The journey of self-love has never been an easy one. It doesn’t necessarily require consistency, just truth and dedication. It requires a want from within. For years, I loved my body, but I hated the things that came with it. These are things most people tend to overlook, but I was forced to face them every day for years and I truly hated them. In my young mind stretchmarks were a sign of evil, a thing only for women who had babies. So why did I have them? Why did I have these disgusting lines that bring attention to them when I wear something short? At some point I remember praying to God that these weird-looking demonic lines should leave my body and applied healing ointment on all the places I had stretchmarks. It sounds funny now, but I was genuinely terrified.
You’re probably wondering if I hated my stretchmarks immediately I saw them. I didn’t. I got them when I was around 11 years old and I remember I used to visit my grannies a lot, and when my aunties saw them they would say “did you know that stretchmarks mean that you’re going to be fat”, “do you know you can remove those by putting on this thing called bio oil.” And “you have to put this oil every single day until they are gone”. I did that until I turned 17. When I turned 14 I stopped wearing shorts, short skirts and any dress above my knees out of pure embarrassment. My mom would always show me the cutest things, and I would always refuse to buy them because I didn’t want anyone to see or question my stretchmarks. She would always try to let me know that I am beautiful and she has them too so its fine. She tried her best with all my insecurities, and I’m grateful for my mother, but we all know that people can literally tell you anything positive about you, and the only time those things will matter is when you feel it too. During my time In high school, with time I saw more people with stretchmarks like me, if not more. I have never been more amazed honestly. One girl told me that they were Her tiger stripes, and that’s where my self love journey started. I loved how she took ownership of them, as I’d never met anyone who had associated them with something as pretty as a tiger. From then on, I started loving my stretchmarks, and complimenting them and showing them more. I’m proud of them honestly.
I started using my Instagram as a body confidence page because I realised that I could help people love themselves regardless of how they looked after I made a video of the insecurities I used to have. Sometimes I feel like I have made the most useless video, then a wonderful soul tells me how that video touched them and I just haven’t stopped. It’s not an easy journey because sometimes I forget the real purpose I even started and start focusing on the negative like why I’m not getting engagement, but that’s just part of the process. Other times I feel like I’m putting too much of myself out there and will regret it in the future, but it’s something I truly enjoy doing. I feel like an idiot sometimes when I show my body in its most natural state, then I appreciate myself again for just having the guts to not always show the perfect side of life because that’s not what real life is.
I post about self-love and body confidence because I know there are a lot of young girls like me who didn’t have the older sister growing up to let them know that they are normal. I know there are a lot of young people out there who don’t know what a normal body even looks like because the internet only shows what it wants us to see. If I can help someone out there with even one part of their body, I’d be the happiest person ever.