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When I was younger I used to think that the ideal body is a body that is in no way flawed and that this was the body everyone should have. I also used to think that when I grow up I would have that perfect, ideal and unflawed body. The reasoning behind these thoughts was my constant exposure to movies and ads with the idea that a normal body doesn't have flaws and every woman should look like that. However, all of this changed when I saw these thin white stripes on my mom's friend's arm and I learned they are called stretch marks. Since she was a curvy women, I thought that only curvy girls can have stretch marks.

In my 20's I started to notice stretch marks appearing on my body, especially after I lost a lot of weight. I got to know what these stretch marks meant and why they formed. I finally understood that these stretch marks can appear on any body, even thinner girls, especially because my weight was around 45 to 50 kg. However, my journey with stretch marks didn't stop there, I had to go through experiencing the reactions and opinions of those around me regarding my stretch marks.

My mom was the first person to criticize my stretch marks and continued to do so whenever she saw them become clear. I became embarrassed of looking at my own body. Every time, she would tell me that this is not normal for a young girl and that was not what her body looked like at my age. I understood that her comments were coming from the place of a mother who wants her daughter to be absolutely perfect and completely flawless.

For 7 years I kept getting comments, from friends and family, about my stretch marks. I started to teach myself how to respond to these comments. However, this wasn't enough to make me feel better about it, It was only a form of self-defense. I needed to learn to love myself as I am, I needed to gain self confidence and to believe that I am beautiful even If I have these marks on body, they don't make me ugly. 


Image Credits: Instagram @jastookes

I've been following Victoria's Secret model Jasmine Tookes and I noticed that she has stretch marks. It was the first time I'd seen them on her from all the pictures she posts on Instagram. After looking at her other posts and scrolling through the comments, I couldn't find any negative comments or criticism about her stretch marks. On the contrary, there was an outpour of positive comments and compliments about her beauty, despite her stretch marks being visible. 


Image Credits: Getty Images

Jasmine Tookes is one of the most popular models in the industry and is especially known for being a Victoria's Secret model. During the photoshoot for the famous Victoria's Secret Fantasy Bra, Jasmine appeared in the photos with no retouching or editing, her stretch marks completely visible. This was quite uncommon for the industry, I did not remember ever seeing models with stretch marks as a kid. This was something that made Jasmine stand out from others; her confidence and embracing her stretch marks made people admire her and look up to her. 

It was that moment that I realized that I no longer need to convince myself, my mom, friends or family that stretch marks are natural and okay to have. It's on me to accept my body and embrace my own beauty and understand that the beauty standards that I've been taught are untrue. In the end, there is no such thing as an ideal body. A woman's beauty and attractiveness lies is her intelligence, kindness and creativity more than anything else. 

Each mark on my body represents a story about a chapter in my life. Now, everytime I look at myself in the mirror I see my beauty and that I'm in no need to change anything about myself. I  now accept my stretch marks and am not going to look for anymore beauty remedies or laser treatments to get rid of them. 

Main Image Credits: Instagram @jastookes