Here’s something you don’t see very often in our Photoshopped, airburshed and Dermablended world: stretch marks. And not just a couple discreetly tucked away on a hip or breast. Oh no, these are full-on I’ve birthed a baby and no amount of Mederma will ever fix them stretch marks.
A woman named Deelishis from, unsurprisingly, some reality show showcased her baby mama marks with pride at a private bowling party in Miami. (Side note: what in tarnation is a “private bowling party”? I thought it had to be celebrity code from something less Community Night at Larry’s Lanes and more Studio 54 with ugly shoes but all the celebs actually brought bowling balls. So, huh.) It was some semblance of a red carpet event as there was, well, a carpet involved and so Ms. D’s fashion accessory of choice is being questioned.
The Ultimate Fashion Blunder?
Every woman has them. The lucky girls have only a few courtesy of puberty and are not really noticeable. The rest of us, especially the mothers among us, look more like Deelishis. My five-year-old actually called me “the tiger lady” upon seeing mine. It would have been funnier had it not been him that caused the claw marks. So I’ll be the first to say that they’re not the most attractive feature. And yet for those of us unwilling or unable to have a tummy tuck does that mean we should be banished to muumuus for the rest of our days? What’s next, Burqas for acne scars?
The Shape of a Mother, a website dedicated to showing the reality — both beautiful and not — of stretch marks, saggy boobs, and all other accouterments of motherhood, agrees. The site owner got the idea after seeing a woman at a restaurant carrying a baby.
“As she lifted it up to fit between the tables, her shirt raised and I saw that, although she was at a healthy weight and her body was fit, she had that same extra skin hanging around her belly that I do. It occurred to me that a post-pregnancy body is one of this society’s greatest secrets; all we see of the female body is that which is airbrushed and perfect, and if we look any different, we hide it from the light of day in fear of being seen.”
With the current celebrity baby boom in full swing (hi Jennifer Garner!), I predict we’ll be seeing more glimpses of these silvery scars in the future. Seriously, I know Angelina Jolie is SuperMom but nobody has twins without stretching like a human slinky. Whether they choose to embrace them (coordinate with metallic heels?) or hide them under layers of makeup (it was rumored that Pamela Andersen had a personal make-up artist on Baywatch solely dedicated to painting in her stretch marks between takes) and fabric remains to be seen. Can we accept our celebrities mamas blemished? Can we accept ourselves scarred?
I was chatting with a friend at the gym the other day when she mentioned her satisfaction at seeing a svelte mommy’s top slide up during step class to reveal not a taut-n-toned tummy but rather a handful of sagging, slashed skin and a bellybutton that looked as if it had been attacked with an apple corer. “That’s why I’m saving up for surgery,” my friend whispered conspiratorially. Now, I’m not necessarily opposed to surgery – heaven knows if it were free I’d fluff my girls back up and make them face forward and pay attention like nature intended – but it seems to me more prudent to be accepting of a condition that so many of us have. Perhaps instead of changing our bodies to fit the fashion, we change the fashion to suit our bodies? 50 years of feminism and that concept is still considered too radical.
So, what do you do with your stretchmarks? Do you wear them loud & proud in a hot pink bikini? Do you tuck them discreetly into a one piece and sarong, taking care to fold the extra skin just so? Or were you one of the few to escape childbirth & puberty with all of your collagen still intact?