13 Real Moms Who Love Their Stretch Marks

A new hashtag campaign on Instagram and Tumblr, started by moms, is calling on women everywhere to #loveyourlines by posting stretch marks pics in all their glory.

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The #loveyourlines Campaign

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The #loveyourlines Campaign

Chances are, since puberty, you've noticed lines—or stretch marks—on your body. Maybe they're on your breasts or your thighs, perhaps on your sides or somewhere else, but if you're a mom or pregnant, you know all too well just how intense stretch marks can be. Regardless of how much oil or cream you use, when it comes to stretch marks, there is no magical cure to prevent them.

But a new Instagram and Tumblr campaign—created by two moms—is encouraging women to not only accept and love their stretch marks, but to celebrate them. LoveYourLines posts beautiful black and white photos of women of all shapes, sizes and life stages sharing their stories of body acceptance. Many of the posts are from mothers who have earned those "maternal stripes" and are thankful for the body that was strong enough to carry and deliver a baby.

We can't help but feel a sense of pride and gratitude when we look at those photos. And ya know what? Next time we look in the mirror, maybe we won't see those stretch marks as unattractive... but as a badge of honor. Here are some of our favorite posts from moms, with the captions that went with them.

Blessing Lines

"Perhaps some day she will have the blessing of lines like these."

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'Happy I'm Not Alone'

loveyourlines/Instagram

'Happy I'm Not Alone'

"I suffered from body dysmorphia, anorexia and bulimia from the age of 12 on. My daughter was born when I was 21, I'm 33 now. I had always hated my body but once I realized I could truly never be perfect because of my stretch marks I sunk ever deeper into self loathing. I made awful choices about who I slept with and dated, believing that only someone irrevocably flawed could accept my flaws. I would always attempt to cover up or turn the lights out during sex because I couldn't stand the sight of myself.

"After leaving a truly abusive relationship I gave myself time to heal. I found a partner who loves me, all my parts, as is. He's supported me in becoming more comfortable with myself and his unwavering acceptance has helped me to accept my wrinkly stomach, I'm not sure if I'll ever love it but I'm so relieved to not to he hiding what I felt was a shameful secret for so long. This page inspired me to share, a huge step for me. I'm happy to know I'm not alone."

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Tiger Who Earned Her Stripes

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Tiger Who Earned Her Stripes

"24-year-old mum of an 2-year-old little girl. At first, I hated my lines! But now I have realized there's nothing I can do about them. I have learned to accept them. Now they are my #lovelines. Everyday when I look at my girl I love them more and more. Your body is not ruined, you're a goddamn tiger who earned her stripes."

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Wanting More

kaileebirdybird/Instagram

Wanting More

"Mother of one and wanting more."

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'Having My Son, I No Longer Care'

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'Having My Son, I No Longer Care'

"3 months postpartum, first baby. Scar I'm pointing to is from surgery I had for endometriosis so I had a better chance of getting pregnant. All through my pregnancy I hoped that I wouldn't get stretch marks and I didn't until the last month. I gave birth to a 9lbs 2oz baby. Having my son, I no longer care about them. I even joke that my endometriosis scar looks like Harry Potter's lightning bolt scar, since I got stretch marks on both ends of it."

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After Two Babies

lovemylines/Instagram

After Two Babies

"This is a picture my husband took after I had 2 babies."

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'Stretch Marks Always Have a Story'

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'Stretch Marks Always Have a Story'

"I love my stretch marks. This page inspired me to take pictures of my body and love it. These stretch marks always have a story behind it. We carried a baby for 9 months and gave birth! That's amazing. Love your lines, ladies!"

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'It Was Your Home'

loveyourlines/Instagram

'It Was Your Home'

"Dear child of mine,

It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it's ugly. That's OK. It was your home. It's where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it."

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'There is Beauty in my Lines'

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'There is Beauty in my Lines'

"I cry when I look at this picture because it brings so much emotion to me. I hate my body & the way it looks because of course I don't have that beach bod or that tight skin that doesn't have any mark on it. But Then I look at Emma and all I feel is my heart flutter with love. I realize because of those marks, those lines. I have the biggest blessing God has ever given me. Someone I wanted & loved from day one. She is the light of my eye. The reason my days feel complete. I love being a mom to my princess 24/7 & no matter how tired or sick I am, I will take care of you with a smile on my face. You make me whole.

"Today you turn 7 months, So may God bless you today, tomorrow & everyday after that. You are my life; you are my heart walking outside my body. I love you & thank you for helping me understand that there is beauty in my lines. Mommy loves you, Emma."

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A Heart Covered in Stretch Marks

tiffanyraina/Instagram

A Heart Covered in Stretch Marks

"When I first found out I was going to be a mother, I ran to the store and bought everything you could think of that's supposed to prevent stretch marks. I was consumed with fear that I would develop 'ugly' stretch marks. After a few months I was heartbroken when my first lines appeared, but I quickly learned that no matter what creams or lotions I rubbed on my belly, nothing was going to stop them. As my little miracle inside me grew, so did the lines. So I changed my mindset, and now I know stretch marks are a reminder of what your body is truly capable of. What I thought would signify ugly, actually signifies beauty and life. My lines tell a story. I earned these marks, and I will always wear them proudly. Because in the end, I want my heart to be covered in stretch marks."

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'I've Been Hiding These for Years'

loveyourlines/Instagram

'I've Been Hiding These for Years'

"I've been hiding these for eight years. I realize now I have nothing to be embarrassed of. My kids are the most amazing part of my life and I'm blessed to have been able to carry healthy babies to full term with this body."

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'I'm Starting to Love My Lines'

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'I'm Starting to Love My Lines'

"I've been hating my body ever since Mya was born. My stomach didn't go flat, like I imagined it would. My stretch marks didn't go away, like everyone told me they would. My pregnancy line hasn't fully gone away, like everyone said it would. I will never have the perfect body that I used to have and I'm starting to accept that. My body stretched and stretched until it could no more. I have such deep stretch marks that will never go away. Maybe they'll fade with time but they will always be there.

"I am starting to love my lines because it shows that I carried my beautiful baby girl for 9+ months in my belly. I'm lucky enough to be able to have this ability to do so. Not all women can have children and I am very blessed with that gift. Mya is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Everyone has their scars and stories to tell, so embrace and learn to love them too.

"Just incase you think this picture is disgusting or disturbing you should think before you say anything because my body created this beautiful little girl who's growing perfectly."

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'It Was So Damn Worth It'

'It Was So Damn Worth It'

"I'm 19 and I have a son who is 2-months-old. Could never be ashamed of my lines. Because to me, it would be like [being] ashamed of my child. When I look at him, I always think, 'Wow it was worth it; it was so damn worth it. A thousand times over.' I can show my belly [to] people and feel so damn proud and it feels good that I feel that way. I don't think I need to hide my lovely lines from anyone. I love them so much and so proud that I have them."

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