Supermodel Ashley Graham once again shows us what it means to have body self-acceptance. The relatable plus-size beauty never shies away from putting her “flaws” on full display, teaching others that there is nothing wrong with being perfectly imperfect.
In her latest Instagram posts Ashley Graham has been flaunting her healthy pregnant bod, taking photos in her birthday suit with her pregnancy induced stretch marks completely visible. Last week Graham broke the internet when she posted a picture of herself completely nude, proudly displaying her very prominent pregnant tummy tiger stripes.
With the caption, “Justin says my stretch marks look like the tree of life,” Graham promotes positively embracing what society deems unattractive by redefining the narrative. Leading by example, Graham comfortably hops on social media showing her unfiltered truth to prove that there is no shame in having unsmooth skin.
For so long women have been conditioned to believe that having stretch marks are undesirable, should be hidden and minimizes your overall attractiveness. These common perceptions are why some women fear getting pregnant—between 50%-90% of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy, according to Arkansas’ The Woman’s Clinic.
Not to mention seeing celebrity women like Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian with svelte physiques pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and post-pregnancy adds to the societal perception that having stretch marks is “bad.”
However, envisioning stretch marks as being comparable to the tree of life—a biblical symbol for the restoration of the life-giving presence of God— makes having stretch marks way more appealing. As well as easier to accept when you have them.
Graham boldly rocking her stretch marks in her photo is a reminder to all women that stretch marks should be worn with pride since they are a sign of power. I mean let’s face it, what’s more powerful than being able to give life?
Alongside the 34-year-old model slash future mother of three—she’s having twins—helping individuals view their stretch marks as a source of power, Graham is also serving as inspiration.
“Celebrate like #ashleygraham and #EmilyRatajkowski are fighting against taboos starting important dialogues and in turn empowering other mothers on social media,” someone tweeted. Since Graham has been in the industry she has defied societal norms, status-quos and traditional standards of beauty.
Each time Graham posts to Instagram she reinforces how much she is still leading the charge for body positivity, self-acceptance and the normalization of stretch marks.