Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - How to Dress When You Have Stretch Marks

02-05-2012, 12:39 AM
I've had stretch marks since I was 12/13. I wasn't even overweight then and was actually really active. Two different doctors told me that I basically just had "bad luck". The one actually said "bad luck", the other told me about a girl who was really thin, always had been, and was covered. That didn't make me feel better...

I read a post by someone else somewhere in which they simply suggested that those with stretch marks "dress appropriately". For those of us who have them, well, everywhere...that means covering a good portion of the body up. Calves, stomach, upper's hard to shop that way. Do you realize the number of shirts I've put on that were specifically designed to not cover the entire upper arm area? I search, and search, and search and I'll be darned if the vast majority of them don't show some amount of my marks. :headache:

So my question is...after losing weight, would you rather dress "appropriately" or would you rather just wear whatever appeals to you regardless?

02-05-2012, 12:44 AM
It depends.

It depends on how self-conscious I'm feeling at the moment (sometimes I just say "Eff it!" and wear whatever).

It depends on the situation (the location, who's there, the image I might want to present, etc.).

I imagine I'll care less the older I get (good god, I hope so - if I'm this vain at 40 I've done something wrong;)). But I'm early 20s right now, so...

02-05-2012, 12:46 AM
I have stretch marks down my inner thighs from the top of my thighs until the bottom. I have them going up both my sides. I started getting stretch marks while in 8th grade.

Honestly, I don't notice them anymore. Mine have gone from dark purple to a light purple/white color. They are still really noticeable to other people, but to me I rarely notice them. I think I don't notice them because 1) They are lighter than they were before and 2) I see them everyday, so its like seeing freckles or skin, its just something that's part of you.

Once I am done losing weight and can wear shorts and a bikini, I will glady wear them. I'm sure the first few times I will be a little nervous about everyone seeing them, but I am not going to hide behind clothing that I hid behind when I was overweight. Everyone has things they hate about their bodies. A friend of a friend has scabs ALL over her legs. She is covered. This summer I went on a weekend trip with them. The entire weekend she was in shorts or a dress and than a bikini. She didn't care. My first thought ofcourse was "Why doesn't she wear pants or something to cover them up"... and than I realized WHY SHOULD SHE!. I'd hate to be sweating in the summer or never wearing a swim suit just because of something I can't help!.

Besides, in pictures.. I think you'd look much funnier being the one wearing a long sleeve in July standing next to a bunch of women in tank tops lol!

02-05-2012, 02:27 AM
I'm more concerned about the extra skin, actually.

Otherwise I don't care. I rock tank tops at the gym and I don't care if people are bothered by the stretch marks on my arms. If I tone up my core I'm not going to care if people are bothered by the stretch marks on my back (seriously on my back? WTF body?) when I wear a bikini.

It's their problem if they're bothered by it—not mine.

Honestly I've gotten more compliments on my arms than I can remember. Thank you, weight training.

My fiance doesn't seem to care at all about the stretch marks or even the extra skin. He's been begging me to wear a bikini this summer! haha! He even offered to buy it for me!

02-05-2012, 02:37 AM
I'm more concerned about the extra skin, actually.

I don't think I'll have extra skin...or maybe I'm just delusional... :stress:

02-05-2012, 06:48 AM
I have stretch marks on my breasts/inner thighs since adolescence (and I wasn't at all overweight then). I also have some on my stomach from pregnancy. All of them are pretty faded at this point but they're still there.

I pretty much could care less and I still wear bikinis, shorts etc. I don't wear shirts that show my stomach but that wouldn't exactly be appropriate for work. ;)

I'd say the vast majority of women have them and it's not something I think about... ever. I certainly have other things that I'm self-conscious about but stretch marks, not so much.

02-05-2012, 01:09 PM
Of all the stretch marks on my body, the only ones I care about covering are the ones on my stomach. But that's because I just had a baby and right now they are bright purple and ready. With good diet, exercise, lots of water, and some bio oil I'm hoping they will fade as they did when I first lost weight. If they fade but are still there, I won't care about them showing.

Loose skin is a whole 'nother thing! I'm hoping my tummy shrinks back down like it did before when I lost weight since it's still shrinking from the baby.

02-05-2012, 02:00 PM
Almost all women have them.

A lot of men have them.

Sad that someone thinks other people are dressing inappropriately by not hiding themselves enough. I mean, what kind of body hatred, what kind of self-hatred sends someone to think that?

02-05-2012, 07:13 PM
I voted "other". I have stretch marks everywhere- on the inside of my upper arms, shoulders,stomach, inside of my thighs, calves. At one point I was so self conscious about them that I would never wear anything that would expose them in any amount at all.

I've taken a bit more of a middle ground now. For one thing, it helps that I am very pale and so my skin is about the same color as the silvery-white faded stretch marks. They've also shrunk and tightened up a great deal over the years. They're really only noticeable if you look up close. So, I still won't wear, say, a sleeveless top or dress with no bolero or shrug, but I will wear tops that don't go down all the way to my elbows, and I now I will wear my skirts and dresses without pantyhose(tea length, that is just the length I prefer in any situation), and so on. It really doesn't bother me so much anymore.

I will note, however, that I dress modestly out of my own fashion preference. If I had no stretch marks at all, I still wouldn't wear short-shorts, bikinis, very low-cut tops and other such clothing.. I love full skirts and dresses, pretty boleros.. I'm the sort of person who goes out sporting a parasol. (I also very much like to protect myself from the sun)

So, what I suppose I'm trying to say is, for many reasons I don't show everything, but it is no longer the end of the world to me if someone, say, catches a glimpse of the barely-there marks on my upper arms or calves.

