For many of us, summertime can be a Pandora's Box of body image anxieties. It's hot outside, which means shorts and skirts -- and that our legs are on full display. In our thigh-gap-obsessed society, this means spending a lot of quality time looking at our legs and contrasting them to the ones in magazines.
That's why it's refreshing (and necessary) as hell to see the #thighreading hashtag trending on Twitter in the last few days. It's a collection -- and celebration -- of women and their glorious, sexy stretch marks. MTV News spoke to the Twitter goddess known as @princess_labia, who first tweeted the hashtag, to find out more about the movement.
"I wasn't thinking I was creating a hashtag, 'cause I post pictures of my body and my body 'flaws,'" she said. "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.'"
So she sent off this Tweet and followed it up with another asking people to show her their #thighreading.
Before she knew it, tons of women were using the hashtag and responding with their own pics, and thus -- a badass, body-positive revolution was born.
@Princess_labia said that she's thrilled with #thighreading's unexpected -- and unbelievable -- success. "It’s especially exciting because you get responses like, ‘I didn’t realize how many girls had this’ or ‘it makes me feel more comfortable having these’ or ‘the more I look at them the more beautiful I realize they are," she said.
She hopes that #thighreading will make people feel "normalized" in a society that constantly -- and wrongfully -- tells them they're not. "[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," she added.