Curvy model left in tears over mum bod re-learns to love stretch marks
A model who is known for sharing candid photos of her pregnancy has spoken about how she has had to "rekindle" the love she once had for her body.
Ashley Graham, from the US, gave birth to Malachi and Roman in January.
The twins arrived via an unusually quick home birth and Ashley passed out having lost a lot of blood, which left her unable to leave her bed for weeks post-birth.
In an essay the bombshell penned forGlamour, she said: "What I went through with childbirth has reshaped my relationship with my body.
"And I say this knowing that I am the person who has been shouting from the rooftops to you all, 'Love the skin you’re in.' Yet for me, the births of all my three children threw a lot of that out of the window."
Even before her traumatic labour, Ashley admitted that her relationship with her body was on the rocks thanks to the stretch marks carrying twins gave her.
She said it was ‘the end of [her] body as [she] knew it’.
As stretch marks appeared on her body from week 30, Ashley wrote: "I thought to myself, Okay, Ashley, you can handle this. You already had a few, this is life. You are a champion for all kinds of bodies, who cares?"
She said her pregnancy with first child, Isaac, said: "I got a few stretch marks, and I had a few really good cry sessions over the stretch marks."
The lingerie model also admitted that, post-birth, she "obsessed over this 20 pounds that just wouldn’t come off".
But, during the pregnancy of her twins, Ashley said: "the stretch marks started creeping up even more, and you could see them coming out of my panty line, and then beyond my belly button, and I melted…
"I was like, 'You don’t understand. I used to be a sex symbol, and now I am a baby-making machine and I have stretch marks up to my belly button.'"
Posting photos of her stretch marks to Instagram helped her to begin to find peace with her new body.
But Ashley says it wasn’t entirely simple.
As a celebrity who works in the fashion world, there's a lot of pressure for Ashley's body to "snap back".
She explained: "I have always fought against unfair and unrealistic standards and yet, if I am being completely honest, here I was, expecting myself to snap back. And fast."
The model admitted that still goes in ‘waves’ with her body confidence, and is still not entirely comfortable.
But ultimately, she has learned that, "even as a body advocate, I’ve learned it’s okay if the journey to love the skin you’re in is more complex than you could ever have imagined".
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