If You Think Models Don’t Have Stretch Marks, You’re Wrong

Models in ads and magazines have been promoting an unattainable level of beauty for too long. For decades now, real women with weight issues, stretch marks, and other blemishes have felt self-conscious while flipping through the pages of magazines, wondering how the women featured could be so beautiful, in such good shape, and have such flawless skin. How do they do it?

The answer is that they’re not what they appear to be. The magazines that publish these photographs do significant editing and retouching to make their models appear to be perfect when they’re anything but. Models, like regular people, struggle with blemishes, skin unevenness, and stretch marks, but with makeup and Photoshop, those imperfections can be easily covered up.

Victoria’s Secret Releases a Photo of a Model with Stretch Marks

Victoria’s Secret released images last month from a photoshoot of model Jasmine Tookes where stretch marks are visibly displayed on her hip, proving that even models have imperfections. The photos prove two things: one is that perfection as portrayed in magazines is a fairy tale, and the other is that it is absolutely possible to be beautiful even with imperfections. Tookes is no less gorgeous with stretch marks on her hip than she is with the stretch marks covered or edited.

While the photos were not released with any comment about the lack of editing, many companies have moved recently to feature more natural photos. American Eagle’s lingerie brand Aerie saw a 20% increase in sales after publicly announcing it wouldn’t Photoshop its models in 2014, and Sports Illustrated featured Ashley Graham on the cover of its “Swimsuit” issue this year. Graham, a size-16 model, is as stunning in her swimsuit as any skinnier model in the issue.

Reestablishing the Real Body as Beautiful

Many women have stretch marks. According to statistics, there are more women in the world with stretch marks than without. Stretch marks are caused by many factors, including pregnancy, weight gain, genetics, sun damage, puberty, and changing hormones. However, brands and publishers have historically taken so much effort to hide stretch marks on models that many women feel alone in their battle with striae, feel as though other women aren’t struggling with the same issues.

Complicating the self-image issues that go hand in hand with stretch marks is the fact that stretch marks don’t go away on their own and must be treated to fade or disappear. Some of the most effective treatment options are extremely expensive and require women to undergo months of appointments and treatments before seeing any visible effects, so getting rid of stretch marks for a lot of women just hasn’t been an option.

A Cost-Friendly Stretch Mark Treatment

Knowing that even models have stretch marks can make you feel more confident in your appearance. However, you don’t have to live with stretch marks forever. Many stretch mark removal creams are available over the counter that provide a cost-effective way to fade stretch mark scars.