out of it understanding that MAYBE there’s another way to look at your skin? I have a child, too. And I had stretch marks before my child. There is NO legitimate reason for a woman to feel bad about her stretch marks other than the fact that she doesn’t look like a magazine model…and not even magazine models look like magazine models. So, again. What gives?

          I’m asking serious questions, here. I’m willing to accept people feeling like they’re being shat on as a criticism, but what kind of empowerment are you looking for that doesn’t enable – in ANY way, shape or form – a culture that THRIVES on looking for tiny, insignificant minutia to use to make women feel like shit?

          • Nai June 12, 2013 at 6:37 PM

            First, No, I don’t think that being affecting by my stretch marks means I don’t love myself. One can love themselves and admit to/struggle with insecurities.

            Second, none of my comments mention VS models, airbrushing or anything of the sort. I have no interest in looking like someone on TV and I am well versed in the “don’t trust the media, they’re airbrushed, etc” conversation. What I am referring to is post-partum psychological trauma. Whether or not you care to admit or agree, the ways in which pregnancy can change the body is very scary. I think it’s a bit shortsighted to think that any woman who complains of stretch marks are vain and only care about appearances. That’s absolutely ridiculous. The question I foolishly hoped you could address is how does one cope with stretch marks, loose skin, excess body hair and other effects of pregnancy? You’ve lost 170 lbs so I’m sure you’re grateful and embracing your new body. What about those of us whose bodies haven’t changed for the better? How does one deal with the loss of something they once felt very connected to and in tune with (i.e. pre-pregnancy, stretch mark-less body) while also learning the functionality of a new, foreign mass? Is learning this not considered a form of wellness?

            Third, I’m definitely not asking you to tell me anything negative about myself. I would’ve been fine with a “Stretch marks are not a concern of mine and shouldn’t be a concern of yours because ‘Your skin is beautiful REGARDLESS of how it looks in comparison to someone else’s.’ That is A MILLION times more empowering than opening an article, I presumed would be encouraging, and seeing “Sigh.
            I avoid “The Stretch Mark Question” because, really, I don’t care. That’s right. I said it. I don’t care.” It is isolating because you have readers who do care.

            Also, don’t think that be empowering means giving instructional advice. Kind words are enough. I don’t expect you to tell me about any creams, I’d ask my doctor if that was my concern.

            Have a great day.

          • Erika Nicole Kendall June 12, 2013 at 6:50 PM

            “One can love themselves and admit to/struggle with insecurities.”

            Of course they can; that’s not what I get from someone who says that stretch marks affects their ability to develop emotional and sexual stability.

            “Whether or not you care to admit or agree, the ways in which pregnancy can change the body is very scary. I think it’s a bit shortsighted to think that any woman who complains of stretch marks are vain and only care about appearances.”

            I think it’s less being shortsighted and more so being very frank about the realities of this conversation. It boils down to vanity, and learning to appreciate the body you’re looking at. That doesn’t speak to the complications involved with getting to that point; it merely identifies it as the end goal.

            “The question I foolishly hoped you could address is how does one cope with stretch marks, loose skin, excess body hair and other effects of pregnancy?”

            I’m sorry that you thought the topic of the post was something other than what the reader asked me, which was the following:

            “Q: What happened to your stretch marks? I know you’ve got some.
            Q: What’d you do about stretch marks? My daughter is 11 months old and it wasn’t until after I gave birth that I started getting them. I WANT THEM GONE!
            Q: I already have tons of stretch marks, and I currently use bio-oil. I was considering switching to mederma, but i just wanted to know your thoughts about this, and possibly what you used. Also, did you have a problem with sagging skin or anything along the way?
            Q: when u lost the bulk of ur weight did ur skin go back in the stomach area? I have a lot of stretch marks and the dr said it won’t!
            Q: My question is… stretchmarks… what are you doing about them or did you have any? Because I have the most inelastic skin, and I get a new stretchmark just thinking about eating, and even while I’m shrinking I feel like the shrinking is make the stretchmark more noticeable.
            Q: i am not sure if you ever answered the ladies question about the stretchmarks I would like to know too”

            Those wasn’t asking for “instructional advice” on how to cope with the marks; it was how did *I* cope with my stretch marks or loose skin. Perhaps that was the misunderstanding?

