#LoveYourLines inspires self-love
Women share the stories behind their stretch marks and other ‘imperfections’ on Instagram
The better our phone cameras get, the harder we have to work to hide the things about ourselves that we don’t like. But each seeming imperfection has a story to tell and hearing it might ease the anxiety of someone else who is living with a similar scar. Love Your Lines is an Instagram account run by Alex Elle and Erika Layne that hosts starkly shot photographs of women dropping the veil on the marks that make them self-conscious. Accompanying these are simply told but affecting accounts of how they acquired this ‘line’ and how it changed them.
Stretch marks, surgery scars and even self-inflicted injuries are documented here. There are many babies nestled close to the soft bellies that once housed them because motherhood is, of course, the great seismic event that marks the body forever. But there are also accounts from women without children, some of whom talk about what it’s like to have a mark without a baby ‘to show for it’. Spend a few minutes scrolling through the posts and it might change the way you see your own war wounds.
Flip through to read stories from #LoveYourLines
The above photograph of Sports Illustrated model Robyn Lawley didn’t use the hashtag, but it supported the message in spirit. Read more here.
“I'm a 22 year old woman. I have never been pregnant. I have lines on my hips and breasts. They appeared after I started with the birth control pill and my boobs started to grow like crazy. I have recently lost more than 10 kg and my breasts have started to sag a bit and the lines are becoming more clear now. But I have learned to accept them and they do not make me less beautiful than I am. I am proud of my boobs and my body served me well so far. I've put it through a lot and these lines make me ME.”
“I was an athlete growing up so I always had a very athletic body. Nothing prepared me for this. Everyone and everything I read told me my body would bounce back after the baby. For the most part it did. My second pregnancy was a different story. I had extra amniotic fluid and my belly was pretty large. My stomach will never look the way it did unless I choose the plastic surgery route. I considered it after my divorce. I felt my ex husband was turned off by the changes my body had undergone to carry his 2 children. When I met my current husband I was afraid this would turn him off and he wouldn't want to continue a relationship with me. Of course, he proved me wrong. He loves me for me and that is the best feeling in the world. I have learned to love and accept my body with his help. The way he cherishes me for who I am is the most divine thing in the world. My body was not my own in those days. The miracle that I grew a human, delivered, and help them grow everyday is empowering! And that's what it's all about. I didn't lose myself when I became a mother. I found myself.”
“I'm a bit scared to send this.The photo below is not a photo of the lines you usually post about but they're the lines that have affected my life. It's pretty graphic and triggering so i understand if it doesn't get posted but I thought I'd send it in anyways because your page has shown me to accept my lines. I went through and continue to battle with self love but I know I am not alone. I know that we all strive to be able to love ourselves and I am continuing to aim for that. I don't condone self harm at all but I don't hate my lines anymore. They've shown me how much stronger I am than that now and theyve built me to be a better person. Yes they're still embarrassing and I sometimes feel awkward when people ask about them , but thanks to you ladies and to the other ladies who are so brave with posting their photos , I don't have to feel ashamed about what is now part of my own body and skin.”
“Just wanted to post an unfiltered very raw picture. I would hate for someone to come on my page and assume I'm perfect based of previous pictures I posted. I have tons of marks from my pregnancy that u only see in specific lighting like this. I just wanted to encourage ppl to love themselves with whatever they're facing physically. Don't let anybody tell you shit, cause I've been told I shouldn't show my tummy but I really just bought some two piece bathing suits and I will continue to wear them.”
submission from @blackmonalisaa
“I remember getting my first stretch marks on my hips in 7th grade and becoming insecure bc no one that I knew, had them. Even changing in the locker room I would change my shorts super quick bc I felt they'd be noticed when realistically no one was even paying attention to me. Not even my mom who had 2 kids had stretch marks so it was something I just suppressed and at that time "knew" it made me less than. My weight's always fluctuated throughout my life so I'm pretty sure that's how they came about. I started modeling at about 19 which I thought was impossible bc of my lines. Now I'm 23 and within the last few years I've finally accepted my stretchies aren't going anywhere, but still get that good old familiar feeling of self-consciousness from time to time. They now cover my butt, hips, and are continuing to spread down my outer thighs. Since most of my modeling photos I post are photoshopped, I do feel the need to share some realness considering there are young girls out there that think girls who model don't have "flaws." I'm thankful for my lines these days bc honestly, I feel they humble me and keep me grounded in a sense. Plus they allow me to relate to my fellow women especially who feel the need to be perfect always in this superficial society. We are how we're supposed to be in this life.”
submission from @santinihoudini