Before #ThighReading took over the internet this past weekend, it began as just a simple photo taken by Twitter personality @princess_labia. She took the shot while checking out the stretch marks on her inner thighs that, despite being incredibly common and harmless, are a source of embarrassment to many women during the summer months. She told MTV News that she hadn’t realized at the time that she was starting a powerful movement of self-acceptance:
“I wasn’t thinking I was creating a hashtag, ’cause I post pictures of my body and my body ’flaws.’ I was just sitting on the couch with my legs crisscrossed and I was just looking at my stretch marks and feeling them, because they’re kind of deep some places and yeah, I was just looking at it and I was like, ’oh, it’s like a palm reading…[Stretch marks are] so frickin’ normal, but because we never see any images in the media that are not photoshopped or altered in some way, [we] feel the way the way we look is not normal, when we’re the normal ones.”
— EMO SLUT (@princess_labia) July 20, 2015
Soon afterward, she asked others to join her in sharing their own photos, and what followed was a massive online effort to reclaim how women feel about their bodies. Scores of women submitted photos of the stretch marks on their own inner thighs and other areas of their bodies, proving just how “normal” it is to have some of your own. The timing of this movement couldn’t be more perfect. It’s summer! Every women deserves to feel the sun and fresh air on her skin without shame — stretch marks or not. Check out the latest #ThighReading posts or submit your own on Twitter.