Unsightly Stretch Marks

 
Forever Young

Hi Everyone.

I would like some advice on this very embarrasing condition.  I am new to poling and now that I am starting to invert (woo hoo) I have become very self-conscious about my stretch marks.  I must admit that I don't have many (thank goodness), but the ones I do have are on the inside of my thighs on both sides of my bikini line....

Normally I do not notice them or think about them much BUT now, I worry when I am inverting and stretching my legs out that they are clearly visable and I am embarresed to say the least.  Even with shorts on, the fabric seems to thin out right at that area and they are on display.  What makes it worse is that the skin is also discoulored!

 

When doing classes and being "spotted", I cringe everytime I think someone can see them.  Is there anything I can do to hide them.  Does someone have the same problem?  I had my kids (the last one) 8 years ago so I don't think vitamen e oil is going to help.  This embarrasing problem is really starting to interfere with my love of poling as I am too ashamed that everyone is going to see the marks and think "gross"!

Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks to everyone for just reading.  You are a wonderful bunch of ladies that care about one another and this sport.  It is just fantastic.

 
Nov 29, 2011
MadisonsWorld
I use tea tree oil and vitamin e..my youngest is 5..it seems to help..also with vitamin e,try to get it as strong withoiut a bunch of other stuff added..the more clear,the better..means it is much added or only vitamin e..I put it on every night after a shower..first tea tree oil,it takes a few minutes to soak in,then the vitamin e..make sure u wear clothing over it at night or it will just get all over ur sheets..hope it helps..
Nov 29, 2011
Angie La

I just wanted to first congratulate you on your inverting!  I remember early sessions before I started Veena, knowing I wanted to get my buns in the air, and never thought I would be able to.  So to me that is a BIG hump to overcome! [www.studioveena.com]  

The self-body image is another thing I think many of us either struggle with from time to time, have struggled, will struggle with after having children, or getting older.  I gained a tremendous amount of weight with my son who is now 2 and a half, and I have a 10 year old daughter.  Thanks to diet and exercise, I weigh less now than I did before I had my son but I also have the extra skin and some stretchmarks.  Like you said, my stretchmarks are no SO bad and definately not something I should really be as selfconcious about, as much as I should be grateful for not having what was there in exchange.  I would rather have the loose skin and stretchmarks than the weight I had before.  I can feel a little self concious when I am leaning over, and my little belly skin droops, or when I am doing a front split since I feel like my butt skin is all spread out, covering the floor around me.  This is certainly not true but this is how I FEEL.   This is more than likely to be something other people may not notice since there are many people who can't do a split, or even any tricks on a pole.  I am not sure that the little bit of  saggy skin that I do have will ever shrink but it really hails into comparison to how incredible it feels to have finally nailed a new move, and how incredible I feel as a woman inspite all of my imperfections.  

I believe pole mom's are bad to the bone, with all of our glorious resilliance to overcome what mother-nature throws at us.  Stretch marks, saggy boobs, droopy bellies, pole "farts," and anything else I left out, haha!


Nov 29, 2011
Veena

Hi!! Congrats on inverting! Don't feel bad about stretch marks, I know that's easier said than done!! Its something that most of us have. I have stretch marks and extra skin, and I use to feel embarrassed about it when dancing in front of others. But through my pole dance journey I have learned to accept my body and I no longer care (as much) if someone doesn't like how I look. Stretch marks and other scars are a part of your life journey regardless of how you received them. They are part of you and I think everyone is beautiful, despite what the media tells us!!

