Bye-Bye Stretch Marks?
The constant struggle to find a solution, or make peace with my body.
It’s about time to admit it: I have stretch marks on my legs, and they suck big time! I wasn’t bothered by them until high school, when most girls start to become self-conscious and seek approval from everyone else, especially boys. What’s worse was that while other women with stretch marks still went out in public in short shorts and sexy skirts, I couldn’t.
I’ve had my stretch marks since puberty. While science says they were caused by the tearing of the dermis, I used to believe my grandma’s idea that they happen when a female steps on a thread during her first menstruation. Ridiculous, I know. What’s true, however, is that I used to do a lot of stretching when I was a teen. So if I believe in science, my marks could be the result of the severe pulling force on my skin way beyond its elasticity.
During summer outings, I secretly become anxious at the thought of wearing swimsuits. My friends would console me by saying it doesn’t really matter. Of course it doesn’t matter – for them – because they’re my friends. But in my mind, it mattered very much – to other people. It was during those times that I’d try to think ways to remove my stretch marks so I could finally stop being so self-conscious.
My first plan was to have tattoos on my legs, right at the back of my knees where the ugly stretch marks are lurking. I could put some tattooed roses in there with the word “rebel fleur”, ala Rihanna. Or I could ask the artist to just trace the stretch marks in black ink. Maybe it’ll be cool and original, especially when I’m bikini-clad on the beach, but my fear of needles hindered me from pursuing this “ingenious” plan.
I’ve scoured the world, via the Internet, looking for creams to cure my “embarrassing stretch marks”. Sadly, none of them have actually removed them. Minimizers? I don’t know if some of the creams have really minimized the stretch marks or I just imagined them fading away because I’m so desperately hopeful of a positive result. All I know is that they’re not gone and are still coarsely visible.
Then I discovered that laser treatments can help treat stretch marks. Fractional laser therapy is quite an expensive procedure but is said to produce good results for white stretch marks like mine. Laser therapy will create a number of vertical injuries to the patient’s skin (the diameter of a hair shaft) with non-treated, uninjured skin in between the treated areas to help heal the wound and replace the area with new skin.
Shall I undergo laser treatment for my stretch marks? I may or may not consider it someday. But right now, I’ll just keep my options open. Yes, they bother me, but I don’t see them as a life-or-death situation. Besides, I’m certainly not a beauty queen or a model, so I don’t need flawless legs. I’m just a normal woman with stretch marks on my knees that the media deems “shameful” to have. And as long as commercial advertising says it’s “shameful” to have stretch marks, many women like myself will be too self-conscious to show them.
The good news is that many celebrities have now stepped forward and talked about their cellulite and stretch marks, among other body image issues. One day, I might be influenced by their resilience and will finally come to accept my flaws as part of simply being human.