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My Story (Marie)

July 31, 2013

Hi, I’m Marie. I have a 5 year old daughter. I’m a single mom since my husband left me, and I’ve been single and celibate for 5 years now. I would love to remarry and have a companion, a lover, and a father-figure for my daughter. But I am so insecure and ashamed of my post-pregnancy body that I refuse to get close to any guy, refuse to be seen naked, heaven forbid try to have sex. I know I should be more mature than this, and less shallow when it comes to physical beauty, but for 5 years I’ve been ashamed of my body and I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling ugly and unworthy because of it.

I got countless stretch marks during pregnancy. My belly is covered from belly button all the way down to where pubic hair starts. My hips and thighs and upper buttocks are covered in stretch marks, too. My breasts as well, covered, and even the backs of my calves. The deepest ones are on my belly and breasts. If I stand far away in good lighting you can’t see them, because they’ve faded mostly white, and my skin is fair. But They are still deep, and countless. I also have some looseness of skin on my belly and my breast’s skin is not as taut as it was before pregnancy. My breasts themselves also became lower and “empty” feeling immediately following pregnancy/end of breast feeding. So I feel like my breasts are pretty saggy for my age and the fact that I’ve only had one child.
I didn’t know what to expect with pregnancy. Nobody told me about stretch marks or loose skin or abdominal muscles tearing, etc, etc. I didn’t know about vitamin E oil and that it can/might/sometimes helps/prevents/reduces/softens stretch marks and loose skin acquired during pregnancy. I feel horrible that I did not oil myself, as one is supposed to, during pregnancy. I feel like if I had, then maybe I would not have gotten stretch marks and loose skin, maybe my breasts would have stayed more taut, maybe it would have just reduced the number and/or severity of my stretch marks and loose skin..but it’s obviously too late now, and I’ll never know. Now I feel like since 1. my body is ruined and 2. it is my fault that it is ruined that 1. I am ugly and 2. unworthy of a husband/lover/additional pregnancies.

I’ve included some photos of myself, but remember that the resolution is so poor that my deep stretch marks do not really show. I don’t have a good camera, only a webcam with fuzzy resolution. But hopefully some of the loose skin and breast sagginess is visible enough to prove the legitimacy of my concerns. Trust me, you can’t see my stretchmarks in the pics, but they are deep and countless and all over my body.

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36 Responses to “My Story (Marie)”

  1. Ananymous Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:28 am

    1 – I see an absolutely gorgeous figure and body. 2 – I lathered, 2-3 times a day, in cocounut oil, butter, lotion…you name it. LITERALLY. 2-3 times a day. I always smelled like coconut oil. No exaggeration. For my ENTIRE first pregnancy. I STILL got countless stretchmarks, some so deep they won’t even fade to white/silver – they are still purple. I have the infamous loose skin, way more than yours. So do not shame yourself for “if you had”. It probably wouldn’t have made a difference. It is all about genetics. You did NOTHING WRONG. You are a beautiful mamma and your body housed and nourished your baby girl. Positive self image is very important to pass on, especially to young girls. I do hope you find peace and comfort in your BEAUTIFUL self; if not for you, for your daughter.

    My story is “Light at the end of the tunnel” if you so wish to see my pictures.

  2. Jenna Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:52 am

    You are beautiful.

    For what its worth i oiled every day and i still ended up with stretch marks from above my belly button down my theighs.