Here is an old video I did that may help you if your looking to "hide" wrinkling that happens with stretch marks. This video does say "after baby", but anyone can use these tricks. [www.studioveena.com]
Nov 29, 2011
glitterhips Previous Paid Member

I am 25 with no kids and I have stretch marks and cellulite too! I am sure it bothers you more than others and also you will overcome it in a little bit of time. I was self conscious at first to dance in a sports bra but now I do it and don't care. I am of the philosophy that anyone unsupporitve of another dancer for ANY reason is not a real pole dancer. I have had "pole dancers" leave nasty comments on my youtube about cellulite, me being fat etc and I just consider the source. Your classmates/instructors should be supportive and this site doesn't allow any negative comments at all so you should never worry about posting here. Also check out theshapeofamother.com :)
Nov 29, 2011
Sassafrassle

I'm a bit like Glitter in that I haven't got kids but I do have stretchmarks, saggy skin, and cellulite! I find that the more I wore short shorts for pole, the less self conscious I became as I realised noone was going to hassle me about it. When I decided I needed side skin bare for a recent show, I made myself wear crop tops to pole class for weeks beforehand (I normally wear singlets), just to get used to the sight of my stomach out and about and it made me much less worried about it on the actual day. 

 

We've all got our own imperfections and though sometimes I feel a bit down that I'm not tiny like a lot of the girls I see dancing in RL and online, I'm proud of what my body can do and how it responds to training.
Nov 30, 2011
Forever Young

Thanks for all the kind words and encouragement!  I guess I do tend to go up as close as I can to the mirror and stare in horror at the stretchmarks..... [www.studioveena.com] I have lost a lot of weight since I started poling (which I could not loose doing anything else) so in one way I am feeling more confident about my body than ever before!

Thanks for the links (Veena & Glitterhips) and for the cream advice (madisonsworld).  I will try the cream and stop fretting so much at class.... a bit of both should do wonders for the problem.  Also, Jellicrew, we pole moms are definately bad to the bone.  Being a mom is right up there with Pole dancing: challenging and rewarding at the same time.

What I love about pole dancing especially is the fact that any woman, regardless of age, weight etc can do it!  There are no preconceptions and no limits.  Skinny, fat, old, young - we are all after the same goal and it unites us.  I may be able to do some moves that some of my other classmates cannot and visa versa.  That is what keeps it interesting and bonds us all together.

From now on - no more fretting about stretch marks, cellulite and my fat thighs.... I am going to concentrate on how my boobs have become more firm (yip, those exercises have definately helped), how I have lost the weight I have been trying to loose for years and how my clothes seem to fit that much better.  Hooray for pole dancing

 
Nov 30, 2011
Onahnie
Hello ladies,

I have another type of question, but related to the discussion above..
I too belong to the no-children-but-still-have-inner-thigh-outer-hip-stretche-marks-plus-cellulite-on-thighs/butt (thank you genetics and that dreaded quickly-gained freshman 15 over a decade ago) even though most people consider me "tiny" (I'm 5'2" around 110 lbs and a size 0-2/xs).

Anyway, I just started poling about 2 months ago and have just started into moves requiring tighter legs grips (like the crucifix, pole climbs, simple invert, lotus, etc) and it's KILLER on my inner thighs (they're not actually bruising, but feel rough/knotted where they grip and I find I can only "hold" a position for MAX 10 seconds, not due to grip/strength, but pain... Anyway, that's a completely diff discussion and I know the body eventually accustoms to it).

Here is the question I had: a friend of mine said beforehand I may get stretchmarks or mine may get worse (mine are usually not terribly visible, as I've had them for over 10 yrs, unless the skin around gets tanned (I'm very pale) or you're very close) from gripping/sliding, on thighs/arms/side/etc. Has anyone noticed they've developed stretch marks from poling or that existing marks have gotten worse (deeper/darker/longer)?
Dec 1, 2011
chemgoddess1 Paid Member

