A few months ago when I was prepping for my summer vacation, I thought to myself, well at least they make sexy one-piece bathing suits now, since I'm going to have to wear one for the rest of my life.
During the last two weeks of my pregnancy -- all which occurred after my due date -- I went from having two small stretch marks on my hips to a belly covered in purple stripes. It seemed my baby went from six pounds to nine overnight, and my skin couldn't handle it.
It was very hard for me, to say the least.
But then I thought to myself, what if I lived in a world where stretch marks were sexy?
I would wear a bikini with pride. I wouldn't be embarrassed when my shirt rode up. I wouldn't be so shy changing in the gym locker room. People would stare in awe at my amazing belly art, my tiger stripes, my badge of honor for bringing a life into this world.
It's easy to see beauty norms as fact:
- Smokey eyes are in and teal eyeshadow is out.
But norms change. Having a tan used to be a sign of being lower class. Side ponytails used to be the coolest of the cool. Heavy women were desirable for centuries, as extra weight was a sign of affluence. In a world where bell bottoms and Birkenstocks are making a comeback (what?!), there is no reason why stretch marks can't be seen as a sign of strength, growth and sexiness.
In my online program, Live More Weigh Less, I spend a lot of time teaching women how to challenge the beauty norms and to stop letting these "rules" hold them back from fully living. When we are hiding and playing small we are much more likely to eat in order to soothe our unhappiness, and when we can step out and be fully expressed, we no longer need food for that jolt of happiness.
Beauty is not fixed. We make the rules, and we can change them. Today, I'm posting my belly on the Internet for everyone to see. Some may see it as a big statement, but I see it like I'm posting a picture of a new tattoo. I'm proud of the art that's on my body and what it stands for.
I invite you to do the same on Instagram and Facebook. Let's see those super sexy stripes.