Women have a running battle with coming to terms with their bodily insecurities. The day Stella Obasanjo died, I remember the feeling of disbelief that surged through me. The information I got at the time was that she had died during a cosmetic procedure.
As a teenager with her own body insecurities, I could relate to the unrealistic desire to augment the body. Quite understandably, this is to ensure that it fits into the media’s worldwide standard of beauty. However, as much as I tried, I could not understand how a woman so majestic could have fallen prey to the jaws of body augmentation so quick.
Most people would agree the media today is inundated with unrealistic portrayals of women and their bodies. Because of practices such as choosing primarily thin, young, light-skinned women to sell products and using Photoshop to erase natural “flaws” and “imperfections,” to name a few, we are not exposed to a diverse (one might also say realistic) array of people.
Consequently, generations of people grow up believing their appearance is inferior. Often, the mindset arises because it is not widely represented or considered to be “ideal.” That is why even when they are bullied, they fall prey to trolls rather than shake it off.
Recently, there was an incident in the news of a heartbroken Nigerian lady, identified as Kosisochukwu (@lovely_kimani). She revealed how her skin was damaged after undergoing a stretch marks removal procedure. Kosisochukwu alleged that she went for stretch mark removal at Rixari Skin Secrets. Rather than have stretch-marks removed, she got permanent scars even worse than the initial stretchmarks she wanted to take out.
Further, she explained that her attempts to eradicate the stretch marks were spurred on by a group of guys who bullied her online about it. She said, “I was bullied by guys. So when I saw her page I was happy that I could remove my stretch marks. Now, see what it has cost me.”
The first thing I said when I saw the video online was “Oh my God!”
The comments on the post were even worse. People were blaming the lady for her predicament. Many harshly judged her for not being confident in her body and accepting it for what it was. But think about it. How often do you look in the mirror and say “If I could just fix this part of my body, I would be happy and confident”?
Many women in this generation suffer from a negative body image. Indeed, having a negative body image can be very harmful. It can leave you feeling as though you cannot ever measure up to others. So much that you fall victim to quack doctors or greedy marketers who sell expensive (but unnecessary) procedures to help you attain your dream body.
Particularly with the case of stretch marks, it seems women are never done debating whether they can be avoided, treated, or gotten rid of altogether. Here is the truth. Till date, there are no cures available with which stretch marks can be eliminated completely.
As a matter of fact, the only thing that can be done is to reduce its appearance. I’ll admit that it took me a long time to embrace those squiggly lines across my thighs. I’ve grown used to them, rather than trying every “miracle” product to get rid of them. In fact, I barely notice them now when I dress or undress.
Moreover, the shame that came along with them during my teenage years has generally subsided. I like my body, and I’m not worried about the stigma that is still attached to stretch marks.
Also, that being said, feeling proud of your body (all its curves and edges) and wanting to reduce the appearance of stretch marks don’t have to be mutually exclusive. While women as a whole are becoming more accepting of them and other parts of our natural appearance — like body hair — stretch marks are definitely still a sore spot for some. I would just say…before we go ahead to try any procedure, let’s do our research.
In addition, think again to be sure it is really worth the effect it may have on us. We have just one body, let’s learn to respect it.