Body imperfections are a part of being human. The vast majority of us can attest to being unhappy with at least one part of our bodies, and this can often lead to a lack of self confidence which causes us to keep certain parts of ourselves hidden from the world.
In the age of social media, we are bombarded with pictures of what we should aspire to look like. Whilst celebrity bodies are often artificially modified, there’s no denying that they have caused many people to go on quests for impossible-to-achieve perfection. With the increased use of social media, many people have become susceptible to feeling insecure about their appearances, even though no two bodies are the same. A common complaint amongst the fairer sex is stretch marks – imperfections that many feel society regard as unsightly. Stretch marks can be caused by a variety of things which range from childbirth to gaining weight. In fact, eight out of every 10 women will get them as a result of pregnancy. What’s more is that those who have them almost always try to make them go away. Whilst there are a number of solutions available to treat stretch marks, former dentist turned artist Sara Shakeel became a viral sensation after she decided to embrace her stretch marks by covering them in glitter and sharing them on Instagram. The popularity of Shakeel’s creations – which she makes not only on her body but other women’s – is a much-needed breath of fresh air on a social media platform that is notorious for promoting impossible beauty standards because of users like the Kardashian-Jenner clan. It doesn’t matter where the stretch marks are, Shakeel is able to turn them into stunning pieces of artwork… Thanks to her incredible creations, Shakeel has amassed an impressive 206K followers on Instagram. Her stretch mark art has received thousands of likes and comments from people who have struggled to embrace this common imperfection. This is what Shakeel had to say about her stretch mark art on one of her viral Instagram posts:
“Where I come from and live, to be on the chubby side or to even talk about stretch marks is not something one is proud of. I have seen my stretch marks grow from the day I started putting on weight. I’ll be honest – even before uploading it I was thinking why would anyone be interested in my concept of stretch marks turned into glitter or crystals. My god I was so wrong.”
According to The Metro, Shakeel is from Pakistan and took up art after leaving dental school. Shakeel, however, is not alone in her attempt to encourage people to be more body positive on social media. A number of other prominent social media users have been promoting self love and acceptance instead of trying to change and/or hide their imperfections. One of these users is 27-year-old blogger Mama Cāx (pictured above) who encourages women to forget the rhetoric around being ‘beach body ready’. She rightly points out that all women need is a body and the confidence to rock it on the beach. “If you’re beautiful enough to be at the beach and to be yourself and be comfortable, then do that” she said in an interview with Refinery29. But it’s not just the stars of social media who are promoting positivity, some people are going out into the real world to encourage people to be who they are – without wasting time needlessly worrying about their appearances. We hope that the body positivity movement continues to grow in popularity, allowing people to embrace their imperfections. You can check out more of Sara Shakeel’s work on her Instagram page.
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