Many moms have a love-hate relationship with their bodies. Yes, it's incredibly amazing that you're able to grow one or more human beings inside yourself. When you think about that, you're completely in awe.
But then there are those other moments, like when you find yourself beneath the unflattering glare of the fluorescent lights of just about every fitting room, and suddenly you're cringing. (I've often joked that I'd rather see a rattlesnake in a dressing room than catch a glimpse of my own sagging behind!)
It's hard not to focus on every flaw, especially when society foists perfection (albeit sometimes the Photoshopped variety) in our faces constantly. And, let's face it, after having one or more children, it's probably unrealistic to think our bodies, especially our skin, haven't undergone some serious changes.
A new Instagram campaign, Love Your Lines, aims to change those negative feelings and empower women to love the skin they're in.
More from The Stir: 'Teen Mom' Leah Messer-Calvert Flaunts Her Post-Baby Stretch Marks (PHOTO)
Started by two moms, who are choosing to remain anonymous but agree it's time to celebrate rather than denigrate our bodies, the account has garnered close to 10,000 followers since the first photo posted on August 12.
As one contributor points out, "I know stretch marks do not discriminate when it comes to weight or size. I love my lines, I flaunt them at the beach or pool side with friends.”
Choosing to view those little lines as a road map of the journey your body has taken, as souvenirs from giving life to your babies, or even as battle scars from bouts, won and lost, with your weight, makes them -- and us -- seem more powerful and, subsequently, more beautiful.
When we usually talk about stretch marks, the focus is on how to prevent them or how to get of them. It's refreshing to change the conversation and make it a positive one.
Sure, I'll never look like I did at 22 again, but I have so much more in my life to celebrate than I did then. And I wouldn't trade any of it for flawless skin.
Women wishing to share their "love lines" can email photos to the following address: email@example.com.
Do you see your stretch marks as badges of honor or something to hide?
Images ©iStock.com/CollinsChin; via Instagram/loveyourlines