Being A Full Time Blogger, Working From Home, Pros and Cons
Back in October, I took the plunge into the world of full time blogging and whilst it’s the dream job in some senses, it does come with its downfalls too – just like any job does. With more and more bloggers turning their hobby into a career, I thought it’d be nice to share my experiences so far and any advice I have for those of you thinking about taking the plunge into blogging as a career.
For me personally, the decision came after being unhappy at two jobs and feeling like I had no time to do what I really loved to do which is writing my blog, planning my social media content and getting creative with my photography. I’m not going to lie, it’s something I had to think long and hard about as leaving a secure full time job is a big risk to take – especially when you have rent and bills to pay every month. However, after feeling miserable for a couple of months, I decided my happiness should come first so I made the decision to hand my notice in and I haven’t looked back since.
Below I’ve outlined what I feel are the pros and cons of working for myself and being a full time blogger! Everyone has different experiences and thoughts on this so these are just mine. Hopefully you can relate to a few of them if you’re a full time blogger yourself or it will help you out in making a decision if it’s something you’re considering doing.
PROS
Having more time to do what I love
As mentioned above, when I was working full time, I was really struggling to dedicate time to my blog. Don’t get me wrong, I managed, but it was hard. Most of my evenings and weekends would be spent blogging which meant I’d miss out on quality time to spend with my boyfriend, family and friends. Now I’m doing this full time, I can plan my days and work around social events or date nights with my boyfriend and not have to worry that I haven’t wrote a post or taken any imagery for my social media accounts.
Being my own boss
I’m definitely an independent person who likes to do things at my own pace so this would have to be one of my favourite things about working for myself. The fact I don’t have anyone to answer to other than myself is such a great feeling and helps keep my stress and anxiety at bay. In previous jobs I’ve been shot down or punished for having an opinion or thinking outside the box which seems ridiculous but some employers don’t like people who are willing to voice their opinion and treat their employees like robots rather than human beings with feelings. Perhaps I’ve just had bad experiences but it’s so refreshing to not have that kind of negativity in my life anymore and to be able to do things when and how I want.
Working in my PJ’s with no makeup on
Oh this is just the best! Being able to get out of bed, make myself breakfast and sit on the sofa in my PJ’s with no makeup on is amazing! For example, I’m currently typing this in my bright Pink checked pyjamas with a cappuccino and Loose Women on the TV – much better than being stuck in an office I say! This does have its downside too which I’ll talk about in the ‘cons’ section of this post but for the most part, I love being able to work in the comfort of my own home. 
Flexible working hours
Another great thing about working for myself is that the hours I work are completely flexible as I’m the one who calls the shots. So that means if I want to treat myself to a lie in, I can. If I want to pop out for lunch with a friend, I can. Or if I want to book a last minute holiday, I can do it without worrying about booking the time off work. It’s a great feeling as it means I can do so much more with my time – for example, since going full time, it’s been so much easier for me to attend blogger events as they’re often mid-week and when I was working full time, I just couldn’t get the time off. However, just because my hours are flexible it doesn’t mean I don’t put the hours in – I can often still be on my laptop at 10pm at night writing blog posts and I’m constantly glued to my phone updating social media. Bloggers aren’t lying when they say it’s a seven day week job!
More opportunities
I have to mention this as after all, when we go full time as bloggers, we have to be earning enough money to survive each month. Before going full time, I’d do the odd bit of paid work here and there but due to time restraints, there was a lot of opportunities I missed out on and a lot of sponsored work I had to turn down as I just couldn’t physically fit it all in. However, now I’m blogging full time, I’m open to working on more collaborations and have more time to attend meetings, discuss work over phone calls and attend events – all of which open up more opportunities.

