neither is my cellulite. neither are my tummy rolls. neither is the absolute PLANET of a pimple on my chin.
sunsets are pretty. ocean waves are pretty. my stretch marks? not pretty.
and you know what? that is a-okay.
i totally understand the good intentions behind beautifying and normalizing the bodily imperfections that so many of us have, but so few of us like to admit. i think that power phrases like "i earned these tiger stripes" when referring to stretch marks and the pregnancy that brought them on can be empowering and comforting for women who are having a hard time accepting their postpartum body. i think that ANY thought, action, or intention that moves towards self love and acceptance is a good one. but... why does it ALWAYS have to come back to beauty and appearance for women?
why is going to the grocery store sans-makeup considered "brave"? why do we say "ugh so sorry i look SO gross today, didn't have time to get ready" when we run into a friend? why do we have to give positive appearance-related adjectives to parts of our body to make ourselves feel happier or more confident? why can't stretch marks just be... stretch marks? not beautiful. not ugly. and NOT defining.
i don't think that showing your bare face should be considered an act of bravery. your presence should always be accepted and wanted, whether you have on poppin' highlighter or not. you have more to offer to the world than your face or your body. you don't need to be told that your "flaws" are beautiful. you are SMART and BRAVE and KIND and DRIVEN and FUNNY and UNIQUE and THOUGHTFUL and WONDERFUL. beautiful WHO?!
my stretch marks aren't pretty and neither are yours. they don't need to be. you are MORE than a face or a body to be evaluated on some sort of cruel and unattainable scale of attractiveness. the mark that you will leave on other people's lives matters, and the ones on your stomach, arms, or thighs do not.