How do you turn something dreaded into something desirable? Sprinkle a little glitter on it.
Digital collage artist Sara Shakeel wants to shine a new, positive light on stretch marks. So, she’s turning them into glitter marks, and her Instagram followers love it.
Shakeel’s Instagram is covered in glitter, but a few of her recent works really caught our attention: Body parts showcasing stretch marks are filled in with glitter. There’s a thigh with sparkly blue lines, another thigh with gold streaks, and a belly with what looks like silver flames where stretch marks would be.
Stretch marks are officially pretty.
“I have never been proud of my marks,” the Pakistani artist tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I don’t have kids, but I still have stretch marks, which is not what a lot of people expect.” Shakeel has become known for her crystal and glitter work, “stuffing sparkle into the oddest places ever.” So, she got the idea to replace something too often seen as a flaw with her stunning glitter work.
The captions include “Stretch them, let me know what you are made of…. #madeofstars” and “Perfectly ripped body,” and hashtags like “#embrace,” “#being me,” and “#love yourself.”
While Shakeel seems to be comfortable in her own skin, this project was meant to help her come to terms with her “imperfections” as well. “I never accepted them as something beautiful — honestly, I was s*** scared of even uploading that artwork of mine, but my God! I am so happy I did!” she gushes. Shakeel knows she’s not the only one who needs help accepting stretch marks. “Embracing stretch marks is [needed] all around the world.”
Her followers needed this just as much as she did. The gold glitter marks have more than 20,000 likes. “Yaaaas! My tiny butt just smiled after looking at this!!!!” one follower shared. “[M]akes me want to have more stretch marks,” wrote another. “I love #glittermarks. I think I’m going to paint mine and take a picture. So love this woman love,” a third wrote. “This is how stretch marks should be seen.”
Shakeel tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the reaction has been intense. “So many people shared my artwork — I have received so much attention and so many new followers. Even a Brazilian celebrity shared my artwork … twice!” she says. “This was one of the best responses I have ever gotten.”
While one follower thinks this is going to be the new “festival trend” — and they’re probably right — Shakeel isn’t the only one to practice this method of self-love. Cinta Tort Cartró, artistically known as Zinteta, creates captivating works of art that celebrate the female body in all its most perfectly imperfect forms, including coloring in stretch marks to make them bright and shiny.
Today, it might take a little glitter and paint for women to start loving every inch of their bodies. But one day, we’ll be able to wash away the paint and still feel beautiful. Maybe we’ll keep a little glitter on hand, though — just for fun.
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