___________________________________________________________

CONS
It gets lonely
As much as I love working from home, one of the downsides would definitely have to be loneliness. I’m quite lucky in the respect I freelance for a fashion brand twice a week which means I get to go to their offices and actually interact with people which is something I do miss on the days I’m on my own all day. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes being on my own is a great thing as it means I have less distractions but I am a very sociable person who likes to be around other people so it can get a bit lonely. When it gets to around 3/4pm, I’m so ready for my boyfriend to get home from work! 
There’s more pressure
This is definitely something I’ve noticed since going full time and it would have to be the worst thing about it for me. I feel like doing blogging as a full time job brings a lot of expectations – I feel like everything needs to be ten times better now than it did when it was a hobby alongside my full time job. I feel like my imagery needs to be better, I need to post more often, I need to be on Twitter 24/7, I need to attend every event I’m invited to, I need to be doing something interesting ALL THE TIME etc, etc, etc – the list goes on guys. I know these are mostly just pressures I put onto myself but I do think people expect more from you when you’re blogging full time. I’ll be honest, I’m never going to be the blogger who posts every single day or tweets the link to my new post ten times a day – I’ve never done it before and don’t intent to do it now, even if it would help my blog to grow or come across as more ‘professional’ to my readers and brands. I think a lot of people presume you should be on the ball constantly if it’s your full time job but for me, I need those days where I’m not so active to plan my content, shoot imagery, catch up on emails or even just to relax and have a bit of time to myself away from the internet. That might not be the smartest move but that’s how I like to work – it stops everything from getting too much as it’s very easy to become too consumed by blogging. I guess everyone is different and I should remember that and not let the pressure get to me too much.
Money isn’t guaranteed
I had to include this as I think every full time blogger has the same worries when it comes to money. Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have made the decision to go full time as a blogger if I didn’t think I could make a decent living from it as I need money to pay my bills at the end of the day. However, unlike your typical 9-5 job, money isn’t guaranteed and I don’t get a set amount of money paid into my bank each month. Some months are better than others, some weeks pass by and no opportunities come along and other weeks, my inbox is overflowing with exciting opportunities. I can sometimes be waiting months and months for an invoice to be paid which can make managing my monthly finances pretty difficult and it’s definitely hard to feel financially secure when you’re a full time blogger as you just never know what’s around the corner. However, the plus side to that would be that it keeps me on my toes and encourages me to work hard too so it’s not all bad. 
Fears for the future
Much like the point above, I often have fears that blogging won’t be around for much longer and that something new will come along that means bloggers aren’t needed anymore. At the moment, bloggers earn a living from brand collaborations but what if brands don’t want to work with bloggers anymore? What if a new and improved form of advertising their products to thousands of people comes along? What if people get bored of my content and don’t want to read my blog or follow my social media anymore? I know it’s a lot of ‘what if’s’ but when you’re doing this as a job, it’s a big worry. Let’s face it, blogging isn’t a conventional job like being a doctor, teacher or lawyer is – those kind of jobs will always but around but will blogging? I mean I know I can always go back to full time employment if I want to but it would be nice to have a feeling of security about what the future holds career wise. 
It requires serious motivation
As much as working for myself is brilliant in so many respects, it also requires serious motivation. When you don’t have anybody to answer to, it’s very easy to have thoughts like ‘oh, that can wait’, ‘I’ll just watch one more episode of that TV show on Netflix’ or ‘I’ll just have a quick nap’ (yep, naps become more regular too – guilty!). Now I’m not saying this happens all the time as I wouldn’t be writing this post now if that was the case but sometimes, working for yourself does make it easier to slack than it would be if you were in an office environment as lets face it, there’s always going to be more distractions in the comfort of your own home. It probably doesn’t help I don’t currently have a proper office to work in so I often find myself sat on the sofa which isn’t the most productive place to work after all. However, I’m moving into my very first house soon (more on the in another post as I’m super excited) and already have plans to turn one of the spare bedrooms into a pretty and productive work space which I’m hoping will make me feel way more motivated to get things done more efficiently.
So there we have it – my pros and cons of full time blogging and working from home! I hope this post has been useful for some of you and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the points I’ve made. Do you agree with any of them or is there anything else you’d add if you also blog full time or work from home?!