  3. Maries Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:53 am

    My dear why are you pushing your belly together like that? there is nothing wrong with your body! You can try to do some sit-ups to get your muscles in the belly a bit stronger again that’s all.Don’t be ashamed , many would love to look like that after child-birth

  4. Anonymous Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I have some of the same issues/concerns about my body as well. Your body looks amazing though, and your boobs are right where they should be. Maybe you don’t feel that way because everything we see in magazines and on TV is airbrushed or wearing a push up bra plus tape to make boobs look freakishly perky. You have the body of a woman. Your stretchmarks do not look bad at all and if it wasn’t for those I wouldn’t know that you had a baby. As far as another man, look good for yourself and gain confidence. If a man sees that you’re confident he won’t see anything else. Also, if he loves you he WILL be attracted to you and the so called ‘flaws’ will be nearly invisible to him. I hope you feel better soon because your body is amazing :)

  5. Jan Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    The changes that happened are normal. I could go on and on trying to convince you to feel differently but I won’t. I’ll just say that you are beautiful and worthy to be loved, and even though I don’t know you, I know this to be true because every woman (and man) is.

  6. Christy Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Marie, I think you sent in the wrong pictures because the woman in the pictures accompanying your story has a bikini body! Seriously, you have nothing to be ashamed of – I wish my body looked that good *before* I had kids! You look amazing!

  7. mrspetunia Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I’m not really sure how to respond to your post. I don’t want to just dismiss or belittle your concerns but, honestly, I think you look beautiful. It’s so sad that you’re missing out on a possible relationship because of your intense fear. You don’t have anything to be afraid of. There are tons and tons of men out there who will find you very attractive, just the way you are.

  8. Isla Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    I wish I had your body! Girl you have NOTHING to be ashamed of. Honestly, if I were you I would definitely not hide my body away. I’m not saying put it on display but if you found the right guy don’t be scared to be intimate. I’d even wear a bikini if I were you. I weigh 115 and have 32DD breasts and I have way worse stretch marks than you, trust me. I gained 50 lbs for my daughter who is 5 now. And after her I felt the same way for years but it does get better. Once you find someone who loves you for who you are you’ll see. Don’t beat yourself up. Because you really are beautiful. I wish my tummy looked like that. I have way worse marks and my skin is a little looser and my breasts are wayyyy saggier. I’d kill for your boobs. I’m not just being nice, I dont leave very many comments on here but I had to leave you one because you reminded me of myself and how I used to feel about my body and feeling like I wasn’t good enough for anyone anymore or worthy. You are worth it. You need to realize that you do look awesome and be thankful that you have the body you do have bc many people that have had children would trade with you in a heartbeat. And be happy. Being a happy mommy makes a good mommy. And I’m sure your daughter loves seeing you smile just as much as you love seeing her smile.

  9. Nicole Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    You have an amazing body!!!! Oh my goodness I would give anything to look like that! And love… You ARE enough… You ARE beautiful… you ARE wonderfully made!!! Man I could sit here and think this was me writing this post so I know exactly how you feel but you are beautiful!!! I have no reason to just tell you what you want to hear so please please believe me when I say you look great! God Bless and try to think positive!

  10. Laura Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 2:09 am

    you look beautiful!! I hope I have a figure like yours when my second baby has been born! xxx

  11. Madelene Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Love yourself where you are! My gosh lady, what I wouldn’t do for a lovely body like yours. It’s natural to mourn our post-baby bodies but let me tell you a little secret: Men don’t care about stretch marks. IT’S TRUE! I’ve NEVER heard a guy say “Ugh, I’d date her if it weren’t for her stretch marks!” I’m sure they exist somewhere but they are few and far between. There’s a good man out there who will love you for your mind, heart and body. I was a single Mom for eight years before I found the love of my life, he loves me…stretch marks and all <3

  12. Charity Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I hardly ever comment on these, but I wanted to let you know. You ARE beautiful, however seeing these words will not change what you think about yourself. I know from experience. I’ve had two children (back to back) and have had problems with my self esteem/body image for years. You see what you want to see and sometimes that image that you have in your mind isn’t what is truly there. What really is there is a beautiful womanly body who has shown its strength and purpose and still looks wonderful enough to show off. Do not let your fears of what you /think/ you look like keep you from living your life.

    I wish I could give you a hug and let you know that sometimes our biggest critics are ourselves. <3

  13. Anon Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I think you look gorgeous! Having been had a baby or not, I think you look great.

