A model and former Miss Universe contestant is being applauded for sharing unedited photos of her stretch marks on social media.
In an Instagram post, Rozanna Purcell, from Ireland, recalled the first time she noticed her stretch marks, at the age of 11 or 12.
“I remember the first time I noticed my stretch marks probably like 11 or 12, I was like I don’t remember my cat scratching me,” the 28-year-old captioned photos of herself in a swimsuit, before revealing that at first she thought of her stretch marks as cool “reptile markings” and used to show them off.
However, as she got older, Purcell said she became self-conscious about them because “no one in magazines had them” and she “never noticed them on anyone else” – which led her to believe “it was not normal or considered beautiful.”
According to Purcell, it wasn’t until two years ago that she realised she should feel confident in her body and embrace her stretch marks and cellulite.
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“Stretch marks are normal, we all have them, big or small, they’re part of me and they’re here to stay,” she wrote.
The model, who has more than 242,000 followers, then revealed that she’d previously received numerous comments from people advising her how to reduce the appearance of her stretch marks but that she’d ignored them – because she wasn’t going to try to remove a natural part of her appearance.
“I don’t have time or the dedication to massage my butt in some super oil for 30 minutes before bed, sure I’d slip out onto the floor,” she wrote.
Since sharing the photos, which have been liked more than 36,000 times, Purcell has received hundreds of comments from her followers praising her for her honesty and body positivity.
The post has also resonated with others who have stretch marks.
“Thank you so much for sharing,” one woman wrote. “I have been ashamed of my stretch marks since about the same age and now well into my 40’s. To see you normalising them makes such a difference to how I feel about myself.”
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Another said: “I love this post so much! Thank you for your honesty. You, your confidence, and attitude are wonderful. And your comment about not having time to oil up before bed every night is everything!”