Deputy Editor Kat Smith discusses the new positive movement of accessorising stretch marks with glitter and how society is finally beginning to celebrate the natural imperfections of our bodies

Current Deputy Editor, confused philosophy student and pitta enthusiast
Images by Inkwiner/Wikimedia

Growing up, there was a notable absence of blemishes and marks shown in the girls on the glossy pages of my magazines. There was nothing to tell me that cellulite, acne or stretch marks were perfectly natural and completely okay of womanhood. Even from a young age I was lathering myself in shea butter, stressing I was putting on weight so rapidly my skin couldn’t keep up. It makes me sad to look back on it now.

This positive movement may not magically make us all love our bodies, but the trend of putting glitter on stretch marks, our lovingly nicknamed ‘tiger strips’, is a step in the right direction. Many of us go through dramatic growth spurts during puberty, meaning our skin stretches. Stretch marks are not reserved for the pregnant, almost everyone I know has them in some form. While our TV screens are inundated with skincare products that promise to reverse normal developments in human skin, embracing them instead is a big middle finger to those in the beauty industry who want to make us feel like our natural selves are not enough.

This is a happy reminder that bodies of all shapes and sizes grow and change

While there are many pictures of conventionally attractive bodies with the glitter art, this is a happy reminder that bodies of all shapes and sizes grow and change. The trend has reached people of all body shapes in a worldwide revolt of things we’ve been taught to hate. It’s a celebration of our bodies and how they have grown and developed.

Seeing so many people acknowledge and celebrate their stretch marks has made me feel more positive about my own, to the point I don’t remotely consider them flaws anymore. It’s crazy how the media can condition us to despise parts of ourselves that firstly, are universal, and secondly, are an inherent part of growing up.

So, I figure that even if it takes a few more decades to recover from the obsession with 26-inch waists, flat abs and curves in all the right places, glitter stretch marks offer some universal relief to those worrying about how something completely normal could ruin their perfect bikini body.

Spoiler alert: it really doesn’t.