Turn Your Stretch Marks Into Art

Artist Cinta Tort Cartró paints women’s stretch marks in rainbow colours to promote self-love.

Accepting and eventually loving your body can be a difficult journey. It doesn’t help when all we see are images of perfectly air-brushed bodies devoid of marks, scars, wrinkles, and sagging flesh. But an artist in Barcelona is trying to change all of that because she believes all bodies are beautiful and worth celebrating.

Instead of finding ways to hide stretch marks on the women she photographs, she wants to highlight them in the most lovely way. She’s been painting women’s so-called “flaws” in rainbow colours to show off how gorgeous they are. The photos are posted on Instagram and they’re stunning.

#estrías 💙💜💖❤️💛💚 Hola a todxs! Hoy ha sido precioso. Hoy he trabajado en medio de la montaña de mi pueblo, rodeada de la naturaleza más savia y pura. Resultados mágicos, estad atentxs! Quiero agradeceros el apoyo constante, vuestros mensajes y correos… y, aunque no os haya respondido a todxs, intentaré hacerlo durante estos días. Estoy muy en shock, muy emocionada, piel de gallina. Esto es precioso, gracias. Hi people! Today I worked in the mountain, surrounded by pure and sap nature. Magical results, stay tuned! Thanks for all the messages, for the constant support… I will try to answer all of you during these days. I'm very excited and shocked. This is beautiful. Lots of love. Cinta.

A post shared by ¿ Cinta Tort Cartró 🌙 (@zinteta) on

“All bodies have (more or less) stains, hairs, freckles, stretch marks, curves, lines, wounds, wrinkles … and all are equally valid,” she writes in the post.

“It is time for us to begin to love ours because, after all, this is our tool of communication with the world. And if we do not like the tool we use for it, we can hardly feel free.”

#estrías 💜💖❤💛💚💙 Cada unx de nosotrxs es diferente y, a la vez, cada cuerpo es de una forma u otra y tiene su propia esencia y energía. Hay muchos tipos de cuerpos, igual que hay muchos tipos de estrías. De eso me dí sobre todo cuenta el día que hice estas producciones. Pintando a Yacine, a Mònica y a Roser observé detalladamente su piel, la delicadeza que había en ella y, a la vez, la belleza y la esencia que estas escondían. Hay personas con más o menos estrías, con estrías muy gruesas, menos, o más o menos marcadas, y en esto, en la diversidad, hay la riqueza. Las estrías de Yacine me llamaron mucho la atención, pequeñitas, poco palpables a primera vista y verticales, era la aventura de descifrar todo lo que ellas escondían. Todos los cuerpos tienen (más o menos) manchas, pelos, pecas, estrías, curvas, rectas, heridas, arrugas… y todos son igual de válidos. Ya es hora de que empezemos a amar el nuestro porque, al fin y al cabo, esta es nuestra herramienta de comunicación con el mundo. Y si no nos gusta la herramienta que utilizamos para ello, dificilmente podremos sentirnos libres. Una vez más: quererse es un acto revolucionario. 💜

A post shared by ¿ Cinta Tort Cartró 🌙 (@zinteta) on

Cartró explains on Instagram that she was inspired by her own stretch marks.

“Stretch marks are those marks that many of us have on the skin. I spent years hating them and trying to find a way to eliminate them until I realized that if I did not accept them I was not accepting myself,” she writes.

She says that she started to work on self-love a few years ago and made an effort to accept everything in her body.

“To accept all this is to accept your roots, your history, everything in it and, after all, accept yourself,” she writes. “Stretch marks are part of our essence, our moments, our lives, our stories and us.”

Her art work and photos are obviously magnificent and even a bit radical. They’re also highly relatable. The images caused me to think back to my own first years in a postpartum body I hated. In my case, it was the scars, newly visible spider veins, and the extra weight that weighed on my mind every day. Until I went on my own journey of self-love (still on it) and found that making art out of my own “flaws” helps me love myself and my body. I got tattoos – some of them hide the marks, some of them accentuate them, and in all cases I find them beautiful to look at.

Like Cartró I also have a different state of mind now. I’ve made a choice to love my body.

“Your body, your home, you decide.”

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