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Monday, December 6, 2021

It’s time to stop shaming women for their stretch marks

Of course that sounds entirely ridiculous, but it’s true. Fashion and beauty brands have finally realised that we want to see versions of ourselves in campaigns and images, not unapproachable images of beauty ‘ideals’. Realness sells, and Graham knows it. She is one of the few models that refuses to be retouched in photographs – something that I hope will happen more often.

Not only is it hugely outdated to think that beauty and fashion brands would be deterred from booking a model based on stretch marks (or any perceived flaws for that matter), they genuinely wouldn’t dare. In 2021, in the age of body positivity, brands are under pressure to show us relatability (even if that comes in the form of a drop-dead gorgeous glamazonian such as Graham). As a beauty editor, I am still pitched brands and products that claim to eradicate stretch marks and cellulite, as if it is something to be ashamed of and that needs to be corrected. 

Why are we putting this pressure on ourselves and our need to correct these ‘flaws’? Just as language such as ‘anti-ageing’ and ‘fighting the signs of ageing’ are destructive towards how we approach our skincare, so too are corrective creams, lotions and potions that claim to help to slim and contour the body. (I have news – none of those slimming creams actually work. Don’t waste your money.) 

Let’s not forget, it’s not very sisterly to be commenting on other women’s bodies negatively. I am the same age as Graham, and as a mother of two young children have my fair share of stretch marks, too. Just like anyone commenting on the size of your bump and giving you a patronising side head tilt on how big, small, or bloated you look, no-one wants to hear how your stretch marks may make you lose work. 

Of course for Graham, who has an admirable amount of body confidence, she isn’t phased. And I hope she’s blocked that troll, too. 

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