            I understand that it’s difficult with the shift in the blog because now, I’m an actual certified trainer and nutritionist and not only a person who has endured a weight loss journey; I can see that someone would expect this to be some semblance of guidance on how to handle their skin woes and the things that cause them, but that’s not what this was and it, in reality, was never intended to be that. If you want me to open the floor to that discussion, we can do that… just understand that me talking about MY experiences with my skin were only that, and if you want to ask questions like “how does one cope with stretch marks, loose skin, excess body hair and other effects of pregnancy? You’ve lost 170 lbs so I’m sure you’re grateful and embracing your new body. What about those of us whose bodies haven’t changed for the better? How does one deal with the loss of something they once felt very connected to and in tune with (i.e. pre-pregnancy, stretch mark-less body) while also learning the functionality of a new, foreign mass?” as a separate conversation, then we could’ve EASILY done that.

  54. Nai June 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM - Reply

    My comment: As a mom whose stretch marks are affecting her mental/social/sexual stability, I find this particular article to be extremely disheartening and isolating. I understand that bc of the nature of your particular weight loss, stretch marks are your last concern but damn.

    Doesn’t say anything about developing, etc. Simply, affecting. I didn’t specify in which ways so lets not twist words.

    I think my problem with this post is that you sound less like an “actual certified trainer and nutritionist” and more like a … self-righteous bitch.

    Which is also fine. If i lost half the amount of weight you did I’d be probably be the same way.

    Anywho, again. have a nice day.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall June 12, 2013 at 7:15 PM - Reply

      “Doesn’t say anything about developing, etc. Simply, affecting. I didn’t specify in which ways so lets not twist words.”

      Are you sensitive about admitting this? Developing vs affecting is purely semantics – you don’t have full, unaffected stability. You ain’t there yet. It’s okay to admit that, since that’s how you get to the point where you can work on it.

      I have no idea why you re-pasted your original comment, especially since it doesn’t ask ANY of the questions you left in your original post. And, to put it quite painfully, I expect to sound like a self-righteous bitch – I’m talking about MYSELF, a space where I’m allowed to be righteous ROFL – to someone who is struggling with baggage that I’ve since abandoned. I expect you to think I treat the topic callously – it apparently matters a great deal more to you than it does to me. And, if you were interested in asking me about the details, you could’ve. You didn’t.

      At this point, I’m entirely convinced you keep returning because you want to make me feel as badly as my post makes you feel about this thing that obviously matters a great deal to you. You could’ve easily commented on my perceived self-righteousness, but you threw “bitch” in for extra digs. Girl, I guess. You’ll work that out on your own, I’m sure.

      Again. When you’re ready to simply ask me the questions in the post and have that conversation without all the searching for opportunities to throw shade, I openly invite it. I have no problem revisiting topics or even revisiting my own perspectives on stuff. That’s called growth. I embrace it.

      You keep giving me the kiss off – “have a nice day” – but you keep coming back. Either you want to dialogue, or you don’t. But I do my best to dialogue around here, regardless of whether or not you stick around. If you’re going to engage, leave the kiss-offs – and the “bitch”es – behind, please.

  55. toluvhim June 12, 2013 at 7:28 PM - Reply

    Erica,

    Thank you for this online resource. I am a long time lurker wo has lost 125lbs, while using your pics and posts as motivation.

    I just had an Oprah AHA when I read your comment about some women feeling worthless about their weight loss because their end result body is not something found in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue.

    Even as I boot camp it up and get stronger and healthier, I still lament my saggy arms and deflated sacs where my breasts used to be.

