Their transparency feels like a breath of fresh air.

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influencers normalizing stretch marks
Credit: Getty Images

The first time I noticed a stretch mark on my thighs I was 12-years-old. I had just gone through a major growth spurt and was entering puberty, both things that cause the body to expand and change in new ways. Still, I had not been prepared for stretch marks.

My mom didn't have them. My friends didn't have them. I had never seen them portrayed on television, in advertising, or in movies. The only thing I did know about them that was that pregnant people sometimes got them. But I hadn't been pregnant—I was barely a teenager. As I got older, more stretch marks appeared, and each one seemed to be another reason to feel shame and to hide my body. For most of my teenage years, I genuinely thought I was the only person who had stretch marks on their hips, stomach, or arms. It wasn't until I started following a diverse group of body-positive and fat-positive people on Instagram that I finally realized I was far from alone. 

Stretch marks—whether from weight gain, pregnancy, growth spurts, weight loss, or other reasons—are normal. They're not harmful, dangerous, or indications of poor health. They're not markers of failure or success. For some people, they are just part of life.

Influencers who make a point to publicly share their stretch marks and experiences with them are important reminders of this. If I had been able to see photos of people with stretch marks growing up, not only would I have felt less ashamed and alone, but I might have also seen that stretch marks don't have to (and shouldn't) affect self-confidence and self-worth. Instead, they can be a small, unimportant detail of your life. In the spirit of body positivity, here are 10 of my favorite influencers who normalize stretch marks on Instagram.

1. Bekah of @FullBodiedBekah

Bekah shares about her body, fat-positivity, and stretch marks in a way that makes it seem like self-love is a complicated (but worth it) journey. As she writes at the beginning of one post, "Friends, you were not put on this earth to stay small. My stretch marks act as a daily reminder that there is always room to grow, change and evolve." Whether they feature her stretch marks or not, Bekah's posts are helpful reminders of just this.

2. Sarah of @thebirdspapaya

If there's anyone on Instagram who's straight up famous for confidently showing their stretch marks, it's Sarah. Her thoughtful, introspective posts about the way her body has shifted and changed throughout her life (and motherhood) are one of the many reasons she has an audience of nearly two million people. 

3. Kayleigh of @Britishdreamgurl

Kayleigh shares about her journey of eating disorder recovery and learning to love and accept parts of herself she used to dislike. In one post about her stomach she writes, "I look at my stomach and I feel warmth, rather than steps on how to fix it or repair it, I'm just working on the inner me first because it's not my body's fault for what has come. I can't blame myself for not being perfect, nor can I blame myself for wanting more, but I can tell you that even the thing you dislike most about yourself you can learn to love. If I can work towards loving something I have spent a decade tearing apart, you can push to accept something about you that you struggle with to this day..."

4. Tiffany Ima

For those looking for a body-positive source of inspiration for all things fitness and wellness, Tiffany Ima is your girl. She frequently posts her workouts and wellness habits but also shares important reminders that your fitness and your wellness habits don't have to look like just one thing, either. Her entire account is a positive reminder that health and thinness are not synonymous at all.

5. Ashley Dorough

Ashley Dorough posts about fashion, motherhood, fat-positivity, body acceptance, and the intersection of all of the above. This also means that she's posted quite a bit about stretch marks, body changes, and weight gain. Dorough's posts about the power of being curious about a changing body rather than critical are particularly inspiring.

6. Bailey of TheBaileyP

A model and content creator, Bailey posts about a little bit of everything—her work as a fit model, plus-size fashion, travel, and her love of country music. Her content is a great reminder that someone with stretch marks can rock a low-rise bikini, be in love, work as a model, and wear that crop top all while being happy and confident, no questions asked.

7. Elle of @Sheis.elle

Often focusing on motherhood and postpartum body image issues, Elle's posts are supportive, comforting, and above all, authentic. Looking for real, raw inspiration to accept your body how it is right now, no matter what? Elle has lots of posts that will help you get there.

8. Casey of @Streetbeateats

If you're looking for plus-size fashion content with a touch of bridal and lifestyle inspiration, too, Texas-based Casey has you covered. Casey also posts quite a bit about being a curvy girl with a large chest and the challenges that can bring (bra shopping, anyone?), including having stretch marks.

9. Meg Boggs

Think people who lift very heavy weights all look the same way? Think again. Meg's content centers around the idea that fitness should be for all bodies, and that health isn't determined by body shape or size. She also shares a lot about motherhood and body neutrality in a way that will resonate with you whether you're a weight-lifting enthusiast or not.

10. Brynta of @Bryntinstagram

Self-love and plus-size fashion influencer Brynta shares things like stretch marks and discoloration from her specific perspective as a South Asian woman. As she writes in one post, "As a woman (from the South Asian community) I was shamed for every little imperfection, which included textured/discolored skin, of which I've had for most of my life...Fair and lovely, turmeric masks that burned our faces, cellulite gel, and so many other things were given to us as 'remedies' for what the world deemed as a problem."