After being the smallest kid in my class I had started to catch up as far as growth goes and had hit a mythical growth spurt.
At that age, every woman I had ever seen naked in person had stretch marks. My very thin Mom, some other family members etc.
At that age I still understood that movies and magazines were pretend and not real life.
So let's start there.
Images in the media, are just that. Images. They are imaginary and have no actual bearing on real life.
As I have said, when it comes to Fashion Reality it has little to do with Real World Reality.
This is why you'll not hear me complain or really give a damn about how "smooth" plus size models are.
Yes, they are plus size but the operative word here is model.
By nature models represent the "Ideal" and very rarely the reality. All visual media assumes that people can only or want only to see perfect idealized images. No hairs out of place, no cellulite, no stretchmarks, no freckles etc.
Most images we take in via TV/magazines have been so retouched they often don't even resemble the real people they are photos of.
That is a fact.
You must take that in.
Now as a young adult I took it personally that I did not have the smooth even brown skin of every (as few as there were) Black woman I saw pictures of in magazines. I thought that I was deformed (yes literally) by my stretch marks, scars, birthmarks and freckles.
By the age of 16 I had already started spending money on fade creams and doing everything I could think of to battle the continued striation of my skin.
I drank that fucking Koolaid.
The biggest shame of it all was that at that age, I was into Black magazines. Ebony, various hair magazines etc and they were the worst liars about how a Black woman's skin "should" look.
I wanted lighter skin, I wanted it to be smoother and perfect.
Through my mid-20's I started seeing a lot of people naked.
Here's the cold facts about what I started to realize.
Skin is multi colored.
Brown skin especially. There are light spots, variations in natural skin color, spots that get darker, moles, pock marks, pores hair.
Remember this was pre internet for me so I was seeing lovers up close, friends and I realized that everything I believed about my skin was a fucking lie.
I remember there was an up coming porn starlet I met through some friends because I thought she was so super crazy hot. In photos she had the smoothest skin ever.
When we met and subsequently got naked in her hotel room, revelation. She had pimples, there were chicken pox scars on her ass.
That weekend was a series of revelations. She was really into my big tits, I mean really into them and I had one of those half cup bras that I insisted on keeping on because I didn't want her to see the scars from my breast reduction.
At one point we were king of wrestling over the bra and she was just like, for fuck sake take that shit off right now.
I took it off and when she didn't say anything about the scars I showed them to her and with her face between my tits I remember clear as day she looked up at me, and said I don't give a fuck and shut the fuck up.
Here's the thing folks.
99% of my "flaws' and things I am supposed to be fixing or worried about or that supposedly EVERYONE will notice, are things that only I notice.
Also I will tell you that one of the things that I am forever honestly self conscious about/really focused on is my skin. I notice every change, every dot, dark mark new stretch mark etc.
Honestly, I have never had a lover mention any of it or be overly concerned about it enough to make it a big deal.
Just so we all understand a few more facts.
Stretch marks are going to happen if your body ever changes which bodies do.
Stretch marks happen when your skin loses elasticity for any reason. Some of the reasons it can happen:
- Weight Gain
- Weight Loss
- Very dry skin
- Hormonal changes
Stretch marks are not a comment on anything but they are a record in your skin of what your body is doing. Are they good or bad? Neither they just happen.
Dark bits on your body happen.
Sometimes it's because of skin irritation, sometimes spots are just going to be dark.
In the grand scheme of how awesome you are does it make a huge difference?
Understand that your skin, your skin will probably never have the retouched quality of the pictures you see.
Real life is not fashion or magazine life.
Real life means we're going to be scarred and have moles and freckles and things.
Real life has nothing to do with what the going "wisdom" that all of this shit matters in the long run.
Honestly if you are naked with someone and they freak out because you have dark armpits or stretch marks or whatever, put your pants on and go home. Anyone who gets hung up on that sort of thing is probably not worth your sex or your nakedness.
Brown people let me talk to you directly for one moment.
Do not, I repeat DO NOT DRINK THE KOOL AID.
Brown skin is no more special in the respect of textures and color than any other skin. Having brown skin doesn't mean you HAVE to be smooth as satin and all one shade of Brown.
That my friend is absolute bullshit.
Beauty magazines marketed for Brown people are just as full of lies as Cosmo and Vogue.
Stop letting them hurt you.
Every mark, dark spot, scar, freckle, birth mark, stretch mark, flaw, etc is not something that makes you ugly or imperfect. It is a road map to your life.
It is proof that you have survived.
Don't hate the proof that you made it.
It is proof you are real.
For further reference go read this entry. Warning it is about me having sex but there's a lesson there.
Also my homies some homework.
I want you to think about this and report back if you like.
If we met (presuming we haven't met before) would you like me less (BE HONEST) when you saw the huge black mark I have on my forehead right now?
Would you stop reading me?
What would you assume and why?
Report back and we'll talk about it later.