I am Beautiful and I Have Stretch Marks

Notice how I said ” I am Beautiful” before the “I Have Stretch Marks,” because those things do not define us.

Tonight after I got out of the shower, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw them.

Stretch Marks.

Yesterday I had one itty bitty one, and now today, I have um, a few more of “them.”

I almost cried. I was (am) mad at them. I don’t like them. They are ugly. The are red. They need to go away. I kept looking at them, like they are just these disgusting things on my body. I saw one on the side of my stomach. EW! I am disgusted at my stomach.

That’s what you get for having two pregnancies in two years.

:: grumble grumble ::

You should have laid off the ice cream, then maybe you wouldn’t have gained so much weight and let your stomach grow and grow, and get stretch marks.

:: disgusted look at myself :: 

Oh, heck no. I am not going to live like this. There are some things you can change, and some things you cannot. I looked at myself in the mirror, I looked at those stretch marks. I put my tank top down. I stood there. I said to myself, You are beautiful. You are growing your child. You are beautiful.

I’m not going to lie. THAT WAS HARD.

But, I did it again. And again.

I have grown a beautiful baby boy. My body carried him. My body fed him for one year. I’m growing another beautiful baby. My body is strong. My body is amazing. I am beautiful. 

I said it a couple more times.

ROCKSTAR BABY, ROCKSTAR.

I took some pictures of myself. And I’m not going to lie. THAT WAS REALLY HARD.

If you tell yourself that enough times, you just might believe it.

Say it to yourself today….. You are Beautiful! You are a mom, with left over pregnancy weight or not, with stretch marks or not, with a scar or not, with saggy boobs or not, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. 

Embrace it Mama. 



(This post was hard to write. Putting up this picture? TORTURE. It’s actually making me slightly sick to my stomach.  But, I want to prove a point. THESE THINGS DO NOT DEFINE US. THEY DO NOT DEFINE YOU. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. TELL YOURSELF. TELL YOUR FRIENDS.)

p.s. I am 37 weeks pregnant and thank you, I know they will fade. I’m not worried about that.. that’s not what this post is about. 🙂 

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

44 thoughts on “I am Beautiful and I Have Stretch Marks

  1. Samantha, you look incredible. And so brave for posting this. I've had 4 pregnancies, 1 to term, and 1 mid-section surgery in 3 years, so I can talk about scars!

    They are beautiful and well earned.

  2. I feel the same way! I had two just a year apart and my poor body is riddled with stretchmarks! But they are the signs of beautiful babies and totally worth it. Each little line represents just a little bit of the love my body gave to my babies. Those marks make us beautiful! Its sort of like the beauty in a scar- its a sign that we survived. What a beautiful post!

  3. You look amazing mama! What a beautiful belly you have….

    My stomach was completely ravaged my stretch marks and I resented them for years, they are a huge reason it has taken me this long to get up the courage to do a figure competition. I finally have come to terms with my body, I will change what I can through healthy living but those scars will be there forever, reminding me of my beautiful pregnancies and births.

  4. You are so brave, don't take it down! There are people that need to see this and know they are still beautiful with stretch marks – EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL!

  5. Samantha you look amazing, but even more amazing is your inner beauty and the strength it took to write this post. YOU are a true inspiration, and this post very well could change the course of someone's life who is depressed and down about these issues.

    YOU my dear are beautiful!

  6. LOVE IT!!! I love your beautiful pregnant belly and the look on your face. There is absolutely NOTHING ugly about growing a baby inside you. I mean, YOU'RE GROWING A BABY… can't get anymore beautiful than that 🙂 Thanks for the post. You're a brave, amazing, and stunning mama, don't ever forget that.

  7. You do look beautiful! My 6 month belly looks splotched and raw from all the itchy eczema and heat rashes I keep getting there. The Linea Negra hasn't appeared yet, but that will add to my “canvas” as well I'm sure. 🙂 But that baby's gotta live somewhere for 9 + months and I'm glad she chose to live in me!

    Good luck with these last months of your pregnancy! Can's wait to see the glowing pictures of you and your new addition!

  8. Gosh sweetie, you are totally amazing and beautiful. Your glowing wiht health. Don't even give anthing else a second thought. I'm proud of you. Hug hug, love you , Aunt Judy

  9. Great post! I got my prego photos taken at 31 weeks, and I didn't have a single stretch mark. I must admit, I was feeling pretty full of myself. That very night, I saw the tiniest trace of one. From that day forward, I think I got a new one every day. There's no sense even worrying about it, because there's nothing you can do…so I just decided to embrace them.

    11 months later, my tummy is actually a little smaller than when I got pregnant, but it's stretched and a little saggy and the marks look like 2 giant sets of cat scratches, one on each side. But my boy put those there, and I love them!