Being A Full Time Blogger, Working From Home, Pros and Cons
Back in October, I took the plunge into the world of full time blogging and whilst it’s the dream job in some senses, it does come with its downfalls too – just like any job does. With more and more bloggers turning their hobby into a career, I thought it’d be nice to share my experiences so far and any advice I have for those of you thinking about taking the plunge into blogging as a career.
For me personally, the decision came after being unhappy at two jobs and feeling like I had no time to do what I really loved to do which is writing my blog, planning my social media content and getting creative with my photography. I’m not going to lie, it’s something I had to think long and hard about as leaving a secure full time job is a big risk to take – especially when you have rent and bills to pay every month. However, after feeling miserable for a couple of months, I decided my happiness should come first so I made the decision to hand my notice in and I haven’t looked back since.
Below I’ve outlined what I feel are the pros and cons of working for myself and being a full time blogger! Everyone has different experiences and thoughts on this so these are just mine. Hopefully you can relate to a few of them if you’re a full time blogger yourself or it will help you out in making a decision if it’s something you’re considering doing.
PROS
Having more time to do what I love
As mentioned above, when I was working full time, I was really struggling to dedicate time to my blog. Don’t get me wrong, I managed, but it was hard. Most of my evenings and weekends would be spent blogging which meant I’d miss out on quality time to spend with my boyfriend, family and friends. Now I’m doing this full time, I can plan my days and work around social events or date nights with my boyfriend and not have to worry that I haven’t wrote a post or taken any imagery for my social media accounts.
Being my own boss
I’m definitely an independent person who likes to do things at my own pace so this would have to be one of my favourite things about working for myself. The fact I don’t have anyone to answer to other than myself is such a great feeling and helps keep my stress and anxiety at bay. In previous jobs I’ve been shot down or punished for having an opinion or thinking outside the box which seems ridiculous but some employers don’t like people who are willing to voice their opinion and treat their employees like robots rather than human beings with feelings. Perhaps I’ve just had bad experiences but it’s so refreshing to not have that kind of negativity in my life anymore and to be able to do things when and how I want.
Working in my PJ’s with no makeup on
Oh this is just the best! Being able to get out of bed, make myself breakfast and sit on the sofa in my PJ’s with no makeup on is amazing! For example, I’m currently typing this in my bright Pink checked pyjamas with a cappuccino and Loose Women on the TV – much better than being stuck in an office I say! This does have its downside too which I’ll talk about in the ‘cons’ section of this post but for the most part, I love being able to work in the comfort of my own home. 
Flexible working hours
Another great thing about working for myself is that the hours I work are completely flexible as I’m the one who calls the shots. So that means if I want to treat myself to a lie in, I can. If I want to pop out for lunch with a friend, I can. Or if I want to book a last minute holiday, I can do it without worrying about booking the time off work. It’s a great feeling as it means I can do so much more with my time – for example, since going full time, it’s been so much easier for me to attend blogger events as they’re often mid-week and when I was working full time, I just couldn’t get the time off. However, just because my hours are flexible it doesn’t mean I don’t put the hours in – I can often still be on my laptop at 10pm at night writing blog posts and I’m constantly glued to my phone updating social media. Bloggers aren’t lying when they say it’s a seven day week job!
More opportunities
I have to mention this as after all, when we go full time as bloggers, we have to be earning enough money to survive each month. Before going full time, I’d do the odd bit of paid work here and there but due to time restraints, there was a lot of opportunities I missed out on and a lot of sponsored work I had to turn down as I just couldn’t physically fit it all in. However, now I’m blogging full time, I’m open to working on more collaborations and have more time to attend meetings, discuss work over phone calls and attend events – all of which open up more opportunities.