    Even as I type that, I know I need to stop this critical self-t. Last nite at dinner I noted that my friend’s eyes had wondered towards my arms. I anxiously asked ” Are you staring at my fat arms?!?!?” He incredously replied “No I was thinking how.beautiful your bracelet is…your arms are fine.”

    Yea. I will get there mentally and emotionally one day. (Though I cannot imagine ever being able to take a tummy pic like yours, Erika…not in a million crunches…not that it matters, right?)

    Thank you.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall June 12, 2013 at 7:41 PM - Reply

      You know what, that’s an entirely different topic. Getting to a point where we can stop assuming, believing, or embracing the worst of/within ourselves, and the things that encourage us to embrace or believe in the worst of ourselves. I have stories for DAYS about how difficult that was. Gonna have to write about that someday, too.

      And listen. Crunches don’t get you a flat tummy – crunches get you a six pack. And don’t think you can’t do it… it’s always within reach. *big hug*

  56. Charley June 12, 2013 at 7:29 PM - Reply

    Whoa. A lot poppin off on here today. I’m sure Miss Girl is still lurking so Ill add my piece. I’ve lurked this blog and read enough articles and comments to know by now that Erika tends to start off or end callous. It is was it is and I don’t get upset enough to go back and forth with her. It’s her blog. I simply choose to close the web page. Lol. It doesn’t stop me from reading or appreciating other comments and articles of her blog and I even invested in 2 meal plans! On the stretch mark tip, I understand Erika’s side. They ain’t going nowhere no matter wut cream is claiming to get rid of them. It’s quite a waste to let them effect your sex life! Girl noooooo 🙁 that hurts my heart but still it simply is what it is. No man is gonna shun you for them and if they do just punch them in the face and leave the room. 😛

    • Erika Nicole Kendall June 12, 2013 at 7:38 PM - Reply

      LMAO

      *big hug*

      I’m gonna have to do some serious self-reflection on me and my callousness. Dang. LOLOL

      • Charley June 12, 2013 at 7:53 PM - Reply

        Hugggsss. Lol

  57. Ebony June 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM - Reply

    Hi Erika!
    I am glad you posted this article. However, this is a difficult subject to talk about for me. It’s difficult because it’s hard not to associate my stretch marks with all that I went through with gaining weight during the most difficult times of my pre-teen and young teen years.
    I’ve learned to appreciate and love myself more than I have before. I feel like I had to get to that point before losing the weight that I’ve lost over the years. I knew losing weight doesn’t equal happiness. Unfortunately, I am apart of the group that doesn’t want their stretch marks anymore. (Btw,I came across this in my facebook feed while applying the Mederma I got on sale. I wanted to see if this stuff does what it claims.) For me it’s more than how I look to others. (I’ll admit I still become a bit self conscious while wearing a strappy dress.) Again, they are associated with my causes of gaining weight and what I went through during that time. And my stretch marks are all over my body. The only places they aren’t are my face, neck, hands, calves, feet, and lower half of my lower arm.
    I want to get to the point of not caring completely, or not caring enough for me not to get emotional about them. Out of all the physical “imperfections” I have, the topic of stretch marks is still touchy. I am working on that. I’m not sitting here idly wishing I couldn’t less. I’m doing prayer, counseling, and talking things out with my husband (who has no problem with them. In fact, admits to liking them. :-/) and friends. I know I am rambling at this point because my mind has so much to say about this issue.
    To include, I do wholeheartedly agree that the media has a lot, not all, but a lot to do with how we see ourselves. Certain women (Skinny, smooth skin, young, lighter skin complexion, etc.) are on display the most and “worshipped” across our magazine covers, movie posters, pageant stages, and runways.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall June 19, 2013 at 1:37 PM - Reply

      I think understanding what we associate our marks with is important. Like, that’s a real and legitimate thing for many of us.

      When I asked about this on twitter last week, I had a few women admit to me that it was hard for them to disassociate the emotions they’d already attached to their marks.

