Tiger stripes. Lightning strikes. Stretchies. These are some of the pet names people (Chrissy Teigen among them) have come to use when talking about their stretch marks. As cute as they sound, the nicknames are proof that the naturally-occurring scars needed something of a re-brand in a society that has long deemed them undesirable.
In the ancient era, it's been rumored that both the Greeks and Romans looked to the powers of olive oil to make stretch marks on pregnant bellies disappear. And in the 21st century, people readily use things like Photoshop and photo editing apps to make them vanish from ad campaigns, billboards, social media posts, and more. The problematic message that's sent, of course, is that stretch marks are unappealing. And what that's inevitably led to is a world of (mostly) women who understandably feel a variety of different emotions when they see stretch marks on their skin, zigzagging their way up their thighs, tummies, or sides.
Ahead, we talked to five women talk about their stretch marks, and what they really think about them now.