The first thing I noticed when I flipped open to the Katie Holmes story in the latest issue of Who were her stretchmarks. But I was really glad they weren’t pointed out to me: I’m not a fan of body-shaming (though, admittedly and ashamedly, I sometimes succumb to it).
But, looking at Katie’s faded stretchmarks on her taut and toned abs, it made me feel better about my own. (Also, it proves the naysayers wrong: Katie was pregnant with Suri; the Cruises didn’t order her in from some Scientology farm.)
Who, however, does do their fair share of scrutinising, comparing Katie’s current bikini body with her bloated stomach in a shoe store in early May.
As I said above, I don’t like to see others’ bodily “shortcomings” pointed out to me; I’m perfectly capable of noticing them myself, and promptly ignoring them. My own bodily “shortcomings”? It’s touch and go.
The one thing I dislike about myself is my skin. It’s very susceptible to scarring and marking, and my acne scars, stretchmarks, spider veins and cellulite will attest to that. Bad skin runs in my family. But, after several years of struggling with my skin, especially on my upper legs and face, I’ve come to terms with it. You hide the areas you’re not a fan of and flaunt your best assets. I’ve embraced the ’50s silhouette in summer, and mostly wear A-line skirts that end just at the knee or mid-calf. For my money, I think I look better in clothes than I do out of them.
However, I think the only way you can become comfortable with your body is to walk around in your underwear. Or better yet, naked. Frequently. I do this all the time, and I love my body more for it. It helps you understand what you look like in all your glory, and better revel in yourself when it comes time to get naked with someone new. I can’t recommend this enough.
But back to celeb bodies. One the one hand, it would be a horrible thing to be subjected to as a person in the public eye. You would have to have a very thick (yet supple, and wrinkle/scar/pimple free, and perfectly tanned, and…) skin to deal with the scrutiny of celebrity life. But on the other hand, in this day and age, people don’t get into music/TV/film without being well aware what they’ll be subjected to. It’s not fair, but it’s a fact.
And the celebs who are open about their body struggles—Kate Winslet and her weight woes, Khloe Kardashian’s inadequacy when compared to her sisters—or even just celebs who refuse to conform to the skinny-mini stereotype—Kate Winslet (again), Pink and her baby body on the beach—give us someone to hold up as a beacon of hope when we don’t all look like the one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter mould.
While Katie still looks slim in her beach holiday photos (attention is drawn to her protruding—and, in one case, inverted—shoulder blades), her stretchmarks are what I’m looking at. And they look beautiful.
Related: Skinny-Shaming VS. Fat-Shaming.