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This Instagram Tackles A Body-Image Issue Faced By Women Of All Sizes

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    Photo: Via @loveyourlines.

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    This article was originally published on July 28, 2015.

    No matter how we get stretch marks — through weight fluctuations, breast development or augmentation, exercise that builds muscle quickly and thus stretches skin, or pregnancy — the general response to them in our culture is "Ew." Stretch marks are those white streaks that appear when your body, for whatever reason, grows fast enough to break the elastic fibres under the skin's surface — and people of all shapes and sizes experience them.

    The insecurity that surrounds this natural phenomenon is what inspired two East Coast mums to create the Instagram account @loveyourlines, to honour and celebrate the "tiger marks" we bear. Women of various body types, from around the world, are sharing their stretch-mark stories and photos on the account, using the hashtag #loveyourlines. The mums who created @loveyourlines have asked to remain anonymous, but have shared that they are overjoyed with the outpouring of emotion, self-love, and support their account has sparked: It's amassed more than 25,000 followers since its first post on 12th August, and that number continues to grow.

    "#LoveYourLines is a social media photo campaign to help showcase the beauty of the female body," the account states. "This account is curated by two mommas hoping to make a difference in the world of female body image. To submit your photos, please email loveyourlines@gmail.com. All women of different shapes, sizes, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to submit... We can't wait to see your love lines!"

    Click through to view 10 of the most striking #loveyourlines photos and the stories behind them.

    It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach here.



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    "I've been growing stretch marks since I was 12. At first, I hated them! But, I have learned to love and appreciate them." — @kaci.lynn

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    "23-year-old mother of a beautiful baby girl. I was extremely self-conscious about my body until this year. I was in an abusive relationship growing into my adult life and was constantly put down. I didn't realize how beautiful I really was/am... I still work on my fitness goals day-to-day, but my stretch marks will always remain. Embrace your stripes!!” — Anonymous

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    "I developed late and fast. I went from being made fun of for being flat my freshman year of high school to a DD as a senior... [My stretch marks] have faded and I have learned how to find and fit bras for myself; it is still a struggle at times, but I do not think about them anymore when I dress." — Anonymous

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    "I've been struggling with my stretch marks since I gave birth back in December. I always try to hide them whenever I'm at the beach or the pool. But, after reading a lot of stories, I feel like I can now be comfortable with my after-birth stretch marks." — Anonymous

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    "Three miscarriages, no babies, lots of stretch marks…" — Anonymous