We don't know exactly when it happened, but at some point in our history of systematically condemning women's natural features, stretch marks were deemed flaws. But the thing is, everyone — yes, even Chrissy Teigen — gets stretch marks, and whether they're the result of a growth spurt or pregnancy, these marks can tell stories that should be told. Thankfully, photographer Chloe Newman came up with a fabulous way for women to flaunt their stretch marks: Just add glitter — and lots of it.
Newman's recent work highlights the beauty of women's stretch marks by featuring them covered in glitter alongside glamorous lighting and bright pops of neon. According to Newman, the photos, which were part of a project with Polyester Zine in collaboration with editor-in-chief Ione Gamble, "show what could be considered a bodily 'imperfection' as something that is sexy and liberating and should be embraced more." Gamble suggested that Newman photograph stretch marks the way she'd shoot a fashion editorial — as if they were high-end, glamorous accessories. And the resulting images show how stretch marks can be a source of pride and beauty rather than shame.
"I left the stretch marks exactly as they were in these [photos]; [I] didn’t soften them or anything," Newman said. She wanted their appearance to be stark, obvious, and "uncompromising." Luckily, women's reactions to the photos on Polyester's Instagram reflect Newman's intended effect.
"So many girls [were] tagging their friends and saying things like 'Yes, I have these too!'" Newman said. "It's refreshing and reassuring when you see something a bit more real."
The images are empowering not only for their beauty, but also because so many women see themselves reflected in them. Of course, we love to see body positivity wherever we can find it, and Newman's bold, playful approach drives that message home in a wonderfully unique way. We also happen to support using a little sparkle if it helps you love your body as it is. So why not throw some body glitter on your stretch marks?