___________________________________________________________

CONS
It gets lonely
As much as I love working from home, one of the downsides would definitely have to be loneliness. I’m quite lucky in the respect I freelance for a fashion brand twice a week which means I get to go to their offices and actually interact with people which is something I do miss on the days I’m on my own all day. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes being on my own is a great thing as it means I have less distractions but I am a very sociable person who likes to be around other people so it can get a bit lonely. When it gets to around 3/4pm, I’m so ready for my boyfriend to get home from work! 
There’s more pressure
This is definitely something I’ve noticed since going full time and it would have to be the worst thing about it for me. I feel like doing blogging as a full time job brings a lot of expectations – I feel like everything needs to be ten times better now than it did when it was a hobby alongside my full time job. I feel like my imagery needs to be better, I need to post more often, I need to be on Twitter 24/7, I need to attend every event I’m invited to, I need to be doing something interesting ALL THE TIME etc, etc, etc – the list goes on guys. I know these are mostly just pressures I put onto myself but I do think people expect more from you when you’re blogging full time. I’ll be honest, I’m never going to be the blogger who posts every single day or tweets the link to my new post ten times a day – I’ve never done it before and don’t intent to do it now, even if it would help my blog to grow or come across as more ‘professional’ to my readers and brands. I think a lot of people presume you should be on the ball constantly if it’s your full time job but for me, I need those days where I’m not so active to plan my content, shoot imagery, catch up on emails or even just to relax and have a bit of time to myself away from the internet. That might not be the smartest move but that’s how I like to work – it stops everything from getting too much as it’s very easy to become too consumed by blogging. I guess everyone is different and I should remember that and not let the pressure get to me too much.
Money isn’t guaranteed
I had to include this as I think every full time blogger has the same worries when it comes to money. Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have made the decision to go full time as a blogger if I didn’t think I could make a decent living from it as I need money to pay my bills at the end of the day. However, unlike your typical 9-5 job, money isn’t guaranteed and I don’t get a set amount of money paid into my bank each month. Some months are better than others, some weeks pass by and no opportunities come along and other weeks, my inbox is overflowing with exciting opportunities. I can sometimes be waiting months and months for an invoice to be paid which can make managing my monthly finances pretty difficult and it’s definitely hard to feel financially secure when you’re a full time blogger as you just never know what’s around the corner. However, the plus side to that would be that it keeps me on my toes and encourages me to work hard too so it’s not all bad. 
Fears for the future
Much like the point above, I often have fears that blogging won’t be around for much longer and that something new will come along that means bloggers aren’t needed anymore. At the moment, bloggers earn a living from brand collaborations but what if brands don’t want to work with bloggers anymore? What if a new and improved form of advertising their products to thousands of people comes along? What if people get bored of my content and don’t want to read my blog or follow my social media anymore? I know it’s a lot of ‘what if’s’ but when you’re doing this as a job, it’s a big worry. Let’s face it, blogging isn’t a conventional job like being a doctor, teacher or lawyer is – those kind of jobs will always but around but will blogging? I mean I know I can always go back to full time employment if I want to but it would be nice to have a feeling of security about what the future holds career wise. 
It requires serious motivation
As much as working for myself is brilliant in so many respects, it also requires serious motivation. When you don’t have anybody to answer to, it’s very easy to have thoughts like ‘oh, that can wait’, ‘I’ll just watch one more episode of that TV show on Netflix’ or ‘I’ll just have a quick nap’ (yep, naps become more regular too – guilty!). Now I’m not saying this happens all the time as I wouldn’t be writing this post now if that was the case but sometimes, working for yourself does make it easier to slack than it would be if you were in an office environment as lets face it, there’s always going to be more distractions in the comfort of your own home. It probably doesn’t help I don’t currently have a proper office to work in so I often find myself sat on the sofa which isn’t the most productive place to work after all. However, I’m moving into my very first house soon (more on the in another post as I’m super excited) and already have plans to turn one of the spare bedrooms into a pretty and productive work space which I’m hoping will make me feel way more motivated to get things done more efficiently.
So there we have it – my pros and cons of full time blogging and working from home! I hope this post has been useful for some of you and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the points I’ve made. Do you agree with any of them or is there anything else you’d add if you also blog full time or work from home?!