02-05-2012, 07:42 PM
I don't care, nor do I even pay attention to my stretchmarks. They've been there since I've been a preteen and are very light. I definitely have more then I used to but i'm 23. NOT going to spend my 20's covered up in the summer because I just "Might" Offend someone.

Fortunately the rest of my skin is light so they blend right in. And they do not stop me from wearing anything I want at all. I still wear shorts and tanks. No one I know cares, and if a stranger did, doesn't matter.

02-05-2012, 08:23 PM
I don't care, nor do I even pay attention to my stretchmarks. They've been there since I've been a preteen and are very light. I definitely have more then I used to but i'm 23. NOT going to spend my 20's covered up in the summer because I just "Might" Offend someone.

Fortunately the rest of my skin is light so they blend right in. And they do not stop me from wearing anything I want at all. I still wear shorts and tanks. No one I know cares, and if a stranger did, doesn't matter.

I'm the same age and I've been feeling the same am I really going to waste my entire youth wearing a burlap sack?...

Nice attitude, can I borrow some? :D

02-06-2012, 03:07 PM
I dress in a way that covers my stretchmarks, but that's only because they're mainly on my very very uppermost thighs and a few on my stomach and sides of my breasts. Those are areas I wouldn't have showing anyway! They're all so light that unless you were staring closely, you may not even notice.

I do have a few on my armpit area, but I ignore them and wear whatever length sleeved outfits feel most comfortable for the weather.

02-06-2012, 11:56 PM
My worst stretchmarks are on my boobs, so they will obviously remain covered in public. :p The other ones I don't give a rat's furry behind about. I've worn sleeveless shirts, shorts and skorts at all weights, and if anything, I'm going to wear those kinds of clothes MORE as I continue to lose. If I start having an excess skin issue, that may bother me, but that won't make me cover up, either.

02-07-2012, 12:50 PM
I don't show my stomach because I'm modest. Or my upper thighs (except at the beach). It's not because I'm embarrassed, I just find the way many women dress today "inappropriate". I am not an object to be looked at. My nudity is for my boyfriend only (I know, I must sound like a total prude)
But I do have stretch marks and some residual flab on my upper arms and I don't give a crap who sees that :)

02-08-2012, 10:55 AM
I've never worried that much about hiding my stretchmarks...possibly because they are all white and concentrated around my hips (yay puberty?) so dressing "for them" doesn't really require me to change what I wear. If I'm ever comfortable enough with my stomach to wear a bikini on the beach, no stretchmarks are going to stop me.

On a related note, I used to think everyone had stretchmarks. It wasn't until I was seeing a guy who gave me a back massage and wanted to know what they were that I felt self conscious about them.

I once asked my husband what he thought of them and he told me he saw them as my battle scars and that they made me bad@$$. I've never minded them since.

02-08-2012, 11:11 AM
I have stretch marks on my underside of my arms, my breasts, my hips, my butt, my inner and outer thighs and the back of my knees on the calves. The ONLY ones I will bother covering up are the ones on my stomach as that is also loose skin, so the stretch marks are all crinkly and funky shaped. You have to look for the ones on my breast and I don't think anyone but me would know there are there as the only ones really visible are the ones near the arm pits. The under arm ones and inner thigh ones are a bit crepe paperish now from loose skin, but it's the loose skin, not the stretch marks I don't like. And the others? They are just streaks on the skin, they 'match' the texture of the rest of the skin, so who cares?

My mother in law commented on the stretch marks on the back of my calves last year as she thought they were new - um no... how about 15 -20 years old stretch marks? But she is one of those people who looks people over head to toe and criticizes everything and everyone. My husband who has seen me naked for 19 years never noticed them until I pointed them out to him after she said that....

So basically, no bare midriffs for me and probably things to cover my inner thighs from the loose skin - not the stretch marks.

02-10-2012, 10:16 PM
I agree with sontaikle.. I'm definitely more concerned about the extra skin. I had some of the worst stretch marks I've ever seen but after dermarolling they are 95% gone. I only wish there was something magical to tighten up loose skin >:(

02-12-2012, 07:32 AM
good question...I've always had stretch marks. Even at 10-13 years old; I was wearing shorts one time and a classmate asked what the marks were on my thighs, I was embarrassed and didn't know how to explain them. Fast forward 15 years and an ex boyfriend asked about the stretchmarks on my upper arms, he didn't believe it was possible to have all these marks from losing/gaining weight (he is an ex now after all!).

so, I'm putting this all out there because I realized some people don't know what stretch marks are! if you have them really bad and strangers see them they may think something else. And I try to tell myself they aren't noticeable, but since people have commented on them I know they are noticeable. mines are mostly faded and white-ish but my ex-bf still seen them clearly.

It sucks because I do feel self conscious wearing short sleeves, it's hard to find cute summer tops to cover the upper arm ones. has anyone else had experience of others actually noticing their stretch marks?

02-15-2012, 10:01 AM
****, I'm proud of my stretch marks. To be honest, I find them very cool. I think veins are cool and they're only on my lower stomach so... I don't know, I don't mind them. I think it would be a different story if they were on my arms and legs.
Fyi, they have faded (yours will fade) and when you get a tan, they'll virtually disappear.

02-15-2012, 10:02 AM
Wow, I never realized the h-word was censored. Those stars are making me feel vulgar lol :)

02-18-2012, 09:37 AM
I voted other because my preference is to dress for the situation.

Most of my stretch marks are on my stomach from having kids, and they don't really bother me anymore.

I wear tank tops, shorts, etc., in the summer. However, I wouldn't wear my gardening outfit to the store. A chopped off tank, that lets my tummy out, and an old pair of army bdu pants, cut off into shorts. :D