When Lexi Mendiola first saw a gorgeous photo of herself at the beach, she was ready to throw it into the trash and never look at it again. And it was all because the picture revealed her stretch marks.
She said, "Right off the bat, my instinct was to junk the photo because for some reason, the first thing my eyes gravitated towards were my 'tiger stripes.'"
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Then, she thought about retouching it just to hide her marks. But she decided against it in the end--because she realized she shouldn't let something as small as this influence how she saw the overall image.
"It's really nothing to get all worked up or feel weird about," she wrote in the photo caption. "Here's to learning to love the lines."
Considering the photo now has more than 20,000 likes, it's clear her followers feel the same way about them.
I was thinking thrice if I wanted to keep this photo or dump it in the bin...ONLY because of my tiger stripes. I caught myself right before tossing it and just could. not. believe. how I let myself get so insecure about something so natural!!! It's taken me quite a while (23 yrs to be exact) but putting this out there to remind myself and everyone that it's really nothing to get all worked up or feel weird about. here's to learning to love the lines 💫
And this support especially came through in the comments, with tons of people reaching out to her to say how inspired they felt by her empowering post.
"I cried reading some of the comments," Mendiola said. "Especially the ones where people share their experience, or how much confidence it gave them."
Now, she couldn't be happier to continue sharing these positive messages of self-acceptance and self-love with others.
"Everyone has their 'flaws,'" she said. "But it's only really a flaw if you let it be."
Amen to that!