Bio-Oil Marks of Change initiativeI have stretch marks. During my teens I got those pesky silver streaks on my hips and then on my stomach after my second pregnancy.

Adolescents and pregnancy are two hugely transitional periods in a woman’s life and one of the consequences can be stretch marks.

According to research provided by Bio-Oil, about 70% of girls and 40% of boys develop stretch marks during puberty and occur in 88% of pregnant women. There are many factors that play their part their formation, and there is no way to prevent them entirely, you can only lessen their appearance by moisturising and using oils such as Bio-Oil.

You can reduce their appearance when used on stretch marks that are still new and red, but once they are silver, few treatments can remove them.

“Your body never goes back to how it was before, but I don’t think you expect it to because as a person you have also changed. It would feel very incongruent to have such a huge change happen internally and that not be reflected in some way.” Kirsten

Bio-Oil is focusing on changing the perception of stretch marks and for women to become proud of their bodies with the marks of change initiative.

They commissioned Rob and Karin Schermbrucker to capture the marks of change of 14 teenage girls and women, and to learn more about their experiences and feelings about their bodies.

From the photos, you feel a sense of contentment in these women and that their happiness goes beyond their physical appearance.

“I feel a real sense of responsibility because I’m a mom of two daughters now and I feel a responsibility in how they are raised, how they see the world and how they view themselves as women.” Kirsten

When I was pregnant with Paige, I consistently moisturised and used Bio-Oil as I really didn’t want stretch marks, and I didn’t get them. With Ethan though, I was not as dutiful in my application of creams and I guess my skin had already stretched with my first pregnancy, as I got stretch marks on my stomach. I also have my caesarean scar, so double whammy with the post-preggy body blues.

My doctor kept reassuring me that “it was all for a good cause” and even though I would have preferred to keep my pre-baby stomach, I didn’t and that’s what comes with having children. It should not be something to be ashamed of, our bodies are incredible and to create and carry another person to term is a wonder of nature.

“The changes in my body are because of my children and I wouldn’t have them if it weren’t for them. I’d be happier if they weren’t there, but not if it meant my children weren’t there.” Lisa

Paige will be looking to me as a role model and I realise that if I hate my body, she will learn to hate hers too. I don’t want her to grow up with body issues, and even though I can’t protect her from the outside world and the influences of friends and the media, it is within my power to teach her to love herself in and out, by loving myself and my body.

Bio-Oil Marks of Change initiative

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