A close mommy friend of mine saw me wearing this bikini and said to me “Wow! I didn’t realize how much stretch marks you have.” The old me would’ve taken that comment, allowed it to affect my self-esteem, making me feel ashamed of my body even more without saying a word. But for the first time, I replied, “I kind of like it now. Plus, it tells a stranger immediately that I’m a mother and I think that’s pretty cool.” I was surprise by my answer and with each word that came out of my mouth I felt my insecurities get smaller and smaller. She then said, “I thought mine was bad and was always self-conscious, but seeing you showing yours makes me feel like I can too.” It made me smile and I said, “Why not? You’re a beautiful woman even with scars.”
The conversation made me think - how many of us are always self-doubting, self-hating, and self-shaming our own bodies? How many times have you wanted to wear that sexy dress or a bikini but never did because you felt too insecure and afraid people might judge? I know I am super guilty of this, feeling unworthy. Even worse, telling myself I wasn’t allowed to wear something BECAUSE I was a mom now. I’ve let myself be consumed by these negative thoughts and have it define who I am, and that NEEDS TO STOP.
Embracing my postpartum body has been a long time coming. I am proud of what my body went through to bring life into this world. These tiger stripes are a reminder of that and so much more. Practicing self-love daily has been a huge game changer for me. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have days when I wake up and all I see is that belly covered in stretch marks, feeling insecure all over again and playing into the self-hating mind game. So this is me, slowly tearing down those walls I’ve built up to cover all my scars, open and publicly, taking the steps forward to self love & care.
-Aimi L., @earthsignmama