Media companies have altered photos for decades to remove every imperfection and blemish. Stretch marks are often the first to be released. Stretch marks can be seen as negative. Society thinks people who have stretch marks are not beautiful. This isn’t true. Stretch marks are part of the body. Stretch marks can be seen on all body types and on both genders, so why are they airbrushed out in the media?

Stretch marks are well-known, but they’re not widely known. Stretch marks are caused by a rapid increase in height or weight, which can happen during puberty and pregnancy. Skin can stretch along with us when we gain weight or grow slowly. But if we suddenly increase our height, like teenagers, the skin is not able to handle it. The production of collagen in the skin is disrupted when it is stretched too quickly or too tightly. Collagen plays a vital role in the structure of many parts of our body, including our skin. Stretch marks are caused by the disruption of collagen (Hyde June 2014, 2 ). Stretch marks are usually red or purple when they first appear but fade over time to match the skin tone of the person. Stretch marks are part of the human condition, so why do they have a bad reputation? It’s shockingly easy: perfection.

For decades, our world has been obsessed with perfection. People have gone to extremes in order to appear perfect. Stretch marks, acne, and weight gain are all victims of this quest for perfection. Influencers and magazines heavily edit photos to remove every freckle, acne scar and stretch mark. The audience thinks that these marks have been omitted because of the editing. Media rarely considers the impact of their actions on their audience. Stretch marks are a common problem, and people will do anything to remove them. I’ve seen some people use vitamin A oils and aloe vera. We should try to change the way people perceive stretch marks instead of trying to eliminate them.

Stretch marks have been removed since the advent of photo editing in magazines and media. In 2020, most companies will still retouch and remove any imperfections from their models. Some big names, however, have committed to not digitally edit their photos. ASOS, Missguided, and Boohoo have all stopped removing stretchmarks. Model Ashley Graham is a strong advocate of retaining stretch marks. While doing my research, I was surprised to find that many companies had not taken the same step. I thought that our society was past the need for perfection, but I was clearly wrong. Perhaps someday, we’ll see more stretchmarks, more blemishes, and other blemishes openly displayed.

Since I can recall, I’ve had stretch marks. I thought they were beautiful, normal. They were a beautiful shade of purple, and at the time, I was in a mermaid phase. I called them scales. I wore a shirt to school that exposed my upper arms where the stretch marks were. One kid asked me why I had “those ugly scars” displayed. I went home in tears. Since then, I’ve been self-conscious of my stretch marks which now appear on my hips, stomach and arms. In time, I’ve come to appreciate them more. I’ve started to draw on them or paint them gold. I use gold to fix broken pottery, a Japanese art. This art shows the imperfections and that an imperfection does not make something ugly but rather more beautiful.

It’s hard to undo what society has taught us. It can be difficult to remove toxic ideals that we are exposed to as children. It is not enough to stand in front of the mirror and say, “you are beautiful.” Accepting yourself takes small steps. Find positive influences. Look for people who don’t edit their photos and just show themselves. You can learn a lot by surrounding yourself with people that think stretch marks are beautiful. It is possible to accept yourself as you are. It is easier to achieve a goal when you know it’s possible. You can also take a step that is a little outside the comfort zone of most people. Wear clothes that don’t hide your perceived flaws but rather highlight them. Wear tank tops to cover stretch marks or a shirt showing a bit of your stomach if that’s what you feel self-conscious about. This is a type of exposure therapy. You will feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it. Take baby steps and never push yourself so far that you can’t wear the clothes you chose outside. If you feel more confident when not showing off your stretch marks, choose clothes that conceal them. It is important that you wear outfits to suit yourself and not others.

Have a great day! Sydney

Author: admin

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