Okay, this is maybe going to sound weird, but here goes:
I had a lover once who had lost a large amount of weight. She was covered in stretch marks, and was terribly self-conscious of this. Personally, I thought they looked awesome, and they symbolized a very important change in her life. I spent a lot of time kissing her stretch marks down her body, and tracing my fingers over them. I told her how cool I thought they were, and how beautiful. I continued to tell her this, on and off, over the time we were together.
As a parallel, you have carried and borne children, which is NOT easy for many women. Personally, I think you deserve to be proud of your stretch marks; they are a symbol of important milestones in your life. I have stretch marks from pregnancy as well. I look at them in the mirror, and remember the amount of work it was to "create" them. Can you learn to accept (or even love) your own marks? Can you see them as badges of pride?
I am now 41, and sometimes I knock up against my culture's worship of youth, thinness, and narrow ideal of beauty. My spouses help me with this by telling me how beautiful I am (and in what ways I am beautiful), but I find that I also need to consider my own outlook about myself. To be honest, therapy has helped in this.
Last edited by Ruby; 03-29-2010 at 10:50 PM.