Yesterday a "Facebook Trending" piece caught my eye. A model (who I'd never heard of, most likely because these things don't generally interest me) had shared photos of her post-baby stretch-marks. I opened a link and stared blankly at the photo before me. I couldn't see a single stretch-mark. So I opened another link, and there they were. They were subtle, but there were the stretch-marks that had gently crept along her skin as she grew a tiny human in her womb.
So, why am I taking issue with this? Well, my issue isn't with the model sharing the photos, but rather with the online magazines who insisted on photoshopping them until the already barely visible stretch-marks were no longer anywhere to be found. Then there's the fact that several magazines labeled these subtle lines as "imperfections".
I sat there and thought "wow, if that makes her imperfect when they're a result of pregnancy, the roadmaps that grace my body must make me a total mess". Here's the thing; it doesn't make me a mess, and that model is no more or less perfect because of her stretch-marks. She grew a life, I fought depression.
I have pale lines branching away from each other all over my body. My legs look like someone has painted them, my hips look like the skin is about to rip, and even my boobs have their own personal zig-zags running from my shoulders to my ribs.
These lines are a sign of times past. They're the lasting damage done by significant weight fluctuations over a 6 year period of depression. They are a part of me, and they're not a source of shame any more. They're completely natural, and I have no reason to hide them.
Neither do you. Rock your body, because it is yours, and nobody has the right to tell you otherwise. Whatever "perfection" is, I reckon it's unattainable, because let's face it, the tabloids can always find something to slate when photos emerge of someone's body, be it following depression, childbirth, or even without any significant life changes. It's their way of selling magazines. They think it comforts us to know that celebs have celulite, or stretch-marks, or a troublesome lower belly that doesn't want to go away. It gives them the upper hand, and it's what funds beauty companies selling miracle creams that promise to erase everything that makes you human.
To hell with them, because you and me? We're perfect just the way we are.