I can almost remember the exact moment as a young teenager when I spotted my first stretch mark. I wasn’t sure what it was, and it didn’t actually bother me much until I was much older and realized this small white line was called a stretch mark.
For some reason, stretch marks have this stigma attached to them that they’re something to be ashamed of. We’re told from the media, pop culture, and those around us that these are imperfections. They’re not pretty, they shouldn’t be there, and that leaves many of us doing our best to avoid them.
All of this seems to become even more important and worrisome when we’re pregnant. People literally ask pregnant women if they’ve got any stretch marks yet, like ew, I hope you don’t. They give unsolicited advice over how to avoid getting them. We rub cream on our bellies, take vitamins to try and make our skin resilient, and then we’re majorly bummed out when that doesn’t work.
According to SELF, stretch marks are actually very common and it doesn’t seem to matter whether someone has had a child or not – they show up because of several factors. Stretch marks look different for some people and you might have noticed some are more silvery white while others are red and angry looking.