January is the best. Everyone is ready for a fresh start; setting ambitious goals and committed to working harder than ever.
Among the most common resolutions, is the infamous goal of finally attaining "the perfect beach body”.
We all get caught up in it- imagining yourself looking like a barbie doll; perfectly tanned, smooth skin, thin legs, and toned muscles.
We get thinking that maybe this year, if we only work out a little harder, or drink more green smoothies, maybe THEN, we’ll finally get that dream body.
I first started getting stretch marks on my thighs when I was 11 years old. I didn’t even know what they were-I assumed it was some weird reaction that would go away in a few days!
But they didn't.
The little red stripes continued to itch and scatter, growing like little tree roots all across my upper thighs.
I prayed no one would notice-or that somehow, they’d go away.
That summer I was wearing shorts, sitting in a lawn chair with my knees up, resting my chin on my knees when my little brother (who was only around 4 years old at the time) noticed the red marks on backs of my thighs and concernedly asked, “Oh no!! Why do you have all those red marks on your legs??”
I remember literally looking in the mirror at those stretch marks and just crying. I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong that made me develop this "skin condition".
I smeared on scar cream, lotions, oils--whatever I could find that I thought maybe would reverse this damage.
Swimming and summer activities became riddled with anxiety that someone else might notice my stretch marks.
I avoided shorts. I kept my swimsuit cover up on a long as possible.
Laying on my stomach while at the pool was out of the question.
I even avoided having anyone walk behind me when I was in a swimsuit-I didn’t want to risk that someone might see my imperfections.
I thought I was the only girl with stretch marks.
It wasn’t until 6 years later- I was talking to some friends that I realized that stretch marks are COMPLETELY NORMAL. In fact, majority of my friends had some, too!
The sad thing about this story is not that I started getting stretch marks when I was young-the sad thing is, I thought I was alone.
I thought I was the only one with stretch marks. I cried over them. I thought there was something wrong with me because I had some little red lines on my thighs.
And today, with the addition of editing and filters and instagram only showing the best of the best bodies--there are far too many girls who feel they are alone-who feel they are the only ones who are not “perfect.”
It breaks my heart to think that there’s other 11 year old girls out there who are looking in the mirror, crying, because they think there’s something wrong with them for not being "perfect".
I don’t want to be part of the sham that hides what women’s bodies look like in real life.
Stretch marks are normal. Everyone has imperfections.
So this year -please- aim for your best body, not a perfect body.
The Geode Team