First of all, if you don't follow Lorna Andrews, AKA Lorna Luxe, on Instagram, then you should. She's one of the UK's biggest fashion influencers, with over a million followers on Instagram, but she's lovely, down-to-earth and a fellow northener that I love to follow. But one of Lorna's posts stuck out to me, recently - and to her other followers, too. The fashionista shared a video of herself showing off the stretch marks on her arm, with the caption: "Silver linings. I wish 14-year-old me could have watched this."
In the video, Lorna talks about the marks: "I've got a lot of stretch marks and I really like them. It's what makes us ourselves, it's part of me. I think you have to embrace them - they're not causing any harm, they're not offending anyone. They're silvery and pretty."
Lorna during her video message on Instagram
What a wonderful message. Because for most of our lives, the most prominent narrative around stretchmarks has been that they're ugly, that because they're often caused by weight gain, they're a sign of failure, and that they're something to be fixed - with lotions, potions and even surgery.
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But, as Lorna says, there's nothing wrong with them! They're normal, they're part of us and our journey - and why are they ugly? I certainly don't think they are…
I asked Lorna to elaborate on what she said in her post, and her answer was even more powerful. "I couldn't understand them as a kid and would hide them in PE in school because I was overnight and felt self-conscious," she told us.
"But in my 20s, I really started to become fond of them - they were unique to me, battle scars if you like, from my fluctuating weight. They've not stopped me working or impacted my career whatsoever so I see them as my make-up now… They are a part of me and I'm proud to show them off."
Lorna showing off a stylish outfit on Instagram
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She added: "The engagement with other women on Instagram made me realise how many women are self-conscious of their stretch marks so I think now feels like the right time to embrace what I have and to start sharing the bits to ordinarily overlook."