This UK Brand Is Not Retouching Stretch Marks, And We're Here For It

Glitter stretch marks are now a thing.

If nothing else, 2017 was the year of redefining what it means to be a woman. And with their Make Your Mark campaign, UK-based clothing brand Missguided aims to celebrate just that –– women unapologetically taking up space. Their new campaign promotes body positivity, not only by hiring models of different sizes, shapes, and ethnicities, but also by pointedly refusing to retouch physical "flaws" like stretch marks and cellulite.

Missguided defines the #makeyourmark campaign and #keeponbeingyou movement as "a mission to inspire babes the world over to love themselves, for themselves, to embrace your flaws, and to not strive for what the world perceives as perfection. Because f*ck perfection, it doesn't exist. We are making a pledge to never retouch our models' perfect 'imperfections' out." 

The brand even collaborated with Instagram-famous collage artist Sara Shakeel to give users the chance to have their "tiger stripes glittered up." Talk about reframing the narrative! And we are positively living for it.

Let's think about how many years we've spent examining and bemoaning these so-called flaws. Overthinking our "tiger stripes," pinching extra rolls of fat, struggling to smooth out the bumps of cellulite on the backs of our thighs –– you know, obsessing about every little egregious thing society has deemed imperfect.

Instead, let's continue to turn all of those horrific, outdated, and harmful views on their heads. In fact, let's start seeing these features as they are: beautiful. Let's even make them glitter.

While Missguided's new campaign is progressive and should be applauded, it's important to note that there's still a ways to go. Sure, the Make Your Mark campaign celebrates women of all sizes, but the actual merchandise doesn't quite support that inclusiveness. Bustle writer Shea Simmons was quick to point out that, currently, the brand does not offer sizes greater than a woman's 20 on their site.

There's also photos like these, in which the use of Photoshop seems fairly undeniable, despite the brand's statement claiming otherwise:

Redefining the narrative is a work in progress –– we all are, right? At least they're not Victoria's Secret. Ashley Graham's fake, Photoshopped Angel wings are a glorious reminder that plenty of brands have not made great strides in the body positive arena. And besides, those fake wings are one use of Photoshop we don't mind seeing on Instagram. Am I right or am I right?

So let's make sure to support companies that join the conversation and promote these attitudes of body positivity and inclusivity. Let's continue to make 2017 –– and soon, 2018 –– the year we celebrate the female form in all its shapes and sizes, with all of its bumps and rolls. And yes, with its glitter tiger stripes too. Meow.

I am a beauty, fashion and lifestyle editor at Livingly. Lover of wine, glitter, festival fashion, and everything op-ed. You can reach me at kimia.madani@livingly.com.
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