Our cultura Latina and society have conditioned us to strive for unrealistic beauty standards. You know — the hourglass figure, or how my family used to say: cuerpo de botella de Coca-Cola. Just be sure it is not the 2-liter bottle.
So, as we age and try to adapt to the many stages of our lives as a Latina, a woman in the United States, and of this new society, change becomes inevitable. It takes place in learning how to be a partner and a parent. It also comes from learning how to love yourself, truly and fully – including those stretch marks we tend to want to hide.
Motherhood has changed my life in so many ways, and I’m reminded of the wonders of it every time I look at my body. My body managed to become a special canvas for the marks of life, and each line and twist has a story.
I know we don’t usually want to speak about our stretch marks (especially since many of us are obsessed with how to “erase” them), but what if, instead of undergoing costly procedures, we learn to embrace them? At least, that’s what I’m doing.
All you need to do is celebrate the stories behind your stretch marks. Here’s how you can do that too.
Stretch marks, like all human beings, come in all shapes and sizes. Some marks are so fine that you can’t tell they are there unless you look closely, while others look like they were carved into you. But they formed on your body as reminders of your life and the many twists it can take.
So, take your hand and find all your stretch marks and try to remember when those areas were free of marks and what has changed since then. Regardless of what has gone down in your life, those marks have allowed your body to transform itself to fit into whatever you needed at that moment. If anything, it’s a sign of bravery, and you should take pride in that.
Comadre, stop hiding them. Go out and flaunt your stretch marks; they reveal the beauty that is your body. Allow people to see how they wrap tightly around you as if they were embracing you. Don’t cover them with makeup or any extra clothing – just let them be. The more you do this, the more you’ll realize how much power you and your body have.
Once you recognize the power your body has, whether others think it’s perfect or not, your life will change. Not only that, you will become a source of inspiration for other women, which should be a motivator from the get-go.
Long gone are the days when we allow our friends to beat themselves over whatever they believe are flaws. Show them that imperfections are defined by a society that will perpetually be imperfect, which means that our bodies epitomize strength. And if stretch marks are present, then even better.
At the end of the day, stretch marks help us retell our life’s stories. They are our memories, our roadmaps, and, ultimately, us.