Been poling for 4 years and do not have any stretch marks from it.  Callouses, bruises, scars yes, stretch marks no.  But I am also not prone to them.  If this is a concern I would look into supplements that are known to help elasticity of your skin.
Dec 1, 2011
vamp79
I was a pretty chunky girl when I went through puberty so I have a lot of tiny stretchmarks on my inner thighs along with some on my belly from my two pregnancies. However I've been doing scorpios and geminis for about a year now and no new stretch marks have appeared. My old stretch marks have stayed the same as well. Maybe ur friend got stretch marks from building muscle due to poling and not because of contact with the pole ?
Dec 2, 2011
jade s
40andlovingit, I'm coming into this conversation a bit late, but so happy to hear you aren't going to fret about your stretch marks anymore! I'm 46 and have really bad stretch marks. When I first started poling about 2 years ago, I was self conscious about mine too. Booty shorts that exposed my belly and upper thighs were something I could never see myself wearing. But now...bring on the booty shorts! : ) I finally figured out that being self conscious, whether it was about my body or that I wasn't getting the tricks as fast as other students or my lack of dancing ability, was all just holding me back. Once I got over worrying about all those things, my progress really started to soar. Poling is really about accepting yourself for where you're at and loving yourself in that moment. Really good pole studios and instructors will emphasize "no judgements"...no judging other students and no judging yourself. I'm sure the other ladies in your class haven't given your stretch marks any thought, and if they have, than they just don't get it. So just be proud of your sexy self, and have FUN! Hugs!
Dec 3, 2011
mikkixx

I have really bad stretch marks on my outer hips from puberty, none on the inner thighs though... I think I'm especially stretch mark prone.

Anyway, I think I've gotten one extra stretch mark - just one, about an inch long - on the front of my right thigh from the Jade (my right leg is in front). It's really bizarre...
Dec 5, 2011
Forever Young
Thanks jade s: I really am tring not to think about them but when most of the girls in the class are 20 years Younger than you, it makes it kinda difficult. You right about 1 thing though - none of the students or indtructors have said anything about them at all. We have a great group of women who cheer (lierally) each on!
I guess with any andeavour we undertake - we need to focus on our own unique talent and keep working on what we suck at!!
@
PPP practice patience and persistence
Dec 5, 2011
Shellectra

I have ugly stretch marks on the backs of my knees and calves, I have lost 6kg this year and I think maybe hanging off the pole from the backs of my knees a lot maybe stretched them more? Anyway I spray tanned for a night out the other week, put on my dress, admired my newly toned skinny legs, turned around (it was natural daylight coming through the window) and OMG the stretch marks stood out like white lines on a brown road!!! I started crying and felt so helpless and upset, my legs are wrecked :( 
Dec 11, 2011
Forever Young
Hi Shellectra. Don't be too hard on yourself. Although I started this thread I am feeling so much more confident after the advice and support of all the awesome ladies on this site.
As women we need to focus on the positive! It is natural for us to only see the negative and we need to learn how to change our mindsets. You said it yourself, "you have lost 6 kgs, you legs are toned and slimmer" BUT what you focused on where your stretch marks!! Feel good about your weight loss and your toning and just look at your stretch marks as a part of your journey. I know it is hard (been there so many times) but we need to start giving ourselves a break. For you the stretchmarks may be the only thing you see in the mirror but trust me - everyone else is probally oblivious to them. You are beautiful just the way you are and people that love and care about you will only see the beauty!
Take care, chin up and next time you look in the mirror say to yourself,"hello you sexy thing. My you are looking HOT today" try having the song "I'm sexy and I know it" playing in the backgroung... Positive self affirmation is good for the soul.
Dec 11, 2011
Polecat88

I am COVERED in them. I was a UK 16 at age 13 and aquired a lifetime's worth of them. I've learned over the years to love my stripes. Afterall, my favourite animal, the Okapi, has lovely stripes on it's legs so why can't I?!

 


Dec 11, 2011
Mary Ellyn

I have a lot of stretch marks. I'm prone to them. While various treatments help lessen them in some cases genetics leaves us with skin prone to stretch marks. I developed stretch marks as a teen and have easily developed more over my life during pregnancies and weight changes.

Technically, pressure from hanging on the pole, should not be able to cause stretch marks. Stretch marks are caused from sudden weight gain or loss coinciding with hormonal changes. Obesity, pregnancy and weight lifting are all conditions in which your hormone levels which affect your connective tissue. So unless you're also experiencing hormal changes at the same time you're learning to pole dance you would not develop stretch marks from the pole.

