Artist Celebrates Stretch Marks By Turning Them Into Art

Instead of hiding them as "flaws," she's found a creative way to showcase them as a thing of beauty.

Stretch marks and cellulite are extremely common and yet, so many women can't help but look at them as "flaws." Seeing them in the mirror can make a person's confidence plummet and feel like they're less beautiful because of them. But Pakistani-based artist Sara Shakeel might just help a few people have a different outlook. 

Like other artists before her, Shakeel is highlighting stretch marks instead of hiding them in a series of photos. She often superimposes different photos together to create new and improved ones. In her Glitter Marks series, Shakeel edits stretch marks and cellulite to be the focus of the photo by superimposing glittery images onto them. The result reminds people to celebrate what makes them unique rather than try to hide their perceived "flaws." 

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The dentist-turned-artist was inspired to create Glitter Marks after one of her friends asked for stretch marks in a photo Shakeel took of her to be retouched. 

"That made me sad 'cause I too have a lot of them myself, including cellulite!" Shakeel told Teen Vogue. "With all that in mind, I made glitter and space stretch marks. I'll be honest — before even uploading them I was wondering, 'why would anyone be interested in my stretch marks?' Little did I know the world needed this empowerment and some amazing ladies were already on that mission."

She hopes that sharing photos of her glittery "stripes" will inspire body empowerment in others. It's already made her feel more confident. 

"I have never felt so powerful & liberated and so fucking proud of my stretch marks in my entire life!" Shakeel wrote on Instagram. "From where I come from & live, to be on the chubby side or to even talk about stretch marks is not something one is proud of." She admitted she was nervous about sharing photos of her stretch marks at first, but she's so glad that she did. 

Now, many others are doing the same. Shakeel encourages followers to send pictures of their stretch marks so that she can transform them into art, too. 

Check out some of Shakeel's "Glitter Marks" below:

(H/T: Teen Vogue

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