Breaking Beauty Standards: Empowering Photo Series of Young African American Parents Embracing Unhealable Stretch Marks

“Pregnancy brings a lot of changes to your body, and while these changes are beautiful, they can someᴛι̇ɱes be challenging to accept. Start a job that you can do and tackle some of the tasks easily because it’s one of the tools that can help you create the next photos of yourself as a mom, and you can help a mother today.

Mama Christina Abiola shared the images of her session on Instagram. The photos show Abiola, who postponed the session until 38 weeks of pregnancy, posing with her husband.

“I wasn’t sure about that. Maybe I shouldn’t do anything here with this potential. When it comes to taking my maternity photos, I was very scared. So afraid to have delayed it until 38 weeks of pregnancy!” she wrote in the caption.

“He’s been struggling to accept my marks because I felt he was the only one who had experienced such an extreme amount. My whole belly was covered, and I felt like I was doing something wrong. [Now] I like to call my marks beauty marks! You can think of yourself as a girl who can do it with you! Seriously, I would do it all over again for her.”

Initially, Abiola wanted her stretch marks removed from the images. Eventually, her photographer told her that editing the stretch marks in the photos would not be feasible. So, did she want Abiola to stop? She set aside her shyness and shared the photos shortly after giving birth to her daughter on October 24.

“I wanted to do a maternity photo shoot, but I felt insecure because all these stretch marks were coming out, and I had never had stretch marks before,” Abiola told TODAY Parents. “It’s just something you can do over.”

The photos convey a message to mothers everywhere, some of whom may be struggling to love their own postpartum bodies, and they have now gone viral, with ɱaпy expressing their appreciation. “Darling, your stretch marks are beautiful. I saw these photos, and the first thing I thought was, ‘They are precious. Never be ashamed,’” one person wrote, while another said, “I have them too. All over my belly. And although I don’t feel ugly or unworthy, I feel different and not completely in love with my postpartum belly. Thank you for sharing this. It’s helping me re-educate my mind.”

Learning to love your body before and after childbirth is not always easy, but we have some tips that can help.”

 

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