Melissa Melnychuk, a body positive mom who wants to set a good example for her 5-year-old daughter, recently took to Instagram to discuss why it's important to talk about your C-section scars and stretch marks with your children. She explained that although many women want to hide such imperfections, they're actually something mothers should be proud of.
"It doesn't matter your size, fitness level, shape, or story. No one is immune to stretch marks or C-section scars. Here is the thing: I control the message that my children receive about our bodies. My daughter came to me a little while ago and touched my stretch marks. She asked if they hurt, and why I had them," Melissa wrote in the caption. "I told her because I carried her in my tummy. That I was able to carry her full term and so my belly stretched to keep her safe and healthy. That those marks are a special part of me because they remind me of her, of all my babies, and how blessed I am to be a mommy."
For Melissa, it was a tender moment in which she taught her little girl to embrace the marks society deems imperfect. "Right now those stretch marks to my daughter are a source of pride," she wrote. "It made me think though, how long will that last? How long until someone or an advertisement, convinces her otherwise?"
And the same line of thinking goes for the sons Melissa is raising. "It doesn't stop there. I'm raising young men as well who I want to also understand the beauty of these marks," said Melissa. "That no matter my size or the texture of my skin — they loved me the same — and will one day find themselves in a position to lift up a woman who is uncomfortable in her skin. You see, until someone told us to not like a part of our body it wasn't an issue."
Wow, talk about a refreshingly true statement. Melissa went on to explain that we should continue to share vulnerable photos of ourselves to normalize what a mother's body genuinely looks like. "We need to share these images, these messages," she said. "We need to make it clear that all bodies are beautiful. That our beauty though goes deeper than our skin . . . what it is not, is something to be ashamed of. To be hidden. To be sexualized. To be afraid of. To be disrespected."