I have heard that 90% of women will deal with stretch marks at some point in their lives and while some of us have a greater tendency toward more stretch marks than others, keep in mind, almost all women have them so you aren't alone.

My concept is why be bothered by something of which you have no control over? Yes you can control rapid weight gains through proper nutrition but the stetch marks are still there after you lose the weight. So I am only bothered by the things I can control like the weight gain itself, or things like muscle tone, etc.

Work on the things you can and feel proud of them...tone up, gain muscle and get stronger, practice and learn to dance better. Believe me...as you improve yourself in any way not only will you begin to care less but others will begin to notice your accomplisments and won't think twice about your stretch marks.

One more note: I haven't looked that closely but I don't think Karol or Alethea or Jenyne have stretch marks. But do  you think anyone would be any less impressed with them if they did?
Dec 11, 2011
michaelaarghh

oh wow Polecat, i've never even heard of an okapi before!!

What a funny looking animal!! 

Like Empyrean said, pressure does not cause stretch marks, as it's a result from elasticity in your skin being lost or something. 

I'm only 19, and don't have any (that I know of) so I don't really have any advice unfortunately - but maybe try some skin firming creams or taking supplements for your skin's elasticity? That could maybe help? I don't have stretch marks, but I have all these hideous, unsightly scars on my thighs from battling depression as a (very young) teenager. I used to be quite ashamed / embarrased of them, and was reluctant to switch to pole shorts in my first few lessons. But I gathered up the courage and did it anyway, and nobody has said anything yet. 

I know it's easier said than done, but I wouldn't worry too much about stretch marks. It's soooo common with women, and if you're hanging upside down on a pole or doing awesome spins, the last thing anyone is going to pull you up for is something that is completely natural that you can't change. 

 

My scars on the other hand...not the result of nature and quite ugly. I wish all those 'scar erasing' creams worked! Pole has taught me to feel so much better about myself though, so I try not to focus on them when dancing. 
Dec 11, 2011
Kyrsten

Most of us have them! I'm the same as you...  I have very slight ones elsewhere that you wouldn't be able to see unless you looked closely, but I have really deep ones running all up and down my right inner thigh. They're quite noticeable. I used to be really self-conscious about them in bathing suits and shorts, but I really don't mind anymore because, well, everyone has them. Age/size doesn't have much to do with it, either. I'm 21 and I don't think I know anyone who doesn't have at least a couple, regardless of weight. I've had mine since I was 13-14. Same goes for cellulite. Plus, stretch marks do fade over time and become much less noticeable.
Dec 12, 2011
Forever Young

Polecat 88:  I love the picture and the fact that you can see the beauty in your stripes!
Dec 12, 2011
Polecat88

I know for a fact that many guys find them sexy and they are seen as desireable on a woman in some cultures! I'm pretty sure that Okapi isn't worrying about why it has stripes on it's bum!
Dec 12, 2011
Machiv Leahna
My sis has had 3 babies and nature took its toll.Her husband calls it her badges of honor.Then her 6 year old son walked in while she was changing her shirt.She was horrified,…until Ben broke it too a smile and said it was cool.He loves her stretch marks.I am 15 with strech marks on my legs,butt,and behind my knees.I am super skinny so it is because I grew 5 inches in a matter of months.My favorite exotic animal is a zebra....as soon as I tone up I will be happy.New to pole...never actually done it yet either.Just don't hate yourself.Or the little white lines.
Apr 11, 2012
AerialGypsy

I started getting stretch marks at around 10 or 11. I was still a stick, but a growth spurt caused them to form on my inner thighs. At the time I was horrified cuz they were all purple. Now I don't mind them so much.
Apr 12, 2012
Dwiizie

I just turned 26. I have stretch marks on my legs, thighs, hips, stomach, upper arms, and even on my boobs. No kids. Lots of weight ups and downs. Hormonal problems, both with thyroid and PCOS issues. They are what they are. Luckily, most of mine are at least just lighter than my skin, no dark purpley ones. I do have spider veins all over my ankles though and I don't know why. I didn't notice it until very recently. I do think hooping has helped my stretch marks. No creams have though. I've been trying dry brushing for cellulite. Me thinks I should try the treadmill instead LOL!
Apr 12, 2012
Kobajo84

My favorite beauty guru, Beautysavvy on YT, covered this topic.  Check out her video- Stretch Marks 101.

