The most common thing people say to me is “You’re so lucky to be so skinny. I bet you’ll get your slim figure back really easily post-pregnancy and have nothing to worry about.”
I then spend the next minute explaining that that is not the case.
Yes, I do lose the baby weight pretty quick. But what people don’t realise is that I have really bad stretch marks on my tummy.
Not only do they not realise it (which I don’t exactly blame them for), they are completely unconvinced and often start debating with me as though I’m making up some fictitious tale. I once sat at a BBQ talking to a man who tried to explain to me that petite women like me just do not get stretch marks because it’s just ‘impossible’. Impossible? I wished!
I have always been extremely self-conscious about my stretch marks. The crop tops, bikinis or 2-piece bathers have since settled very comfortably into their discreet, hidden dark corner in the wardrobe. I admit I do often whinge about it to my husband. I always ask him if it looks terrible. Pretty pointless because regardless of his answer, I always come to my own conclusion anyway.
My husband’s way of comforting me is telling me that my belly is a canvas. And the babies have drawn beautifully all over the canvas. I always think it’s sweet of him to say, although I often mutter grumpily to myself that they really look more like unsightly scribbles on the wall that you’d want to rub off than beautiful drawings that you’d want to keep.
So the other day, I read this article about how Robyn Lawley calls her stretch marks “bad ass tiger stripes” that she’s earned.
It was like a light bulb moment for me. Sorry Husband, I know you’ve tried to frame the issue for me in a more positive light and comfort me for years but to actually hear that from a woman? That’s like a thousand light bulbs and fireworks going off in my head – in the best way. It was such an empowering moment for me.
And Robyn continues, “F**k them, who cares, be you, be loud, be proud.” “And to anyone who feels bad about your body especially after a baby, you are a warrior, you created a life inside of you, that’s no easy feat.”
That totally makes her my heroine.
I look in the mirror now and instead of an ugly, unsightly, wrinkled, expired prune (sorry for the mental image)… I see tiger stripes. Make that some bad ass tiger stripes. Bad ass stripes that I have earned. And given the difficult pregnancies I have endured, boy are these stripes hard earned.
Thank you, Robyn.
I’m gon’ wear those hard earned stripes proudly and never despise them!