  10. This is a great post, and you are beautiful. I too had the zebra belly my second go at growing a human being…They are fading, but I am not afraid to show them. I call them my tribute to my healthy babies. Some stretch marks is a small price to pay to have little pieces of your heart walking around. You are beautiful, I am beautiful and as mothers we are all beautiful.

  11. This made me cry a little bit. You are so strong and an inspection to anyone who feels less than perfect. Not just moms!

  12. GOOD FOR YOU!!! I feel the same way…….. my stretch marks have NOT faded… perhaps birthing 3 children within 15 months has something to do with that… but I try to remind myself that the reason for having those stretch marks is totally worth it! My husband said something amazing that I will never forget… he reached to hug me and put his hands on my belly… I grimaced and pushed his hands away… he put them back and said “I love this belly, it held my babies.” I love to see you embracing what's normal & natural! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

  13. from a woman who can't make her own babies…this is a very beautiful picture…I can see your pregnancy glow even through the picture. Way to embrace the beauty of your baby's soon to be life outside the womb experience. Blessings to you and your family.

  14. You go girl! I know it may not make things any easier, but I fealt the same way with Olivia!!! I never let anyone take pictures because I fealt so huge and NOT beautiful….but now I regret it because I don't have many pictures to document my journey. Anyway…you look beautiful and I honestly don't think you big at all!!! Anyway…let me know how it is having 2 young ones, because we are considering adding another. ( : Take care, sweet Sam!!

  15. you are beautiful! thanks for reminding us mamas that even though our bodies aren't necesarily what they once were… it still is an amazing priviledge to be able to grow and carry our babies for those 9 months. i wouldn't trade my stretch marks for anything b/c i now have my son! 🙂

  16. You look great! I had stretch marks before I got pregnant so they weren't a new thing for me. I don't like them but I embrace them because that's part of the journey. You rock!

  17. thank you for writing this! I need to read your post out loud and say to myself “the swelling does not define me. I am beautiful.” it is so hard! I had no intention of getting pregnant so it is even harder to deal with my body changing this time around. Sure I love her and can't wait to meet her but I don't want to be pregnant. Does that even make sense?

    But I am embracing it. I am loving it.(and repeating those phrases till I say them genuinely) It is all part of the journey for me to meet my princess and I can't wait!

  18. Thank you for your post today!! I am about 38 weeks pregnant with our first baby and I have more stretch marks than I'm willing to admit. Thank you for being so brave:) I needed to say those things to myself today. I am beautiful and you are beautiful too!!

  19. Yay mama! You are a Rockstar!

    I think of my stretchmarks as badges of honor! I hate them, they are ugly, but like you said, I grew beautiful children. 🙂

    Mine are a million times worse than yours. I have a roadmap on top of a topagraphical map. LOL.

    You are beautiful!

  20. What a great post!!! I haven't had any children yet, but I've had stretch marks since the eighth grade. I put on about 15 lbs in a month's time, and got bright red horizontal stretchmarks on my inner this, vertical ones on my outer thighs/hips, some on my boobs, butt, and even a couple of light ones on my calves. And I was a skinny girl! It was mortifying and I was always embarrassed to wear shorts. I still have all the stretchmarks, but they aren't as prominent anymore. I just had to remind myself that probably 90% of women have stretchmarks. I shouldn't be so self-conscious about it! 🙂

  21. I'm glad you put a link to this in your year-end review post because I'm new to your blog and would have missed it otherwise.

    You are, indeed, beautiful- not that you need some stranger on the internet to tell you that. Courage is beautiful, and I can tell it took a lot for you to post this (and leave it up).

    Thank you!

  22. I was watching a british show called “How to Look Good Naked” and the host did a segment on stretch marks. He called them “lady lines”, and said that women should be proud of them. Ever since then, I have stopped being mad at my stretch marks (and have started calling them lady lines, it sounds much better), and have become kind of proud of them. Each one meaning that my baby is getting bigger and is growing strong.

    You are beautiful and the courage it took for you to make this post makes you that much more amazing. I really do thank you for this, I think there are so many out there that need to see this and know that, they too, are beautiful.

  23. I bet every one of us who has taken the “Everyone is beautiful” challenge had some of those difficult, heart wrenching moments; some that made us sick to our stomachs. I know I did.

    Way to go! I'm proud of you. You are, indeed, beutiful.

  24. I just wanted to add that I call them my mama tattoos- which I came up with on the fly trying to explain them to my then 1.5yr old daughter who thought mama had an owie- it makes it seem so much more intentional, and even kinda cool. Those marks tell the world that I am a mama, and what could be more beautiful than that!?

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