Earlier this week, two moms launched the Love Your Lines Instagram account, to encourage women to post photos of their stretch marks to celebrate what their bodies actually look like.
The idea came from a conversation the friends were having about how their bodies had changed after childbirth. Approximately 80 percent of Americans have stretch marks, and rather than hide them, or try creams and potions to make them fade, Love Your Lines wants to celebrate the experiences that give our bodies character and strength.
As soon as they created the account, the images and followers came flooding in. In just 7 days there are more than 24,000 followers and counting.
Accompanying the photos, women are sharing stories of their relationships with their stretch marks and bodies. The message is clear…love your lines, love yourselves, with everything you are and everything you have.
“23 year old mother of a beautiful baby girl. I was extremely self-conscious about my body until this year. I was in an abusive relationship growing into my adult life and was constantly put down. I didn’t realize how beautiful I really was/am. When I had my daughter, my body was forgotten. Pre-pregnancy I was 135lbs. And I sky rocketed to 196lbs. Sadly kept that exact weight for a year and a half post baby. I started caring about myself again, and most importantly my health. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s and changed my life for the better. I was drawn to media to display what ‘fit’ looked like. I felt disgusting in a bikini because of my stretch marks. When in reality I am what is normal. It is beautiful that I created and held life inside of me. I still work on my fitness goals day to day but my stretch marks will always remain. Embrace your stripes!!”
“Sharing this picture is liberating to me because from puberty I did everything I could to hide what I now affectionately call ‘my interstate.’ A series of lanes going east to west and back, chronicling my 32yrs of journeys from athletics, to weight loss & gain, to childbearing. I love them now and embrace what they represent. I hope we can all do the same. I love my lines.”
“If you could name any place on my body, I have stretch marks there. I’m only 22, no kids, no nothing. I’ve had my stretch marks since I was 12 & I used to get teased throughout middle & high school. I used to be so self conscious. I wouldn’t buy shirts unless they had sleeves & covered my entire body. I even battled with bulimia for a few years because I wanted to be skinny & beautiful. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve accepted that my stretch marks aren’t going anywhere, so there’s no point in trying to hide them. I’m still beautiful & my boyfriend loves to run his fingers up & down my tiger stripes. I’m a warrior against this weight battle, but I will always come out on top & I will always be beautiful.”
“A mother of three who gained 50+ lbs with each pregnancy. I have successfully lost 55lbs. The weight is gone but the marks remain. This was my children’s first home, this is where my children grew before I could hold them. I try to see the beauty in that.”
“Two years ago I got mysteriously sick. My weight dropped from 123 lbs to 108. After I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease I was put on a steroid that made me gain 40 lbs in a month. My body gave me these lines on my hips, inner thighs and arms in return. I’m back to my normal weight of 123 and healthy but each day these lines remind me of being hospitalized at 108 lbs, so sick that I had to have nutrition pumped into me around the clock. I never feel more beautiful than after looking at them.”