Thunder Thighs: A Story About Stretch Marks - IGBOAFRICANA
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Thunder Thighs: A Story About Stretch Marks

by - September 17, 2023

stretch marks
Art By Emerald Bee 2023

I first noticed a bright streak on my buttocks when I turned thirteen.  In the past, I've seen it on both men and women, and in both cases, they tried to hide it. So when it appeared on me I was glad it was somewhere that was naturally hidden. 

Very quickly one streak became two and in a few weeks became uncountable, before I knew it the streaks stretched forward to my hips and for a couple of years they didn’t move past there.  

As I grew older, most people told me how lucky I was that I only had these streaks in places that rarely got exposed. The only time I had to make an effort to cover them was when I went swimming, in addition to my one piece, I always wore either a pair of black or nude cycling shorts that were just long enough to conceal these fascinating streaks that to me appeared simply for no reason. 

stretch marks art
Charlotte by Chole Smith

A few years later and closer to sixteen, I had just taken a shower, and as I stood in front of my mirror to put on my first balconette bra, I noticed the streaks that invaded my thighs had come to appear on the upper parts of my chest, this time it was a little more fascinating because they seemed to disappear once I had my bra on, but later that day once it was off, the streaks appeared.  It was at this point that I realized that I needed to do something about it. Amongst my girlfriends and other people who had been infected by these streaks were talks of some creams and oils that worked wonders to make these marks fade away. 

I remember the first time I saw one of these miracle oils on the shelf at the beauty store near my house, I wondered how I would convince my mother to get it for me because, with the price, it was meant for people who worked and not girls like me still trying to survive their last year in secondary school. 

skincare illustration
unknown artist

My mother claiming to be a veteran in matters concerning these streaks refused to buy any creams or oils, in her opinion the fastest way to move past them was to pretend they didn’t exist, but it was easier for her to say since she was light-skinned, so even when she got her streaks they were nearly invincible.  I was patient enough to wait until I got into university to substitute a chunk of my allowance meant for meals for creams. 

In hindsight, I can say maybe Mother knows best after all because not a single streak disappeared. A few moved up from my hips to my waist and got dark in an “ I’m here to stay kind of way”. 
I’ve always been active, but more years later in my twenty-somethings working in corporate Nigeria, I started going to the gym and lifting weights and just like that the streaks spread like wildfire, from my knees, all through my thighs, and more recently under my arms.  At this time I’d already given up trying to hide them away but this slightly took me aback, but unlike the other times not in the kind of ways that made me want to hide the streaks. 

I’d finally realised what they were, at least to me, my body was changing, and every time it did, these little light streaks that resembled the lightning that came before thunder appeared. 
I loved change, so it made no sense to hate the scar on my body that clearly said; “ hey look, I’ve gone through changes” 

stretch marks art
Art by Maggiesgirlart

I don’t know if this is where the lightning ends, maybe there’s more coming but I’ve given up hiding. I’ve given up creams and oils, in fact, I find myself occasionally obsessing about them because they've become so beautiful to me that I forget what the canvas was like before they appeared. And so whenever people ask or try to advise me on the next miracle product to try, I tell them quite frankly that I'd rather be Thunder thighs. 

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