By Josh Saunders
A mum-of-two has become an Instagram star after her kids taught her to love her stretchmarks and ‘ugly skin’ caused by childbirth.
Lisa Wilson, 28, from Green Rapids, Michigan, USA, used to long for her pre-pregnancy physique until she started celebrating the ‘beautiful body’ that gave the mum her children.
She initially felt insecure about her stomach when daughters Brielle and Vienna, five and three, prodded, poked it and asked questions about the ‘saggy’ areas, last year.
But after contemplating her embarrassment, she decided that instead of hiding the scarring left behind by childbirth she should celebrate and embrace it by taking empowering pictures.
Lisa hopes the shots will inspire her daughters and other mums to love their stretchmarks and bodies too, instead of feeling under pressure by society to cover-up.
Now with over 17,000 followers, she regularly posts pictures online revealing her stomach in lingerie, using glitter and other scenes to try to change people’s opinions.
Lisa, who works at YMCA said: “My daughters both had a fascination with the stretchmarks and loose skin on my tummy, I just saw it as a fat and didn’t like it.
“I felt really self-conscious when they were poking it, I thought it was something weird.
“But after I had some time to think, I realised it was a bad message that I was sending to my daughters by being embarrassed of how my stomach looks from carrying them.
“I chose to be proud of it and embrace the belly that grew to fit them inside. As a society we think of it as a bad thing, we shouldn’t look at it in that way.
“I knew I needed to look at the stretchmarks on my stomach with pride instead of with disdain and anger, from then onwards I started taking more pictures with them showing.
“I also wanted to show you can still be sexy as a mom, you can have flaws and insecurities because it’s real and authentic.
“So I put myself and my stretchmarks out there for the world to see, which has also been a way for me to accept it myself.
“Now I see my stomach in a different light, instead of considering it as ugly skin and my ruined tummy, I see it as what gave me my two beautiful daughters.
“Before I used to hide them beneath high-waisted clothing and never wear anything low-cut.
“In society, it’s seen as less desirable or unattractive, but I grew two human beings to 41 and 42 weeks in there, I shouldn’t be embarrassed by that, I should celebrate it instead.
“What happened is not ugly, it’s a beautiful thing, I find it so weird that we are so proud of our children but not the bodies that helped us bring them into the world.”
Lisa’s first post in April last year, attracted over 1,000 likes on Instagram when she spoke about defying other people’s perception of ‘beauty’ in favour of showing how a real woman looks.
She celebrated the ‘stretchmarks, cellulite, squishy tummies’ and ‘new generation of women’ she hopes to inspire that can embrace and love themselves.
Lisa said: “When I started the page I had a lot of insecurities, I used to miss my old tummy before it has marks on it and a round belly button.
“I had to come to terms with that being gone and learn that to love the body I have now, I needed to appreciate that my body is not any less valuable now.
“I want my girls to grow-up seeing different types of people and body types, for them to know they are beautiful for their differences and qualities like being kind, brave and more.
“It’s been well received, I had messages from one person who told me that since seeing how proud I was with my body shape, she is also learning to love herself too.”
Lisa credits her daughters with encouraging her to start the page that helped her to love herself and appreciate her insecurities – even involving them in several posts.
She added: “My daughters were the push to starting the page, I knew I wanted them to grow-up seeing more diverse images, such as stretchmarks that aren’t airbrushed out.
“My favourite post is where we are all wearing matching bathing-suits and loving our stomachs, which is the part of us that society tells us not to.
“I also did a post where I put glitter on the marks around my stomach alongside my daughter who drew a little heart on her stomach, so she could feel special too.”
For more follow: Instagram/sheisalwaysenough