First of all, am I the only one who has a problem with the question? As a woman living in a society which not only hypersexualizes the female body but with the same rod also demonizes that body for not fitting the highly idealistic and photo-shopped standards that we are fed with, I am tired. As a black woman I am already constantly fighting a ridiculous standard which tells me my very skin is to be vilified and every feature on me can only look good when placed on a white body. I say enough is enough – enough of the patriarchal standards which perpetuate the idea that a woman’s body should be categorized and given validation by the male gaze. Go ahead and miss me.
As a Christian woman in this society, I also know wherein it is that my beauty and my worth lies, and it is in the one who tells me that I am wonderfully and fearfully made, that I am set apart. Not, in you. Whether you have stretchmarks or not, are religious or not, or anything in-between, as women we should not have to feel like this is something we need to justify. Something we cannot even control. People also seem to be forgetting basic biology and the fact that stretch marks occur when skin is pulled by rapid growth or stretching. It can affect EVERYONE. Why don’t we ever put up pictures with a brother on the cover and ask ladies whether they care about the stretch marks around his arms, formed from the weights he’s been pulling in the gym?
On a woman’s body, stretch marks are not only a sign of growth and of our strength, they are also our bodies signs of the lives we may have brought forth into this world. And so I write in solidarity with every woman who stayed silent on seeing this post because she was made to feel inadequate by the male gaze and by those who have internalized it. I write in solidarity with my sisters who tagged me under this post and felt the need to justify why, or where it is, they may or may not have stretch marks – rather than embrace them like the fierce tigresses they are. So to all the people who thought it funny to belittle this woman’s body, I pity you. You are merely a product of a more insidious and systemic problem. Ladies, please, let us begin to know our worth.
P.S. This post also said #guysonly could comment. Smh, you should have seen the vitriol that followed my comment, #IgnoranceMustFallAsOfYesterday