Hello stretch marks, goodbye, bikini?

We asked our Facebook friends about stretch marks. From the responses we received, many aren’t comfortable wearing a two-piece bikini after having a baby, but some are confident and proud of their “baby stripes”.

It’s quite tragic, actually: That a woman’s body is celebrated before, and even during, pregnancy, but then afterwards she may feel ashamed of the way she looks. In part, the media is to blame, with countless tabloid pieces on “getting your post-baby body back” and “X movie star lets herself go after the birth of her baby”.

As a man, I have little to add to the conversation as I haven’t had the personal experience of a baby-changed body, but my own opinion is that a body being able to carry a baby is something to be honoured and respected, and that if a man is declaring that stretch marks are in some way disfiguring, he doesn’t understand the impact that this may have on a woman’s self-esteem.

I was impressed that so many women are proud of their post-baby bodies, and that they’re willing to accept the changes as part of what makes them special.

Take a look at some of the (unedited) responses to see what some women think of stretch marks:

We asked: Do stretch marks mean the end of wearing a two-piece bikini for you?

The bad and the “ugly”

“Yes if they really horrible esp across the tummy area” Nicole

“yes dy r so embarasin”  She Zee

“Definitely can't be seen with a jello tummy!” Leanne

“Lol, yes! U cant show dem off if dey too bad. Hide dem plzzzz we dnt wana see those in a mini skirt or bikini!” Nonie

“Gave birth,still got them n they luk horrible :(heeeelp” Ongezwa

Hell, no, my post-baby body is awesome!

“Nope Don't care, I earned my stripes” Chantelle

“Hell to the no!!! I wear my two-piece with confidence” Kuselwa

“After 3 kids and almost hitting the forties and a few stretch marks I wear my bikini in style. Zumba rocks!” Valarie

“Not at all! I had stretch marks before I had my son so it doesn't bother me in the slightest” Bronwen

Perhaps being confident is related to how confident you were with your pre-baby body rather than how it has changed since carrying your child.

Have stretch marks altered your opinion about your own body (or, if you are a man, your partner’s body)?

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