Stretch marks...ugh. No one likes them and if you are a model or want to become one, this may seem like a huge setback to your goals. However, if you know about stretch marks and how to handle them, having these unsightly marks doesn't have to be detrimental to your modeling career. Unfortunately, there are many myths and so-called "miracle treatments" that promise to get rid of your stretch marks forever. Before you invest any time or money, it's important to know the real deal.
You don't have to be overweight or pregnant to get stretch marks: This is a common misconception. The skinniest of people can still develop stretch marks and it affects both men and women, although women are more likely to suffer from it than their male counterparts. Stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched over time. This happens not only during pregnancy (which results in stretch marks on the stomach and breasts), but also during growth spurts and even weight lifters that build up a lot of muscle will notice their new bulk can also be a common area for stretch marks.
Beware the miracle products and treatments: Because stretch marks develop in the middle layer of the skin, this makes it very unlikely for a topical ointment or lotion to penetrate deeply enough to completely eliminate your stretch marks. However, applying such products or cocoa butter can help to lighten the color or slightly fade your stretch marks (this is especially helpful if you have those terrible purple/reddish type of stretch marks). Even though laser treatments have been shown to reduce some stretch marks by 20-50%, this method according to medical experts is not a fool-proof way to be stretch mark-free. Laser treatments are most effective on reddish/purple stretch marks and ineffective on light, white, older stretch marks.
Take action sooner than later: The key to this is to begin treating the area as soon as you get your stretch marks. The sooner you take steps to tackle the problem, the better the results. If you've got stretch marks that have been there for years then chances are you won't be able to make much of a difference--even with expensive products and costly treatments.
Tanning for stretch marks is very far fetched: Some swear by using indoor tanning as a way to make stretch marks blend in better with tanned skin but this couldn't be further from the truth. The reality is that stretch marks are located in the middle layer of skin and contain its own pigmentation (color). Stretch marks don't actually tan, which can make them stand out more against your tanned skin. What does work in some cases is the use of self tanning products (tanning lotion, fake bake tans, etc) because these actually create a layer of pigment that sits on top of your skin. But the results aren't always guaranteed. Remember, tanning under the sun or in a tanning bed is bad for your skin anyway so avoid it if you can!
Stretch marks don't mean you can't be a model: Just because you have stretch marks doesn't mean you can forget about pursuing a modeling career. It all depends on what kind of modeling you want to do. If you want to become a swimwear model but have really bad stretch marks all over your butt, stomach or breasts, then you may have a difficult time breaking into that field. But if you've got minimal stretch marks or really light ones, these are easy to retouch in Photoshop and generally won't be a problem. Fashion models don't always show a lot of skin and are all about showing off the clothes so in those instances, stretch marks won't work against you. In addition to retouching pictures, many makeup artists use body makeup to cover up stretch marks. In a nutshell, stretch marks can be worked around and vary on a case to case basis. Some clients don't mind working with a model with stretch marks, while others do. When it comes to modeling agencies, be honest and see what they have to say. You aren't the first person with stretch marks they've seen and you definitely won't be the last so don't over analyze things. As long as you take care of your skin to the best of your ability, you can continue your modeling career without a hitch.