My body is written with scars

scars on my body stretch marks positivity

I don’t need to cover my stretch marks in glitter to celebrate them. They already tell me a story of a young girl growing up and becoming her own person. They remind me, that beautiful is imperfect. They remind me, that skin, is just skin.

This morning I woke up with a nice tan. Perfect, really. It’s almost as if I’ve been to a beach holiday for a week and managed to get the most even tan ever, without the dryness. And yes, obviously my color is from a self tanner. I’ve been trying out a new one that I really like.

But that’s not the point of this post – just a nice detail (I’ll tell you about the product at the end of this post).

I woke up with the tan and I realized that it made my stretch marks really stand out. A real tan does that as well, mind you. The skin on my scars is lighter, smoother and different and that makes them stand out especially when I tan.

I was reminded, that I’m actually full of those scars. And when I say full, I mean full. That might surprise you – even though I’m normal weight or skinny in some standards, and have never really been much bigger than this, I still have stretch marks.

And since it’s the bikini season and there are so many women and men being insecure about their bodies and imperfections, I wanted to talk a little about #scarpositivity.

body positivity

Stretch marks are just skin

I have stretch marks on my back, on my hips, on my butt, thighs, shins, arms and boobs. My body is full of them, especially the womenly parts. I got them when puberty hit me and I think one of the reasons I got so much of them was because puberty hit me hard. I grew up quick, literally. After anorexia and other eating disorders, suddenly my body went from very thin to normal. I’m pretty sure my eating disorder prevented me from growing up gradually (if that makes sense?) and when I finally started eating better, my body could change.

My post on eating disorders: Living with the monster

And then again, I think I’m just one of those people who get stretch marks easily. The scars on my back came when I was very young, before puberty. I remember my school doctor looking at my back and saying, that usually only boys get those linear scars. A comment that a young girl doesn’t necessarily want to hear, mind you.

But here I am. With my scars. And you know what? I don’t mind them. At all. (Okay okay, there are moments where the scars on my inner thighs slightly upset me.)

mental health

I’m not ashamed of them. I’m not appalled by them. I might actually feel a little empowered by them. I don’t need to cover my stretch marks in glitter to celebrate them. They already tell me a story of a young girl growing up and becoming her own person. They remind me, that beautiful is imperfect. They remind me, that skin, is just skin.

And yes – when they were bright red, in my teens, they were the most horrible thing in the world. They were red. They were visible, if I was wearing an open top. I was angry.  I was finally becoming a woman, but at what cost? I was a red-striped zebra – definitely not something I signed up for.

Stretch marks are just skin

But here I am and I’m okay. They turned out to be just skin (who would have guessed?). They got lighter. They became my skin. They are not visible, not really. Only if you know to look for them.

And I’m not sure why, but I feel calm and reassured now. The marks on my body, they didn’t matter. They didn’t prevent me from living my life.

So whatever is on my mind now, stressing me out or making me feel ugly – I’m pretty sure in ten years from now, it won’t matter. Or if it does, it’s only making me stronger.

I guess I just really wanted to say, that stretch marks and scars are normal. They are just skin. I have lots of them and I’m pretty sure if I ever got pregnant I would have a ton more. They could upset me for a while, after which I would accept them and move on.

Loving your own body and skin – now there’s a beautiful thing to remember and cherish.

minetan violet self tan 1 hour tan

minetan Super Dark Violet 1 Hour Express Tan review

I got gifted this product from lookfantastic. *adlink

The self-tanner I used was *minetan’s  1 hour express tan in the shade Super Dark Violet. I’m not sure if the color really matters (there are different options), because the active ingredient is your basic DHA. I really like this self tanner. It’s easy to apply with a mitt, it blends easily and dries quickly. That’s one of the benefits of a foam – they are the lightest option when it comes to skin feel. It gives a natural looking tan, that is not orange.  It lasts pretty well on my skin and wears off gradually, which is a good thing as well. I also used the *minetan mitt, which made the application process smooth. I really recommend using some mitt, that way you don’t have to worry about orange hands.

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Living with the monster

wellbeing eating disorder

It’s not always easy living with that monster sitting on your shoulder.

That monster being an eating disorder. Funny thing about that is, that you can get rid of it, but it will never actually leave you. It’s kind of like a friend, who doesn’t want to be left out and will poke it’s head out every once in a while: Remember me? Wanna hang out?

Nope, never again. I’d rather drown you by eating myself fat – though that is impossible and will never happen (one of the courtesies of my friend).

But I used to. I had an eating disorder. Or two.

It’s not easy to admit that, and at the time I didn’t even realize it. I was super young, only eleven years old (maybe younger, it’s hard to remember). It wasn’t as bad as it could be – it didn’t lead me to not even drinking water and eventually to a hospital. That happened to another girl on my class, the one who was too tired to even speak. Understanding that two girls in my class both suffered from this – and that is only that I know of – makes me super sad. It also tells me, that this is a common problem and there are probably too many of you too reading this, relating to the story.

charlotta eve

Despite my problem being a tiny one, it still left it’s marks. I remember it once controlling my life, keeping me in chains. It’s something so horrible, that just thinking about it makes me physically sick. It ruined many nice afternoons and it ruined my school camp.

For being able to leave that monster behind, and being almost worry-free about it, is like being able to breathe again. Food is present in our lives daily, many times per day, so for being able to enjoy that is a beautiful thing. And for me, it’s another thing to be grateful for. I’ve thought about eating and food so much, I don’t want to have to overthink it. Overthinking it makes me anxious. Any changes I make to my diet have a huge impact on me – last summer when my acne forced me to limit my diet more, I was super stressed about it. It wasn’t about it being actually hard to leave dairy, wheat or sugar off, it was mostly the stress of having to think about my eating more – and as I did have some foods I was not supposed to eat, eating them made me very anxious. But the fact, that I can get through things like this with “just” stress and not get sick again, not to let the monster have all the power, is a miracle, really.

eating disorder

I want to say, that I’ve been able to shake off the monster completely. That it’s gone. But there are still some things, that remind me of it and one of the biggest things is this: how I see myself, when I look in the mirror.

I realized this once again, when I went through the photos of yet another photoshoot (these photos here as well). I looked at the photos of myself and was a bit shocked. Was that me in the photos? Am I that small? Do I look that slender?

I know I’m quite slender and I know I’m not fat – but in my head – I’m bigger. Always. There’s always a bigger version of Charlotta and that is the Charlotta I see, when I see myself. It’s super hard to explain, but it’s super super hard to fix something, that got so broken once. I’m sure anyone who’s experienced this, knows what I’m talking about. I talked about this with my sister and she said “Yeah, ain’t that funny. It’s no use in being skinny, when you can’t enjoy it.” And even though that sounds a bit harsh, it’s totally true.

eating disorder

It’s funny how human brain works. How your brain might not be able to keep up with the big changes. How people who used to be fat, still think they look fat even after losing all the weight. Or how people with anorexia are always gonna have those goggles on, which make them see themselves differently than what others see.

I know I’ve come a long way to accept my body and to see it as something else, than just an aesthetic thing. I know my mirror might always add a few kilos to my waist, but I’m starting to care less.

I might even add a big nose to the monster, dress it in funny clothes and make it my friend. After all, it’s gonna sit there anyway. Only this time – it’s just watching.

For anyone reading this and relating to the story: no matter how big the monster is, it can always get smaller. Small progress is progress too. And in case no one told you today: you are beautiful, just the way you are. And you can.

wellbeing charlotta eve

Photos & hair –  Susanna Pomèll / Healthyhair 

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