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- American plus-size model
Ashley Graham is the motherhood inspiration many mothers never knew they needed, and she’s back with another update on postpartum life.
The 32-year-old has been open about her pregnancy and birth after having her son, Isaac, in January.
Now she has shared another relatable post featuring her stretch marks for a new swimwear campaign.
The model has been praised for “normalising stretch marks” by her followers.
In the post, Graham wrote: “Some things I love: a cute bathing suit and a backyard shoot with the family! We’ve had such great time making the most of this summer in Nebraska and these suits have me feeling great for my first summer as a mommy!”
She first showed her stretch marks on Instagram in February, in a post that sparked thousands of mums to thank the model for giving them confidence in their postpartum bodies.
Since then, Graham has spoken openly about everything from breastfeeding to home birth and even shared a candid photo of herself giving birth to mark International Women’s Day.
Fans have been lining up to praise the new mum on her approach to stretch marks on social media.
“Thank you for being REAL! You are beautiful. All these celebrities that seemingly “bounce back” and look like they never gave birth to a child is so unrealistic,” one grateful person wrote.
Another added: “Gorgeous. I’ve felt really insecure about the stretch marks on my stomach recently. Thank you for showing us that all bodies are beautiful.”
While British women put pressure on themselves to look Insta-worthy moments after giving birth, Doula, Beccy Hands, explained how stretch marks are normalised in countries like Mexico, where they’re called “love lines”.
“One of my ‘a-ha’ moments came from when I was training with some Mexican midwives. Everybody kept talking about getting your body back and the bounce back term was being bandied around,” Hands shares.
“She said it would be a different version of your body and it was a real freeing moment where we were like, ‘wow, imagine if you grew up and everybody didn’t expect that’.”
Read more: Woman with two wombs gives birth to baby
There is a glimmer of hope that the way we see our bodies is changing, though. More and more celebrities have been opening up about their post-pregnancy bodies.
Others have also shared positive birth stories, breastfeeding information and real-life glimpses into life after giving birth.
We don’t know what has encouraged the candid sharing, but long may it continue.