In the year 2017 as it should be, stretch marks on men is a topic that should no longer be ignored nor viewed as if it is just female trait. You would expect society to be knowledgeable enough to know this.
The notion of stretch marks only being found on women is one that should be done away with as more people especially society at large should learn that this too occurs in men as well.
Stretch marks appear when the middle layer of the skin, gets thinner as it stretches and tears. These small tears cause the blood vessels to become visible, which is what gives stretch marks their signature pinkish, purplish colour.
Studies have shown that stretch marks in men are usually caused by rapid growth during puberty, body training as well as weight loss and gain which normally forces the skin to stretch faster than it can grow.
Stretch marks are also often found on the buttocks, hips, thighs and chest areas of men. However they are not as visible on men as they are on women because men are usually hairy around these areas.
There would be very little surprise if you search the internet and a long list of articles with images on women instead of men that have them pop up.
Sometimes you can’t help but question why this is such an unspoken of matter by men in society who are so vocal about women having stretch marks.
Could it be that their masculinity is too fragile?
The Lounge interviewed a few men of all races, shapes, sizes and age groups on why the topic is so insignificantly heard of.
Twenty seven year old Keron Walters who has stretch marks explained that his stretch marks came from the muscle gain he has gone through over the years.
“I work out a lot so that means I have gone through stages where I have gained a lot of muscle weight and sometimes lost it. Which then caused me to have stretch marks around my chest area.”
He however feels that stretch marks as a topic of discussion for men is not of any importance to talk about as it is more prominent and obvious in women as a whole.
“Even though we as men have stretch marks we pay little to no attention to it, I at times even forget that they are there because they are very minimal.”
Men are not very vocal about stretch marks because men in general were and are still raised differently says twenty three year old Brownwen Visagie.
“We were raised to believe that any change on the body is good change, because it is what makes you a man. So we do not bring it up when it occurs cause as men it is supposed to happen.”
The same applies when you think about how women are brought up under the precepts that they should be smoother and softer in terms of being the ones that have stretch marks.
There are severe cases in men that could cause a little self-awareness which has resulted in it being such an uncomfortable topic to speak on for most men, says 18 year old Waheed Salau.
“Stretch marks are uncomfortable to speak about because men usually expect our women or just women in general to be perfect. So it’s a bit contradicting to want perfection when we ourselves are not perfect to begin with.”
Waheed further added that there is a lack of knowledge on the topic and how it impacts men hence we don’t really know what to say about it.
“How would it appear if I’m hanging out with a group of guy friends and I randomly start talking about my stretch marks? It would seem a bit weird and I would definitely not consider it as something a guy would do.”
Elia Namundjebo, 30 years of age who also has stretch marks admits that it is indeed a disgusting topic to talk about.
“I really don’t see why as a man I should talk about something as such which brings no value to my life, not one bit. To me it’s a female attribute and it should remain that way”.
Elia however as much as he finds it revolting, he does not use any products to get rid of the ones he has as he believes that he was created to have them.
Well, as much as the topic of stretch marks amongst men is not normally discussed between the few that may or may not have them, it is evident that most men actually considered it as just something that belongs to women.
Stretch marks should not be seen as a one sided gender trait that people feel ashamed of. This is completely wrong.
The idea of embracing body positivity not only for ourselves but for others as well needs to become a habit that we all need to practise more often till it becomes a reality.