Most people think working in the fashion industry is uber glamorous and whilst there are elements of it that can be, there’s also a few down sides. I worked in fashion for two years before recently deciding to take the plunge into full time blogging so I’ve seen everything there is to see – the highs, the lows, the daily stresses. As I said most people think it’s a super fun job that comes with lots of perks and in one sense it is. My favourite thing about it would be that no day is the same – there’s always something new going on and its a role that is great for creative people like me as it really allows you to get imaginative and come up with ideas to make the business the best it can be. However, it also comes with a lot of pressure, stress and deadlines. I’d say it requires bags of confidence, creativity and dedication to make it in the fashion industry and without them traits, you’ll soon get lost in a sea of competitors all trying to compete for that number one spot. 
It’s a very fast paced industry so if you’re someone who prefers to go into the office, know what you’re doing each day and like to be left alone to get things done, fashion probably isn’t for you as there’ll always be someone asking you to do something, there’ll always be things that crop up at the last minute and you may be required to work outside of the standard 9-5 hours to get things done! I personally worked in the PR, Marketing and blogger outreach department which I thoroughly enjoyed as it’s something I have an interest in and being a blogger myself, I felt I had an advantage as I almost know what bloggers want to see and how they prefer to be contacted. If you’re wanting to get into the fashion or beauty industry for that matter, having a blog can be a real advantage! It was always a big talking point in interviews I attended and it shows dedication and passion to the industry.
However, as well as the marketing team, there’s many other roles within the fashion industry including buyers, designers, merchandisers, e-commerce executives, graphic designers, creative managers, models, makeup artists, stylists and a whole team managing those social media sites you see constantly updated. There’s a LOT of people that go into the successful running of a fashion brand and it can be very full on which is something people often forget. You need to be on the ball with everything – important dates, celebrity gossip, new trends and up and coming bloggers just to name a few. There can be very tight deadlines to meet and every role often involves targets. So I guess one thing I’d say is you must be organised, focused and prepared to work under pressure. I personally work better under pressure as it gives you the incentive to get things done that bit quicker and to the best of your ability but I know it’s not for everyone.
It’s always best to get some experience in your chosen industry before committing to it as your chosen career and that’s where internships come in really handy. I actually used to manage interns in one of my previous roles and the majority of girls I had working with me were really willing to get stuck in and learn as much as possible. That’s the attitude to have in the fashion industry and it won’t go un-noticed. Many interns I worked with were actually hired as full time employees when the internship was up to it just shows, hard work will usually pay off! However, as there’s such a huge number of people wanting to work in fashion and only a few internships up for grabs, securing yourself one isn’t easy. However, there’s always other things you can do to give yourself an insight into the fashion work – there’s loads of info online from people in the industry so a big tip would be to make sure you do your research before applying for any jobs! 
A new discovery of mine that isn’t too serious but gives you a great insight into the world of fashion is Nintendo’s new game for their 3DS console, ‘New Style Boutique 2 – Fashion Forward‘. The game allows you to run your very own fashion boutique and take on various roles to make it a success! How cool?! I used to be addicted to playing them when I was younger but as I’ve got older and life responsibilities have got in the way, my time for playing games has gone out of the window. Not good! However, no I have the 3DS (which is sooo cool by the way – 3D games? Yes!), I imagine   a lot of my free time is going to be spent on it. 
The idea behind New Style Boutique is that you can manage your own successful boutique in the city and take on various roles within the boutique. Fancy yourself as a designer, model, make-up artist or stylist? This game allows you to take on all of those roles, giving your customers makeovers and bringing new stock to the shop! As a fashion lover like myself, I’ve had so much fun doing this and I’m not going to lie, it kind of makes me want to open a boutique! I also have to point out how amazing the graphics are – I’m seriously impressed! The game is available across Europe from today so if you own a Nintendo 3DS and are interested in the world of fashion, you need to get your hands on it!

Have you considered working in fashion? Which role do you think you’d be best suited for?

 *I worked with Nintendo on this post. However, as always, all views are my own!

