In Case You Didn’t Believe Kendrick: Sara Shakeel Is Making Stretch Marks Works Of Art

November 4, 2017  |  

For most of my life I haven’t weighed more than 125 pounds with my 5’2” stature. And although stretch marks have always been associated with rapid weight gain, the truth is regardless of my rapid metabolism, I’ve always had a collection of roadmaps on my knees, my thighs and my behind. Ever since I hit puberty my mom has reminded me, “Your body is growing and your skin can’t keep up. You lack elasticity.” Like most women, I have been pretty self-conscious about those little wriggly lines that are at least two shades lighter than the rest of my body, and pregnancy gave me a few more to display on my abdomen. But lately there’s been a movement in our culture to appreciate our tiger stripes. In his hit single “Humble” Kendrick Lamar requested, “Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks.” Now, artist Sara Shakeel is taking that appreciation a step further by making stretch marks a beauty trend.

Refinery29 reports Shakeel was recently featured in Cosmopolitan magazine and shared that after failing out of dental school she taught herself to use photo shop and is now well-known for making beauty out of the bumps and bruises many women have been socialized to be so body conscious about:

“I still remember that feeling of making those glitter stretch marks, and I was quite scared of uploading it.”

“I am a Pakistani-based artist and talking about stretch marks or even making art out of it is not something you talk about on a regular basis.”

In a photo series she shared on Instagram and Facebook, Shakeel hopes to not just normalize what women have commonly been led to believe are flaws, but also to highlight their beauty. Initially, Shakeel started out making collages as a creative outlet. After a friend asked her to edit out any stretch marks in a collection of photographs that she had taken of her, Shakeel said she was inspired to display them in a way that celebrated their beauty:

“That made me sad because I too have a lot of them myself, including cellulite.”

“So with all that in mind I made glitter and space stretch marks. I’ll be honest before even uploading them I was wondering why would anyone be interested in my stretch marks.”

“Little did I know the world needed this empowerment and some amazing ladies were already on that mission. I am so glad I put that [first photo] up.”

The results are pretty stunning and admittedly if these weren’t just digital art, I could see myself rocking sparkly stretch marks on a beach next summer instead of a cover-up. You can check out some of Shakeel’s work below:

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