Dear Stretch Marks

If I were a map, you’d be my rivers. Like the Nile, you undulate and you surge. And you. are. everywhere. You run through my inner thighs, you contour my hips, you uphold my arms, you outline my have claimed territory where you were once not welcome. I have tried to hide you many times: I never sit Indian Style. I always wear a bra. I will place my hands here, or here, in this area, as though unintentionally, when I have every intention of concealing you.

I am completely submerged by your currents.

I’m sorry I carry you with such shame. You have given me stripes to combat the wild. You have etched your way onto my skin to remind me that I am growing, that I am strong, that I am living. That I am a woman. My curves emerged and you made room for them. You breathed with them. You swelled with them. You cracked my skin to remind me that I am fragile. That I can break.

You remind me not to take myself for granted. You remind me that I exist. You remind me that we can bend this way and that, but that each twist leaves its mark. You have stamped your way through time. You have forged yourself on my body, leaving behind a path where, with the tip of my finger, I can find myself back to me when I am lost.

Your rivers ground me. Your rivers are part of me. You are erased and blurred out of magazines, but I promise to wear you like a badge from now on. It says “Look, here, I’m alive, aren’t you glad?”

If you would like to write your own love letter to a body part or an attribute that doesn't get much love from you, get in touch - I'd love to feature guest posts on Conflicted Beauty for this particular segment.