If you have stretch marks, you're not alone. Stretch marks are more common than you think, and the recent #LoveYourLines movement on social media teaches us to embrace and love our stretch marks.
People are being more open than ever about their "lines" aiming to show others that stretch marks are normal, and they can be beautiful if you open your mind and stop looking at them as a flaw.
The @loveyourlines Instagram account has over 129K followers, and their feed includes pictures from women around the world who are proud of the skin they're in. The account celebrates the beauty of the human body, from hip stretch marks, to chest stretch marks and everything in between. You can also find the campaign on Tumblr and Twitter.
After all, stretch marks wouldn't exist without growth, and what's more beautiful than the continuous process of growing and changing? As Bustle put so beautifully, "Stretch marks are the road map of our lives. They can mark the creation of a new life, teenage growth spurts, weight gain, and weight loss."
Regardless of how you feel about your lines, they are a part of you, and even more so, they are a part of your story.
See some of the beautiful photos from the #LoveYourLines movement on Instagram below:
#LoveYourLines movement will inspire you to love your stretch marks
"My MO was "small and cute" all my life. I am only 4'10" so this is what I felt I had "going for me". Growing my second child was a joy but I couldn't believe how my body was being affected. She was much larger than my son. I had a torpedo for a pregnant belly (there was no where for her to go but OUT.). This time I had this foreign wrinkly, stretch marked, droopy belly button of a tummy to learn to accept. Over the past 15 months, they've faded a lot. But then 7 months ago I had an ectopic pregnancy and had to have surgery to remove our baby and my Fallopian tube. Now I had 3 incisions gathering my wrinkly skin even worse to come to terms with. Goodbye smooth tummy of my youth. I had to grieve that. Slowly shame crept up on me as I looked around and saw young firm bodies I envied. Vanity took over my soul and I hadn't even realized it. Finally it was revealed to me so I deeply wanted to learn to not only accept my body, but LOVE IT because of how God made me. HE MADE OUR BODIES TO CHANGE. My body has housed 3 precious children, and I would never change it even for the promise of the proverbial "perfect" bod. NONE OF THAT can compare to the JOY that motherhood gives me. So grateful to feel CONFIDENT in this tummy -- my GIFT. I will preach this to my soul for all my days in all of the ways I am sure to change."
submission via: @mindihamell
so incredibly sweet! thank you for sharing this with us, @arsheehan. #loveyourlines
"My name is Melanie and one thing I am most proud of are my children. It took me a long time to become comfortable in my own skin. Spent so much time pouting about my belly until I realized just how powerful a woman's body really is. I did the lotions, and didn't scratch my belly, and I worked out. And they still appeared. People will have you believe that it is a sign of laziness or not loving yourself enough to take care of yourself. They are wrong. It's skin. Skin expands and stretches and it is a MARVEL not an abnormality. In fact, I think of them as lightening strikes. Beautiful lightening strikes. Not a soul can make me feel bad about my lines. I will live with them until I die, might as well love them as much as possible." #loveyourlines
repost from the lovely @chrissyteigen! we #loveyourlines. #stretchmarks | #beauty
J'ai 29 ans, maman d'une petite fille de 20 mois.. Elle m'apporte bonheur et beaucoup d'amour ...Sauf que mon petit bonheur m'a laisser des traces et j'en suis fière .. Si toi aussi tu les aimes .. Fais comme moi....Soyons fière de notre corps!
"Since I was 10 I have been suicidal. I've been through abuse & bullying since I was 9. I did this a while ago & going through therapy has made me realize I cannot erase my scars but embrace them, they are now apart of me. They are my battle wounds & they are healing, just like I am .(: "
"I have struggled with loving my body because of these stretch marks I have. I have had them since I was around 13 years old. Growing up I hated my body because other girls my age did not have these marks & I felt like something was wrong with me. Especially when guys my age used to ask "aren't you too young to have those" or "your butt would look so nice without them." Now I am comfortable with my body." submitted by: @ashaugxo
"I came across your page & came to tears reading story after story relating with many. Who knew I wasn't the only "skinny" 20 something dealing with these lines.
I'm a soon to be 21 year old who is confident in her clothes & style. I'm the gal that always spread the words of loving oneself & owning your confidence in your beautiful god given skin. When all said I'm also the gal that comes home undresses and cries because these lines won't leave me. I'm 110 lbs, I've always been thin but since I was in highschool I notice these lines how they got here I'll never know but I'm learning everyday to own them. Do they scare me for the future when I decide to be fruitful and multiply yes, but as I read all these stories these lines interpret as Beauty Marks, screw them. We are beautiful women with beautiful skin, whether they tell a story or are just simply due to growth let's own them. We are all beautifully marked."
"i am 18 years old and I have a beautiful son who was born about 3 months ago. Ive been confident in my body even when i was pregnant however, it did take a great deal of unfortunate events to get me to this confidence. I wont go into details but, i do want to say that every women big or small scared or smooth is beautiful in their own way. I love to encourage anybody and everybody to be happy in their skin because God doesnt make mistakes."
"My weight has fluctuated my whole life, so stretch marks came with the territory. Once I had my daughter they became more prominent, and my confidence plummeted. I'm still working on self-esteem issues, but I am beginning to love me and my body more and more each day. We shouldn't be ashamed of our scars or marks. They show the world our battles and just how tough we really are."
Another gorgeous #loveyourlines submission.
The beautiful @jasminemi_chelle shares that her stomach housed a beautiful baby girl 2 years ago. She loves her lines... they "show the beauty of life!
Submission from: @_beluu
She shared this lovely message with us: "Thank you for giving me the strength to do this. For such a long time I've looked at the lines that sculpt my body as a fault. Now, I am truly appreciating my body." We #LoveYourLines! Thank you for being a vessel of encouragement to others.
#LoveYourLines is a social media photo campaign to help showcase the beauty of the female body.
This account is curated by two mommas hoping to make a difference in the world of the female body image.
To submit your photos please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All women of different shapes, sizes and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to submit.
Photos submitted should be taken against a plain background. We can't wait to see your love lines!