  14. Donna Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Most women would kill to have your body. This is not hyperbole. But even if you did not so closely match society’s ideal for youthful beauty (which you naturally do, because of your genes), you would still be beautiful *because* of the amazing things your body did to bring a human being into this world. One thought that helped me when I liked my body less than I do now: one day, you will look back at your youth (you right now) and wish you loved your body then. Start now, and you will have more time on the planet to enjoy life while loving your body. Good luck!

  15. Nicole Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Gosh, I read your words and did not see the pictures first…and thought that you must look really horrible. When I saw your pictures…there is nothing bad, nothing horrible about your body! You are so beautiful! You only need to overcome the border in your mind, then your way into a realtaionship with a partner is no problem!

  16. Jackie Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Wow, you have a fantastic body! Your boobs still look great, too! I’m sorry you’re having trouble seeing how physically beautiful you are right now.

    Two years after my daughter was born (now almost 5), I learned my now ex-husband had been cheating on me with several different women from before we had married. I was devastated. Between all the changes my body had gone through (weight gain, stretch marks, surgical scars, breastfeeding) and my ex-husband’s infidelities, I lost my self confidence and love of myself for a long time. It’s been two years since I found out about his cheating and six months since I finally decided to leave him forever, because he never stopped cheating on me, and I’m only just now beginning to feel good about my appearance.

    Part of it has been exercising and losing weight (although you don’t look like you need to lose weight!), part of it has been talking to friends and my therapist about my feelings, and part of it has been falling in love with a friend of twelve years.

    The thing I most dislike about my body is my loose, wobbly belly with stretch marks and just the other day my lover kissed me there and told me it was beautiful and perfect. I wanted to reject the compliment, because I don’t feel that way at all, but I just said “thank you,” because I’m still learning to accept myself as I am and to understand that carrying life’s marks on my body does not make me ugly: it means I have lived.

    The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. You obviously love your child, so I hope you can let go of some of your insecurity and let yourself be loved in return. You are beautiful and you deserve it. I hope posting these pictures has been cathartic for you. :)

  17. Heather Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Huh. You look totally normal. If you find a great guy, I guarantee he will love you for the person you are. And I also guarantee he will just be excited that you are neked, stretch marks and all. Guys don’t care about that as much as the media wants you to think they do.

  18. Susan Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I can’t tell you that you’re beautiful and have you understand that unless you believe it for yourself. You should know that you absolutely do not look as you perceive yourself. I read your post and expected the exact opposite of what I saw in your pictures. After 6 kids (5 daughters!!), I’ve had my moments with my body, for sure. The reality is that you have stretch marks. Many men have them, too. You made a human to get yours. :) Accepting what you can’t change and working with what you have is a difficult skill but so worth it. It applies to every corner of life. Find something that makes You feel good. I like to stay fit with running, interval training and yoga. For you it might be something entirely different that doesn’t even involve sweat. Bottom line – Life is too short to not love yourself. You are STRONG and BRAVE and BEAUTIFUL and the mother of a Future Brave Strong Beautiful Woman. What’s not to love? Hugs to you.

  19. Sarah Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I don’t see a thing wrong with your body. I wish I could suggest ways to build your confidence. Maybe start doing things with your body that makes you proud of it again. Rock-climbing, running, weight-training, yoga? Anything that reminds you of its strength and beauty.

    Neither would I beat yourself up about the vitamin E–studies on its efficacy are ambiguous at best.