      I had to ask them, how willing would they be to associate their marks with new fights, new battles and new triumphs? That question, essentially, rendered them silent. I’m wondering if I asked you the same thing, how would you respond? I’m not asking whether you HAVE associated the new marks with something else…simply whether you’d be open to doing it.

      • Ebony June 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM - Reply

        I see what you mean. I have been reflecting lately on what I have been through at that time. I guess I would also call my stretch marks battle scars. My past is always a testimony.

        • Erika Nicole Kendall June 19, 2013 at 8:51 PM - Reply

          See what I mean? Do you think you can start to associate the marks with something different?

          I mean, when I look at it in hind sight, I hardly even notice my marks anymore, but believe it or not, I have positive feelings about them. I look at my marks, and I feel like I’ve won, you know? I feel like my habit tried to take me out the game permanently, but I’m still here. I’m thriving, you know? I couldn’t look at that with animosity. I look at that and feel even stronger. I didn’t always look at them that way, but when I look at them now? I almost feel like I can do anything, because I “cheated death.”

  58. Cyndi June 28, 2013 at 3:34 PM - Reply

    Thank you so much for this post! The skin issue is definitely part of the struggle, but as you stated, we have to look past that and look at the health benefits and outcomes to sticking this thing out. It seems like having the weight can be depressing and the process of loosing the weight can be just as depressing! Don’t get caught in the media traps and the mind games…just stick to the plan and the goal (yes, I’m talking to myself 🙂 ). Again, thank you for this post!

  59. Shan September 18, 2013 at 2:53 PM - Reply

    They are my love marks. They don’t add or take away from my value.

  60. Miss CiCi Baby September 18, 2013 at 9:10 PM - Reply

    I’ve been coming to the site for a while now and never comment but after reading the exchange on this post, I felt inclined to.

    I must admit, at first read, I was taken aback by your comments, Erika. They came off harsh and I’m a brutally honest chic. Like the saying goes, it’s not what you say but how you say it. Perception is reality for people. Nothing you can control but something to consider (or not… It is your blog and your story:) ) BUT after getting past the tone and focusing solely on the message, I 100% feel you! The bottom line is, as you stated, if we didn’t live in a society that put so much on looks no one would give a DAMN! Real talk. I’ve had stretch marks since I was 12 years old- the age my hips began to spread. I hated them!!! But as I became a teen I realized women of ALL shapes and sizes have them. And now, in my late 20’s they barely phase me.

    Would I prefer it if they weren’t there? Of course! But I’m not going to allow them (which I’m sure was your point Erika) deter me from continuing my weight loss journey (50 lbs down and more to go). And I’m certainly not going to allow them to keep me from wearing what I want or anything else. Frankly, the smaller I get, the less I notice them (or care to notice them *shrug*).

    So ladies, regardless of the reason for your stretch marks, don’t allow them to be a barrier/hindrance/killer of self-esteem. They’re normal! No one WANTS skin blemishes but it is what it is. Embrace them! And if you hate ’em that much, you can get on the ‘Photoshop Diet’ (or airbrush diet) too. That route might be a little costly and time consuming though and it’s just not that deep for me. LOL I use my Bio-Oil (which by the way helped get rid of my dark ones altogether) and my shea butter to moisturize and keep it pushing.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall September 18, 2013 at 9:47 PM - Reply

      “They came off harsh and I’m a brutally honest chic. Like the saying goes, it’s not what you say but how you say it.”

      I have to admit, I’m triggered by people who actively defend their right to hate themselves over something they have NO control over, and feel somewhat disturbed by people’s reaction to how I feel about MY stretch marks. That’s what’s powering my harshness. It makes me feel like I HAVE to be put on the defensive – I’m literally defending my right to not hate myself.