Most people think working in the fashion industry is uber glamorous and whilst there are elements of it that can be, there’s also a few down sides. I worked in fashion for two years before recently deciding to take the plunge into full time blogging so I’ve seen everything there is to see – the highs, the lows, the daily stresses. As I said most people think it’s a super fun job that comes with lots of perks and in one sense it is. My favourite thing about it would be that no day is the same – there’s always something new going on and its a role that is great for creative people like me as it really allows you to get imaginative and come up with ideas to make the business the best it can be. However, it also comes with a lot of pressure, stress and deadlines. I’d say it requires bags of confidence, creativity and dedication to make it in the fashion industry and without them traits, you’ll soon get lost in a sea of competitors all trying to compete for that number one spot. 
It’s a very fast paced industry so if you’re someone who prefers to go into the office, know what you’re doing each day and like to be left alone to get things done, fashion probably isn’t for you as there’ll always be someone asking you to do something, there’ll always be things that crop up at the last minute and you may be required to work outside of the standard 9-5 hours to get things done! I personally worked in the PR, Marketing and blogger outreach department which I thoroughly enjoyed as it’s something I have an interest in and being a blogger myself, I felt I had an advantage as I almost know what bloggers want to see and how they prefer to be contacted. If you’re wanting to get into the fashion or beauty industry for that matter, having a blog can be a real advantage! It was always a big talking point in interviews I attended and it shows dedication and passion to the industry.
However, as well as the marketing team, there’s many other roles within the fashion industry including buyers, designers, merchandisers, e-commerce executives, graphic designers, creative managers, models, makeup artists, stylists and a whole team managing those social media sites you see constantly updated. There’s a LOT of people that go into the successful running of a fashion brand and it can be very full on which is something people often forget. You need to be on the ball with everything – important dates, celebrity gossip, new trends and up and coming bloggers just to name a few. There can be very tight deadlines to meet and every role often involves targets. So I guess one thing I’d say is you must be organised, focused and prepared to work under pressure. I personally work better under pressure as it gives you the incentive to get things done that bit quicker and to the best of your ability but I know it’s not for everyone.
It’s always best to get some experience in your chosen industry before committing to it as your chosen career and that’s where internships come in really handy. I actually used to manage interns in one of my previous roles and the majority of girls I had working with me were really willing to get stuck in and learn as much as possible. That’s the attitude to have in the fashion industry and it won’t go un-noticed. Many interns I worked with were actually hired as full time employees when the internship was up to it just shows, hard work will usually pay off! However, as there’s such a huge number of people wanting to work in fashion and only a few internships up for grabs, securing yourself one isn’t easy. However, there’s always other things you can do to give yourself an insight into the fashion work – there’s loads of info online from people in the industry so a big tip would be to make sure you do your research before applying for any jobs! 
A new discovery of mine that isn’t too serious but gives you a great insight into the world of fashion is Nintendo’s new game for their 3DS console, ‘New Style Boutique 2 – Fashion Forward‘. The game allows you to run your very own fashion boutique and take on various roles to make it a success! How cool?! I used to be addicted to playing them when I was younger but as I’ve got older and life responsibilities have got in the way, my time for playing games has gone out of the window. Not good! However, no I have the 3DS (which is sooo cool by the way – 3D games? Yes!), I imagine   a lot of my free time is going to be spent on it. 
The idea behind New Style Boutique is that you can manage your own successful boutique in the city and take on various roles within the boutique. Fancy yourself as a designer, model, make-up artist or stylist? This game allows you to take on all of those roles, giving your customers makeovers and bringing new stock to the shop! As a fashion lover like myself, I’ve had so much fun doing this and I’m not going to lie, it kind of makes me want to open a boutique! I also have to point out how amazing the graphics are – I’m seriously impressed! The game is available across Europe from today so if you own a Nintendo 3DS and are interested in the world of fashion, you need to get your hands on it!

Have you considered working in fashion? Which role do you think you’d be best suited for?

 *I worked with Nintendo on this post. However, as always, all views are my own!