  20. danielle Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    My heart aches for u so much and its becuz u cant see the true beautiful woman u are!! Your soooo BEAUTIFUL!!! I have yet to post my pics up here cuz I dont know how to quite do that over my phone cuz thats all I have….but any way….I used to, but not so bad , feel the same way about my body. I was blunt to my husband and said I would rather be alone for the rest of my life then be married to him. I told him he deserved better. I felt so at fault for not educating myself on stretch mark products, or eating healthy and excersing like I should. I fet it was all my fault. I felt so ashamed, so ugly, so unworthy, just loathed what my body looks like. And I just wanted to see him have a prize possesion. As time has gone on, three beautiful blessings later…..each day I learn more and more what beauty is! Your sooooo beautiful! You gotta believe that!! the battle is in our mind and we at times can be our own worst enemy and critic on our bodies. But u know what!! YOU ARE THE PRIZE POSSESSION!!!! You are the crown of creation!! shape of a mother is amazing in showing true beauty! every need just another mom to talk to Id be happy to talk! my email is ddameron_21@yahoo.com.

  21. Kristin Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    You have a bangin body and awesome boobies! You look great! Put that all aside find someone who loves you for you and that will help your confidence.

  22. rose Says:
    August 2nd, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I have one son, and when I was pregnant I used a lot of oils for my breasts and belly. My belly is ok (except for the blue marks) but my breasts are twice as long as yours! I wish mine were on the same height as yours are, so there is really really nothing wrong with yours!! And this thing with oil you have: the oil doesnt work at all. It just feels nice to pour the oil over our belly and legs, but it didnt help us…

  23. Skye Says:
    August 2nd, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    OMG! I think you look fabulous!! You are curvy and sexy but not overweight in the least. You have great breasts and I bet you look wonderful in just about any outfit you wear. Your shape is clearly hourglass, with womanly breasts, a nice waist, and good hips. Girl, I would love to have your boobs!!!!! :) Love yourself first, then you’ll find someone who also loves you :) Self love first.

  24. Nitilda Says:
    August 2nd, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I think your body looks pretty good for having had a child. I got heaps of stretch marks all over my thighs, butt, boobs and calves and that was just during puberty! I thought my boobs looked quite saggy as I was overweight during this time and lost the weight in my late teens. It took me a long time to accept that my womanly body had been “ruined” while it was still developing but acceptance is all there is.

    The other thing is that you are probably harder on yourself than anyone else would be because you are obviously missing what you used to have. People can be superficial but really, a lot of guys don’t pay that much attention to every part that you are conscious about and if you get involved with someone who actually likes you as a person, they’re not going to mind the imperfections. After all your body changed from having a child!

    You might want to consider resistance training in an effort to add muscle to your body. You don’t need to lose weight but muscle is lean and long and can do a lot to improve how your body can look, even on a slim person. I’m two weeks pp and totally looking forward to doing weights again to build up the muscle and help me out with a lean look again. This was my first pregnancy and while I didn’t get any stretch marks on top of the existing ones I had, I did get a few on my lower stomach which I was sad about because my stomach had been the only part of me not to get stretch marks during puberty. I’m dealing with that by remembering that they will fade, I can add muscle tone and there are heaps of celebrities who got a bunch of stretch marks during pregnancy too (Katie Holmes, Gwen Stefani, Jessica Alba).

  25. Snippet Says:
    August 5th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I’ve never been pregnant and I’ve never looked this good.

    Your body works, you’ve produced your beautiful child, and your whole life is ahead of you.

    At 21 a neurological issue started affecting me. Now, at 35. I’m paralysed from the waist down, can’t use my hands, and will never live independently. I’ll never have kids, or work again, but I don’t hate my body as badly as you hate yours. I appreciate for what it is, and what it *can* do, instead of mourning what it isn’t.

    You do deserve love, but you need to love yourself first, and you need help with your mental health so that you can feel whole again.

    I’d hate for this to affect your child, because it will if you don’t put a stop to it.

    Good luck.

  26. lee Says:
    August 8th, 2013 at 2:03 am

    I dont know what you see but girl you look good! You need to go look up my post to see what wrecked boobs and deep stretch marks look like, Its called “hating my body”, I even did an update which looks worse! I HATEEEEE my body, and have good reason to. Yours looks awesome!

  27. Lici Says:
    August 9th, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Your breasts look great and you have an amazing body. You are beautiful.