[youtu.be]
Apr 12, 2012
michaelaarghh

Oh Dwiizie I have horrible spider veins all over my ankles too!!

At least people know what stretch marks are and won't comment on them! I've had a few people in pole classes point out my spider veins and make remarks such as "OMG LOOK AT THAT BRUISE", "ewwww omg what is that rash?" and then when I point out their spider veins, they screw their face up and are like "omg what's that...gross". 

Yeah, thanks. Spider veins are purely genetic, and apart from being ugly don't pose any health risks or anything. I've had mine since I was about 10, but they have definitely spread a bit. 

I just be thankful they're on my ankles, not on my face!! (although my veins in my cheeks are also quite noticeable without makeup :( )
Apr 12, 2012
LaPrincesa
I have the same insecurity about my stretch marks, but the lovely support at studioveena has helped me accept them as part of my beauty. It's a process I still struggle with. A zebra can't fade their stripes, but why would they want to? ;-)
Apr 13, 2012
LaPrincesa
I have the same insecurity about my stretch marks, but the lovely support at studioveena has helped me accept them as part of my beauty. It's a process I still struggle with. A zebra can't fade their stripes, but why would they want to? ;-)
Apr 13, 2012
RM2012

I haven't read through all of these replies... but thought I'd share :-)

I didn't get belly marks with my 3 babies, but I need injections daily to stay pregnant. Goodbye nice toned bum and welcome cellulite! And scarring. LOTS of scarring. My second baby decided to arrive at 25 weeks, via a lovely classical section (my other two were natural births thankfully). So there's another reminder for me. Then my last pregnancy made TERM :-D Very exciting, also meant all my laparoscopy scars across my abdomen got stretched and 'lived in' along with my navel....

I used to dance for a living. I used to be toned, and a lot thinner than I am now (well, I used to have 'boy' hips, so that's actually a positive lol) Oh and I used to have boobs that didn't move when I jumped hahahaha! :-) Pregnancy (and pumping/breastfeeding) meant a big hello to gravity! But you know what, when I look at my beautiful kids, I am so proud!! My daughter just turned 3, my son just turned 2 (we lost his fraternal twin, and he was our 25 week preemie) and my youngest boy is 8 months old. Both boys are in therapy (physio & occupational therapy for both, speech & language and sensory etc for my prem plus a whole tonne of follow up and assessments!) Going through this has really changed my view on my body. I used to be sad about my muscles being separated, and all my scars, but then I look at the fighting these boys are doing and how far we've come in the therapy and how gorgeous my little girl is with her brothers, and all I can think is that I'd have stretchmarks and scars over every inch of my body if it gave me that experience again! It's not about not caring for me, I still get insecure at times, it just really makes me realise that how I view my body is not the way my kids view me. Now I'm either too busy to worry about how I look, or those times I do think about it, I know this was for these precious babies and I know that to them, I'm Mummy who fixes things and cuddles them and I'm the only one they want when they are scared or tired or sick. These changes to my body remind me that *I* have changed, and I am grateful for that change! :-)
May 24, 2012
Polewalker916
I'm a 32 yo mom of two (boy 11yo & girl 17 months) I got stretch marks in my inner thighs with my son and a small one on my stomach. I got very faint ones on my tummy after my girl. Sometimes I feel weird about them especially in pole clothes but I have to remember how far I've come and what I have. I weigh less than I did before my girl and my boy and the most important my children are happy and healthy...to me it was worth the war wounds :)
Also what I have noticed from all of these pole videos i have been watching/studying on you tube and studio veena, I haven't noticed one purple, gray, silver, red, white, or clear stretch mark on anyone!!!!! That is because, as a poler, you (and even spectators) are looking at the whole picture. The beautiful lines your body makes when u r in a move or the fluidity of your body as you do a move (that may expose your imperfections). It's the whole picture that I see.
It's just like when u see a beautiful perfect woman or man and then they talk or act a certain way and your outlook is changed!! Suddenly they could be the ugliest person you have seen. It's all on the inside!!! In pole I could start off seeing a overly heavy person with cellulite and stretch marks (if I inspected closely for imperfections) and then they dance whether they are good or bad, and I can see no imperfections at all. Beauty from the inside can come out and cover all that someone is afraid of, u just have to b open enough to share your raw emotions whether by talking, actions, dance, or other.
The courage and fearlessness it takes to expose your body, your ability, and your emotions will hide any imperfection you have on your body any day!!!!!
Xoxo
Oct 15, 2012
monica kay

