Debrief Staff | Contributing Writer | Thursday, 2 November 2017

This Artist Is Covering Her Stretch Marks In Glitter And We Love It

This Artist Is Covering Her Stretch Marks In Glitter And We Love It

The Debrief: 'I have never felt so powerful and liberated'

Stretch marks. Almost all of us have them, and many of us are torn between a love-hate relationship with them. For some people, they might be a thing have they desperately try to cover up  or feel anxious about exposing on a beach - but learning to love them (or at the very least, not feel conscious of them) can be extraordinarily empowering.  Enter: Sara Shakeel  - @sarashakeel - a Pakistani based artist, is now showing her love for her own stretch marks by posting pictures of them covered in glitter. And they look great: 



RAW -□ #glitterstretchmarks . . CollageArt.SaraShakeel . . A beautiful follower wanted me to make an artwork out of her! Let her know she looks amazing! Glitter no glitter! . . #art #loveyourselfnow #now #love #patience #patientlywaiting #lines #tigerstripes #womenofcolor #color #brown #shine #behappy #bfhealth #

A post shared by Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel) on Nov 1, 2017 at 3:46pm PDT



GlitterMarks or #stretchmarks #glitterstretchmarks #proudowner . CollageArt.SaraShakeel . . #art #love #glitter #embrace #embracingtheeveryday #happy #happiness #body #vision #bodygoals #fitness #woman #woman #bodyglitter #girl #girls #power

A post shared by Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel) on Oct 27, 2017 at 8:46am PDT

In her posts, Sara says she has always felt the pressures of society, specifically on her weight, noting that this got worse when she started to gain weight - but by owning the narrative around her stretch marks, and presenting them as a thing of beauty, she changed the conversation entirely. 


I have never felt so powerful & liberated and so fucking proud of mystretch marks in my entire life !!! From where I come from & live , To be on the chubby side or to even talk about stretchmarks is not something one is proud of, i have seen my stretch marks grow from the day i started putting on weight, I'd be honest even before uploading it I was thinking why would anyone be interested in my concept of stretch marks turned into glitter or crystals!!! My god I was so wrong! Amazing people and women are already doing such an amazing job with representing these stripes and cellulite!!! Thank you for a beautiful response everyone!!!! I have been featured on @cosmopolitan & @yahoostylebeauty link is in my story. Support and love yourself for who ever you are! Cause there is someone out there sharing the same feelings as you are! There is one thing for sure YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! □□□□□□ #glitterstretchmarks #stretchmarks #happy #inlove #loveyourself #theweekoninstagram #instagram #tigerstripes . . This picture is by one of my amazing followers who was brave enough to share this with me!! Thank you love!!!!

A post shared by Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel) on Oct 31, 2017 at 1:56pm PDT

Although she at first felt hesitant to post, she now says: 'I have never felt so powerful and liberated and so fucking proud of my stretch marks in my entire life.' Amen to that. 


Perfectly ripped body □☄□ .#stretchmarks . CollageArt.SaraShakeel . . #art #crystal #crystalart #love #yourself #rippedbody #body #lovemyjob #patientlywaiting #patience #behappy #bestrong #inlove #women #woman

A post shared by Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel) on Oct 29, 2017 at 4:40pm PDT


Sara is not the first person to display her approval of stretchmarks on social media; earlier in the year, Spanish artist and feminist Cinta Tort Cartró (@zinteta) posted on her Instagram, pictures of girls’ stretch marks, which she had painted over in rainbow colours. She too had struggle for so long with how her body looked but then realised that ‘if I did not accept them, I was not accepting myself’.


All bodies are beautiful ⚡️□□ ESP. Hola a todxs!!! Como estáis? Reconozco que esta última semana he estado un poco desconectada del mail y las redes. Lo necesitaba. A veces el cuerpo te pide que hagas una pausa y que disfrutes del día a día en tu pueblo. Esta semana ha sido la última semana de vacaciones de casi todxs mis amigxs y he aprovechado para verlxs, cuidarlxs y escucharnos mutuamente. A veces el cuerpo te pide dejar el ordenador y salir a comer, a tomar unas cañas, ir a pasear, ir sola a la montaña, te pide cuidados para ti y para lxs tuyxs. Ahora, tras reencontrarme con personas que echaba mucho de menos y tras reencontrarme un poco más conmigo misma, vuelvo a la carga más que nunca. A partir de la semana que viene responderé todos los mails (voy poco a poco) y iré trabajando para contaros más sobre las próximas exposiciones y otras sorpresas que están por llegar. Gracias infinitas por el apoyo, espero y deseo que os cuideis y os nutrais de los momentos compartidos con lxs vuestrxs y con vosotrxs mismxs. Más amor, más cuidados □□ ENG. Hello everyone! How are you? I haven't been working as much recently. I needed some rest. Sometimes your body asks for a break and you decide to enjoy your everyday life. I have been seeing and taking care of my friends this week as it is the last holiday week left. I needed to get away of my computer, to go out for lunch, to walk round the mountains and to take care of myself and my loved ones. I am back now, with more energy than ever. From next week on I'll be answering all the emails (little by little) and I'll work to explain you about my expositions and other surprises that are to come. Thank you so much for your support. I hope you take care of yourself and nourish from the moments you share with your loved ones. More love □□

A post shared by ¿ Cinta Tort Cartró □ (@zinteta) on Sep 9, 2017 at 1:30am PDT



Obsérvalas, léelas, descúbrelas y ámalas. Estrías □□❤️□□ Des de bien pequeñitxs nos hacen odiar todo aquello que tenemos en nuestro cuerpo e intentan constantemente que eliminemos todo aquello que para ellos no es normal: las manchas, las pecas, los pelos, y un sinfín de cosas más, y... las estrías. Las estrías son aquellas marcas que muchxs de nosotrxs tenemos en la piel. Me pasé años odiándolas e intentando encontrar una manera de eliminarlas, hasta que me dí cuenta que si no las aceptaba no me estaba aceptando a mi misma. Hace unos pocos años que he empezado a trabajar el amor propio y a aceptar y ver todo lo que hay en mi cuerpo. Aceptar todo esto es aceptar tus raíces, tu historia, todo lo que hay en él y, al fin y al cabo, aceptarte a ti misma. Las estrías son parte de nuestra esencia, nuestros momentos, de nuestras vidas, de nuestras historias y de nosotrxs. Son tan bellas que no se como a veces consiguen que las odiemos. Observarlas es terapéutico. No dejas que se metan con todo lo que tienes y todo lo que eres. Quererse es un acto revolucionario.

A post shared by ¿ Cinta Tort Cartró □ (@zinteta) on Jul 8, 2017 at 1:57am PDT

Sara has had positive feedback from many people, who feel comforted and empowered by sharing her celebration of her natural body. One wrote in the captions: “Stretch marks are beautiful, you are beautiful, all women are - this is your life, your story in each stretch marks.”