  28. mellisa Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    you look fine.we have a lot of similarities and I feelthe same way you do.I got a lot more stretch marks tho.I am prego with my 2nd child and I worry if my boobs will get saggier after I give birth.I think if I look like u do then I should have nothing to worry about cuz u look great. Any man would love to have a woman with a body like that.Im not just saying this it is true I haven’t commented on any thing but this reminds me of me& u look to good to hide it.Rock it momma:) ur very pretty>

  29. Nikki Says:
    September 12th, 2013 at 9:08 am

    You are beautiful! Trust me guys do not see all those minor imperfections that we as woman tend to focus way too much on. As hard as it is- stop allowing those negative thoughts to enter your head. Try seeking counseling if you can’t do it on your own. Everyone needs some love (and sex) in their life, and you will feel so much better with yourself once you are able to get past your insecurities.

  30. Heather Says:
    October 8th, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    You have great tone on your stomach, my belly button looks like its frowning. I too have fair skin and it is less forgiving than darker skin however a little fake tan goes a looong way into improving the appearance of stretch marks and giving overall tone. And you still have lovely full breasts! which most of us would kill for! You really have a very distorted view on how attractive you actually are. Put yourself out there and you will find a loving partner who looks past the superficial and remember men have their own body hang ups too! I promise when you see each other naked for the first time he will be thinking about his own body and what you think about it and secondly he will be thinking WOW there is a hot naked woman in front of me!! Buy yourself some pretty underwear, get your hair done and go out and enjoy your life. You have a very attractive body! stop looking at women in magazines and start looking around you! Regular women would kill for your physique! You deserve love and happiness in your life! Go and see a counsellor to turn around that negative voice that tells you your not good enough. If you can’t manage that put a hair tie around your wrist and every time you have a negative thought about yourself flick yourself and say ” next subject please!” good luck how exciting to be able to fall in love and have a first kiss again xxoo

  31. Larry Says:
    December 2nd, 2013 at 10:48 am

    You have a fantastic body. Trust me, you have nothing to worry about in looking for a man to love you and provide a father figureffor your daughter. Go for it girl.

  32. stuart Says:
    December 26th, 2013 at 1:07 am

    From a father of three, may I tell you that most women would probably kill for a body like yours (even those that have never been pregnant) And a lot of men would kill to be WITH a woman like you. You are a gorgeous woman.

  33. Kendall Says:
    February 3rd, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    I find a lot of what helped me was LETTING men into my life even though I felt awful about my body. My current problem is that I AM overweight and in need of exercise just because weight or not it makes you feel good to move, but my boyfriend insists on making me feel so good about myself that it’s hard to find motivation to change it! You are beautiful. Men are far more accepting of (or blind to) our perceived flaws than women are, and a man who sees them and cares is not good enough for you anyway. You have nothing to fear from them. As Larry said up there, go for it.

  34. Tomi Says:
    April 22nd, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I literally have the same body as you. And for awhile, I was super self-conscious of my “saggy boobs”, stretch marks, and new motherly appearance. My daughter will be 2 this summer, and I’ve got my bikini all picked out. I’ve asked ALL my guys friends. They don’t care about stretch marks. Most actually respect them because they understand what it means to bring a baby into this world, and if our body changes in the process, then so be it. You’re beautiful girl, go back out there and find someone, you deserve it. <3

  35. 30yo man Says:
    May 14th, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Wow, you look absolutely amazing. Some men think stretch marks are sexy. I’ve seen many women who had children naked, and I personally prefer “real” women like yourself. Many “real men” do. God bless

  36. Jake Says:
    May 16th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Let me just say.You are gorgeous. Please do not judge yourself. You deserve to have a life. There are many men out there that would die to have a beautiful woman like yourself. Stretch marks are a badge of honor. You brought life into this world. Celebrate your body. Any man who would think otherwise is not a man. You have a sexy body. I hope this helps as I am a man.

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