      People really don’t understand how hard it is for weight loss bloggers, sometimes – you let people into your life and your thoughts, and they attack you for not thinking or believing like they do. You run a blog that tries to support positive body image, and people try to make you debunk their reasons for why you should hate yourself. It feels personal. For someone like me who is a stickler for keeping the message of my blog unilateral, since my blog is MY journal for MY journey and I DO go back and read my posts and my comments when I need them, seeing people challenge things that feel virtually unchallengeable for me is jarring.

      I really appreciate the comment, though. Speak your truth, girl. <3

      • Miss CiCi Baby September 19, 2013 at 12:05 AM - Reply

        “…hate themselves over something they have NO control over…”

        And that’s why I ultimately understood your position. I’m very “problem? solve it.” And if you can’t, then deal with it the best you can/ accept it. End of discussion. I’d love to share my journey but for some of the very reasons you stated, I know it’s not for me. I’d stay popping off. LOL People will force you into a position where you feel you need to defend. I go through similar when I talk to people about my journey going natural. (Whole other convo lol)

        At the end of the day some folks are gonna feel how they WANT to feel regardless of how positive or uplifitng you try to be. And those same folks aren’t gonna want to own that that apart of being positive and uplifting is sometimes being (brutally) honest. All you can do is tell YOUR story and let folks do with it what they please. I identified with your need to defend so I thought I’d share my perception. 🙂 Try not to let the comments jar you girl.

        • Erika Nicole Kendall September 19, 2013 at 10:06 AM - Reply

          “my journey going natural.”

          …this could EASILY be a whole ‘nother convo.

          *hugs* Thanks, sis.

  61. Tyra September 19, 2013 at 4:23 AM - Reply

    I am a six foot, slim African woman who has always has stretch marks since I was 12! I have them behind my legs, my butt and a few on the side of my hip. I have never been grossly overweight. My stretch marks were caused by shooting up to my height so quickly as a young teen. I have lived with them and I am 34 years old without a child. I suffered much angst as a result and tried every cream imaginable but they simply didn’t work. I shunned short skirts and shorts as I was so ashamed of the tiger marks behind my legs. Then when I turned 30, my whole mind set changed. I started embracing my stretch marks, warts, my perceived faults and all. I stopped caring what other women thought (that’s right! WOMEN!!! They are the worst in pinpointing other women’s so called faults). I had people comment on how beautiful my legs were despite the fact that I still have stretch marks and even ask me why I never wore shorts and minis! It shocked me to be honest! I no longer care about them because they are part of me and they aren’t going any where. They aren’t a health risk so its the least of my worries. There are worse things to be worried about I say! Funny thing is that my ex boyfriend was really tall and had stretch marks all over his body too and had no issues with mine or his either!

  62. Nikole January 8, 2014 at 10:30 PM - Reply

    Damn you, western culture and your subliminal brainwashing ways…damn you.

  63. Angela February 19, 2014 at 6:15 PM - Reply

    Love it. I’m 44. When my stretch marks from having babies in my 30’s and holding onto the weight for almost a decade finally fade, I’m sure they will be replaced by wrinkles, moles, age spots (and whatever else) that age and life decide to bless me with. Thanks Erika for helping us to recognize the beauty in our bodies as a testament to our rich lives — not to be confused with sick celluloid commercial fantasies we see around us.

  64. Jai January 23, 2016 at 2:55 AM - Reply

    I understand the irritation from the stretch mark question but, frankly, I think the article is a bit insensitive. I am 27 with no children. During and after college I gained a lot of weight from my bad eating habits and not realizing how inactive I’d become as an adult. Now that I’m losing the weight I want to be able to do some of the things I never thought to do when I had the body. For example, I’ve never worn a bikini. Ever! And I kind of feel like I never will. My stretch marks aren’t a beautiful testament of giving life, it’s a testament to my past laziness. I wish more than anything that my body didn’t punish me for life for my bad decisions. Its embarrassing to be relatively young but not get to look amazing in swimsuits like my friends. Yes, we get stretch marks and it’s a part of life but at a point I just want to live the carefree, no baby life without looking like I’ve had 3, ya know?

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