Embrace Your Stretch Marks

I was never pretty, just smart; never charming, just nice; never voluptuous, just skinny.  I grew up with an older cousin who was always hotter and got all the boy friends.  (By the way, we were in elementary school. How the f does an elementary kid know what a “relationship” means?!) I was the nerd one who was shy and not-so-confident.  I remember constantly comparing myself to her… I was flat chested, she wasn’t. I never wore make up, she did.  I didn’t know how to do my hair, she did.  It sucked. It totally sucked! My self-esteem was low and I just couldn’t accept the fact that I wasn’t the girl all the boys wanted. But as we grew up, I realized how emotionally exhausting it was to make these comparisons on a day-to-day basis. In middle school, it dawned on me that I didn’t need big boobs and expensive make up. Instead, I dwelled on my strengths as a source of encouragement. I knew I was smart and I knew I loved to smile. I made friends because of my outgoing personality and I taught myself to feel beautiful without the superficial factors.

Since that day, I have not once allowed other’s opinions and perceptions of me bring me down. I vowed to myself that their negativity will only be a driving source to my success and I can confidently say I have achieved this. Each day, I look in the mirror and am proud of the woman I have become. Yes, there are days I look like shit. But, so what? If you don’t think I’m attractive, don’t look at me.

So fast-forward several years. I am now a “working adult”, whatever the heck that means. I get to attend career fairs, interview potential candidates, etc. It’s exciting to see fresh, eager, young faces join the work force; but more often than not, I am completely disappointed in the pool of young women candidates. Too frequently do they show up wearing tight mini-skirts paired with a blazer and four inch heels they can barely walk in. Then, they compliment it with a big ass bag and tons of accessories. And this is the case everywhere I go… out to dinner, having drinks at a lounge or even going to the grocery store. It is completely discouraging, because our generation of young women are only exemplifying themselves as “sexy”. Honey, let me tell you something… “Sexy” isn’t going to get you into college. Your merits and hard work will. “Sexy” isn’t professional.  Prove to me that you have a strong work ethic and that will set you apart from your peers. “Sexy” doesn’t make you more of a woman than someone you think is less sexy.  It makes you look stupid when you are over-working it.  Please do yourself a favor and learn to be presentable in a mature fashion. I believe in you and your abilities to achieve a successful career, find happiness in your life and most importantly, accept who you are as a woman.

I completely understand if you have had or still dealing with self-esteem matters. It’s never fun, nor easy. But know this…working class women will dominate this economy.  It is our generation’s duty to lead by example. Therefore, we need to teach one another to have higher standards for ourselves, set examples through leadership and ultimately, be the powerful women we are! Think about it… every day, you have the opportunity to make an impression to this world, leave a legacy. What’s your legacy going to be?

So here’s some working-class-woman advice for you young cats out there:

  1. Your duck lips aren’t cute. Quit that shit. Smile instead 🙂
  2. Wear clothes. No really, wear clothes…real clothes. Crop tops are not real clothes. If I see you wearing one, I will straight forwardly ask you, “where’s the rest of your damn shirt?” You work too hard for your money – don’t rip yourself off by purchasing only half a shirt!
  3. Don’t be catty. Woman to woman, let’s support one another to be beautiful by acting beautifully. Love yourself and love others. It’s only complicated if you make it complicated.

Now, here’s my challenge for all women: love yourself more and more each day. I don’t care how hard it may be or how corny you think this is. Just do it, damn it! I promise that you will have so much more respect for yourself as each day passes.

For those of you who continuously struggle with your self-image, don’t you ever give up on loving yourself.  When times get tough, remind yourself of these three things:

  1. You’re more beautiful than you give yourself credit. Sure, make up and dressing up can be fun, but who says you need it in order to exemplify your true character and showcase your personality? Beauty isn’t about what’s on the skin level, it’s deeper than that – it’s about how you present yourself to the world, how you treat others and ultimately, how you value yourself.
    1. Be Yourself
    2. Accept Yourself
    3. Value Yourself
    4. Trust Yourself
    5. Love Yourself
    6. Empower Yourself
  2. Pride, integrity and self fulfillment can be achieved without makeup and crop tops. Don’t worry about what others think of you or how they perceive you. Live this life for yourself. After all, you only have once chance to do so.  Take pride in who you are, have integrity to uphold your values and morals and chase your dreams… make yourself proud!
  3. Embrace your stretch marks. “Your body is not ruined. You are a goddamn tiger who’s earned her stripes!” Love yourself by loving your body and all that it has to offer.  Stretch marks are not beauty flaws, they are statements of womanhood.

Ava Love,


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