Wednesday, January 6, 2016

HOW I LET GO OF MY INSECURITIES AND EMBRACED MY STRETCH MARKS

Some of us have them in one area of our body, while others have them all over. Regardless of where those pesky red, pink, black, brown, or sometimes white lines appear, the general consensus is that all of us women hate them.

I’m talking about stretch marks. Which I unaffectionately referred to as “those.”

I was in seventh grade when “those” appeared on my calves; it was as if they came out of nowhere. One day nothing, and the next, a mess. I didn’t know what to do or how to get rid of them. I just knew those stretch marks were ugly, horrible, and made me stand out. The thought of those lines on my calves made me feel marked and altered like I’d done something wrong to my body. I couldn’t understand why I got them when most of the other girls in my seventh grade class didn’t have any…that I knew of. The only thing I did know was that I didn’t want to get made fun of for being different.
And the fact that I was at the age when girls were starting to shave their legs (my mom wouldn’t let me), I knew I couldn’t let anyone at my school see my hairy, stretch mark tarnished legs. So I chose to wear pants every day. It was the only way to keep myself out of the line of fire while at school.
Love Your Lines 11
Photo Credit: #LoveYourLines, Instagram
From seventh grade on, I never wore shorts– only in the privacy of my own home. Even when I got to high school and was issued shorts for P.E., I still didn’t put them on. Thankfully, we had the option to wear sweat pants instead of our gym shorts. If not, I’m sure I would have ditched P.E. as often as possible.
I continued to keep my legs and “those” covered well into high school. While other girls would wear shorts without thinking twice about it, I was secretly wishing I could do the same. This would lead to internal battles with myself about whether or not I could handle the ridicule that would come at exposing myself. But I never allowed myself to give in. “Pants for life” was my motto.

Growing up in Southern California, with excellent-sometimes hot weather, the one thing I was trying to avoid happened. While I was trying to avoid being an outcast and teased for having “those,” I was being talked about for always being covered up–even on hot days. In eleventh grade, I remember hearing an acquaintance say, “Tamika always dresses like it’s winter.” I thought to myself, if their commenting about me always wearing pants, their sure to comment on my stretch marks.”


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