Seven Women On Their Stretch Marks

“Stretch marks are the badge of a real woman” goes one of my favorite quotes in the film For Keeps? by John G. Avildsen. Growing up, I was always embarrassed of my stretch marks—especially in gym class. Back then (it wasn’t really that long ago), I never talked about it, which just made me feel more uncomfortable in my skin. But that’s the thing about teenage years: Everyone’s a little uncomfortable in high school. Since then, I’ve become more confident in my “imperfections,” partially because every woman can have stretch marks, no matter her shape or form. In an effort to spread that confidence to everyone, I decided to photograph and interview other “real woman,” as Avildsen would call them, who are also proud to show off their own zebra stripes.

—Dana Boulos

Alexia Louise Harris-Gomez 

“I first discovered the stretch marks on my stomach when I was eight months pregnant with my son in May of last year. I learned a lot about my body during that time. Before I had a baby, I would complain about my stomach and how I didn’t like it but now that I have a bunch of stretch marks, I think of how crazy I was dwelling on my body. I would always be comparing myself to celebrities and internet pictures of girls’ bodies. Now I try to stop beating myself up about my body issues, even though seeing these marks on my belly makes me have insecurities. But the best advice I can give is to stop comparing yourself to other people and give yourself time to really appreciate the skin you’re in.”

Alix Vernet

I recently and rather abruptly stopped ballet and the weight gain caused some stretch marks. I remember being really surprised because I thought stretch marks only occurred in older or pregnant women—my mom had stretch marks and the idea that I could get them was extremely bizarre. I also had this very pre-pubescent body and having marks that I associated to mature womanhood made me much more aware of myself. I see so many images showcasing ‘flawless’ women, which makes me start to feel a hatred towards my imperfections. But it also completely alienates me from my own body—it turns my physical self into some sort of logical impossibility. I never saw stretch marks in the media growing up and therefore assumed they were both flawed and that they didn’t really exist…and how weird is that? When did our own bodies become so visually foreign? Never be ashamed of loving yourself and don’t be afraid to reveal your marks, because if people see that you love yourself, maybe others will learn to love themselves, too.”

Mercedes Mesquivel

I first noticed my stretch marks pop up around my hips when I was 15 years old. I felt insecure just like everyone else my age. But I learned that stretch marks can be cute! I call them the stripes of life—they show how far we’ve come, whether caused by growth spurts, weight loss or pregnancy. Whenever I feel insecure about my stretch marks I just remind myself that it’s never the first thing people will notice about me.”

Kyle Beechy

“I got stretch marks at a super young age…I was like 10 or 12. I was a little terrified that my skin seemed to be ripping or something. My mother explained to me that this was normal and nothing to be embarrassed about. Everyone on this planet has stretch marks! Let’s be real—you can’t be embarrassed about them. Just dont be! They fade, they come back and they are totally out of your control. Besides, there is a beauty to them, the patterns they form. There is also something so inherently feminine about them, although men can get them, its not the same.”

Carmela Geronca

“I remembered discovering stretch marks on my body around the age of 8 or 9 while vacationing in the Philippines with my family. I was hanging out in my swimsuit after going to the beach, and saw some on my thighs. Honestly, I would have rather seen a new bug bite. But I learned to think of my stretch marks as something that makes my skin mine. No one else will have these marks on them exactly as you do, just as no one will have the exact moles and fingerprints as you. It adds to the list of what makes you special and YOU.”

Dani Vee

“When my body started to develop, that’s when I saw stretch marks. They started on my thighs and moved up to my hips. I never actively tried to make them go away or prevent them because they don’t bother me at all. I’ve found them to be a natural part of growing as a human that I like to call My Booty Stripes. Don’t feel nervous to bare those beautiful stripes. You aren’t alone!”

Sydney Lopez

“I got stretch marks on my hips when I got curves, and I guess I had no choice in the matter. I work in an industry trying to push that perfection. People are scared of real bodies and that’s unfortunate, but that’s been changing recently. I will admit that when you’re young, it feels more intense and you’re more aware of the imperfections on your body. All of us have imperfections and that’s OK!”

Photographed by the author.

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