^^^^that is so true ^^^^

i am HORRIFIED when i catch a glimpse of what my inner thighs are squishing and buckling and folding into when I do a pole sit.  it's like a horror movie.

but but but! no one else sees that... they just see the whole picture.  (unless they are looking for that, and the only reason they are looking is because they experience the same thing on their thighs too lol)
Oct 15, 2012
Jill Henson
I have recently started training and got embarrassed of my stretch marks so I have used [www.imageskincare.com] cream and getting good results. Now I am relaxed and can practice without tension.
Jun 8, 2013
PandalinaHooker
Here is a link to something that has helped me accept and even want to flaunt my "battle scars"

[www.slrlounge.com]

​I'd say don't worry about it--I doubt anyone is saying "Gross" let alone noticing them; as my great grandmother used to say, "If they're looking that close, kick em!" ;) 
Jul 4, 2013
yrngrl Paid Member
Thanks for the link... certainly made me remember I'm far from alone in having a messed up stretch mark stomach! And there's a good reason for it, right? :)
Jul 5, 2013
litlbit Paid Member
Love this!  [www.abeautifulbodyproject.com]
Jul 5, 2013
poledanceromance
I'm 25 years old, 125ish lbs and never had kids and I have stretch marks. All. Over. My butt and hips and thighs. And my boobs even though they are non existent...because my weight has fluctuated a lot. Frankly if anyone's getting close enough to me to see them, they're either about to get lucky or about to watch me bust a pole move. Negative comments at that point in either context will get you kicked out and locked out of my love hut.
Jul 5, 2013
PandalinaHooker
@poledanceromance : omg, lol@love hut! I love it! I may have to steal that terminology for future reference!
Jul 5, 2013
poledanceromance
Haha I just think, if I have had them even at my thinnest (about 105) then I am pretty confident that basically every woman walking the earth has them. And if literally every woman in the history of ever has had them, then I feel no need to hide them or be ashamed.
Jul 5, 2013
missy1234 Previous Paid Member
I used Mederma for stretch marks on my tummy after I had my daughter. I had some pretty big ones. You're supposed to put it on 2 or 3 times a day. I was really good about it and they faded. I was surprised it worked. I'm not sure how well it works on old stretch marks. I didn't have the discipline to put it on old spots that often.
Jul 7, 2013
pereznancy0488174
I tried many products for unsightly stretch marks and was beginning to think it's a lost cause... I am so happy I gave it another try with dermelastic serum. I just started using it and I already see improvements. I use it on my pregnancy stretch marks as well as growing stretch marks on my knees.
Jul 3, 2017
 
SaschaPoles
Finding Veena and Webby has changed my life! THIS SITE has changed my life! You can't find this style of quality instruction anywhere else on the web. I'll always be forever grateful to have found SV!!! Xoxoxo
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