Ashley Graham Reminds Fans That Stretch Marks Are Totally Normal in an Empowering TikTok Post
A staggering nine out of 10 women admit that they're unhappy with their bodies and turn to dieting in hopes of achieving what they deem to be a more "ideal" body size, according to the youth activism non-profit DoSomething.
There are countless factors why body confidence is such a pervasive issue, from social media weight loss ads to the BS that is the BMI to all the sneaky ways diet culture invades our society (for more on this, the Maintenance Phase podcast is a must!). The frequently-unrealistic bodies portrayed on TV, in movies and on fashion runways certainly doesn't help either.
A tidal wave of TikTok-ers are on a mission to change the conversation and remind us that there's no one shape or size that fits all. Take TikTok star Mikayla Nogueira, who is done trying to fit into old clothes. Or model, author, mom of three and activist Ashley Graham, who recently shared a clip that made us feel more body positive in a mere 7 seconds.
Set to a soundtrack of a trendy audio track that repeats "you don't have to be skinny to be pretty," again and again, Graham's video shows her sticking out her booty, waving her arms, drawing attention to her chest and slipping down the front of her high-waisted pants enough to reveal the stretch marks on her stomach. (She is far from alone with those stretch marks, by the way. Researchers estimate that about 90% of us have them!)
Fans came out in droves to comment about Graham's impact in that short clip. One admits, "I really needed this today thank you 🥰❤️," while another cheers "please louder for the ladies in the back!!!"
Graham, a long-time body positivity icon, shared an album of photos on Instagram earlier this year after giving birth to her twin sons. The caption is one of her many social media moments that show the amount of gratitude she has for her body and how powerful it is. "Hi, new tummy. We've been through a lot. Thank you," she wrote at the time.
Graham also elevates others on their own journey, too:
"Believe me when I say your body is beautiful, and I know it's easy to tell yourself the lie that you're not good enough, thin enough, sexy enough, 'flawless' enough to wear a tank top or a swimsuit, but it's hot out there and so are you," Graham captioned an Instagram gallery of diverse women who have tagged her in their own strong images. "Don't let your mind stop you from enjoying your life to the fullest!"
Others appear to be doing just that—and in the immortal words of Lizzo, "it's about damn time," right?
Danielle Burnett is the voice you hear in this particular TikTok video, and if you search for other posts that include that "you don't have to be skinny to be pretty" soundtrack, you'll find more than 10,400 other videos that will make your heart—and your self-love—expand.