1. The Love Your Lines Instagram account was started by two mothers who wanted to share and celebrate the stories of real women’s stretch marks.
Started earlier this week, the pair have received an overwhelming response in a short amount of time. “Even though we are moms, we both had ‘stretchies’ before having kids,” one of the founders, a 25-year-old entrepreneur who asked to remain anonymous, told HuffPost Women. “And we are aware that women get them for different reasons at different times. Both of us are thrilled to have had such an amazing response in less than 24 hours.”
2. More than 80 percent of Americans have stretch marks, and rather than hide them, or try creams and potions to make them fade, the account’s curators wanted to celebrate the experiences that give our bodies character and strength.
By capturing stretch marks, the Love Your Lines project hopes to encourage women and men to embrace the “imperfections” in our bodies.
4. “Growing into womanhood has taught me to love every little thing about me including my ‘love lines,” wrote this woman. “I know God didn’t make any mistakes on me.”
5. “I am 36 weeks pregnant with a baby boy,” wrote the woman who submitted this photo.
“I started getting stretch marks as soon as I found out I was pregnant. It didn’t take long until my whole stomach was covered in what seemed to be a million lines. I see so many beautiful tummies all over social media, and TV … get discouraged sometimes about my stomach! … These ‘lines’ on my stomach represent something even greater that I can even comprehend at times.”
6. “Once upon a time, this belly housed a baby,” reads the caption on this photo.
7. It’s also a space for women to talk freely about the transformations their bodies have gone through.
“Two beautiful children, 2 (not so beautiful) C-sections, within a two year time frame,” wrote the woman who sent this picture in. “My 21-year-old petite body took on so many changes in so little time I didn’t know how or if I ever could embrace it. My children’s father put me down all the time because of the way my body looked after my children which didn’t help either. I can gladly say I’m slowing learning to accept my body for how it is. I’m blessed with two wonderful children and in a new relationship with a man who doesn’t hesitate to remind me how beautiful I am inside and out.”
8. This woman’s kidney’s failed in 2005, and her stretch marks are a result of rapid weight gain following that experience.
“My lines remind me of what I have conquered,” she wrote. “They remind me to be thankful and grateful for my new life.”
9. The project is a small step in helping some learn to love their bodies. “Imperfections are what makes us perfect. Easily said, harder to fully embrace … true nonetheless.”
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