Created by “two moms celebrating real women, real bodies and real self love,” Love Your Lines offers a space for women to embrace their stretch marks.
The anonymous moms behind the project explained to Mic that they “started the campaign on a whim, after a few discussions about our bodies after motherhood” and hope “to inspire women of all ages, sizes and cultural backgrounds.” Each of the beautiful black-and-white photos includes a caption telling the story of the person who submitted it, and they’ve come from women who got their stretch marks from puberty and illnesses, in addition to pregnancy.
While up to 80 percent of Americans have them, stretch marks, like so many other “imperfections,” are erased in magazines and ads, and the beauty industry sends the message that they’re flaws to be hidden. Many of the submissions describe struggling with feeling embarrassed of the marks but gradually coming to accept them as reminders of life lived, given, and fought for.
“They are part of me and my body’s history,” explained the woman in the photo above. “Like the white lines on an okapi, a creature with lines that travel along its back and front legs, it makes my body just all the more unique.”
“Whoever said stretch marks can’t be sexy was wrong.”
“It took me awhile to really love them, but they really added to my tattoo I think. Permanent just like my son, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
“Now I’m healthy and fit but these lines will forever be a reminder that I overcame those dark days.”
“Imperfections are what makes us perfect. Easily said, harder to fully embrace…true nonetheless.”
Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.