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Body Positivity

Artist Paints Her Stretch Marks to Empower Women: ‘Society Sees These Things As Flaws, but They Aren’t’

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Cinta Tort Cartró's artwork
Cinta Tort Cartró

Spanish artist Cinta Tort Cartró used to hate her stretch marks. Looking for a way to change how she sees them, Cartró decided to take something that people often see as ugly, and show how beautiful they can be.

“One day I started to see them as a different form,” the 21-year-old, who also works as an elementary school teacher, tells PEOPLE. “I was thinking about aesthetic pressure and I decided to paint my stretch marks.”

Cartró covered her own stretch marks, and eventually other women’s, in rainbow colors, and posted the images on social media. “The response was very potent,” she says.

#estrías 💜💖❤💛💚💙 Cada unx de nosotrxs es diferente y, a la vez, cada cuerpo es de una forma u otra y tiene su propia esencia y energía. Hay muchos tipos de cuerpos, igual que hay muchos tipos de estrías. De eso me dí sobre todo cuenta el día que hice estas producciones. Pintando a Yacine, a Mònica y a Roser observé detalladamente su piel, la delicadeza que había en ella y, a la vez, la belleza y la esencia que estas escondían. Hay personas con más o menos estrías, con estrías muy gruesas, menos, o más o menos marcadas, y en esto, en la diversidad, hay la riqueza. Las estrías de Yacine me llamaron mucho la atención, pequeñitas, poco palpables a primera vista y verticales, era la aventura de descifrar todo lo que ellas escondían. Todos los cuerpos tienen (más o menos) manchas, pelos, pecas, estrías, curvas, rectas, heridas, arrugas… y todos son igual de válidos. Ya es hora de que empezemos a amar el nuestro porque, al fin y al cabo, esta es nuestra herramienta de comunicación con el mundo. Y si no nos gusta la herramienta que utilizamos para ello, dificilmente podremos sentirnos libres. Una vez más: quererse es un acto revolucionario. 💜

A post shared by ¿ Cinta Tort Cartró (@zinteta) on

That idea spurred others, and from there she created her #manchoynomedoyasco series where she shows menstruation with glitter and more rainbow colors.

“The idea is stop with the taboo about periods,” Cartró. “It’s a project that was born to normalize this process.”

#manchoynomedoyasco

A post shared by ¿ Cinta Tort Cartró (@zinteta) on

💗 #manchoynomedoyasco

A post shared by ¿ Cinta Tort Cartró (@zinteta) on

For these and other pieces, her goal is to change the conversation around women’s bodies.

“Society sees these things as flaws, but they aren’t flaws — they are things in our bodies and we have to accept them,” Cartró says. “Because if we don’t accept them, we probably we don’t accept our bodies and don’t accept ourselves.”

#manchoynomedoyasco (Més respecte, si us plau)

A post shared by ¿ Cinta Tort Cartró (@zinteta) on

RELATED VIDEO: Chrissy Teigen Gets Honest with Fans by Sharing Another Photo of Her Stretch Marks: ‘Whatevs’

 

Through her art, Cartró began to rethink how she sees herself.

“I started to work on my communication with me and my body,” she says. “These were the best ways for me to improve my self-love.”

#estrías 💙💜💖❤️💛💚 Hola a todxs! Hoy ha sido precioso. Hoy he trabajado en medio de la montaña de mi pueblo, rodeada de la naturaleza más savia y pura. Resultados mágicos, estad atentxs! Quiero agradeceros el apoyo constante, vuestros mensajes y correos… y, aunque no os haya respondido a todxs, intentaré hacerlo durante estos días. Estoy muy en shock, muy emocionada, piel de gallina. Esto es precioso, gracias. Hi people! Today I worked in the mountain, surrounded by pure and sap nature. Magical results, stay tuned! Thanks for all the messages, for the constant support… I will try to answer all of you during these days. I'm very excited and shocked. This is beautiful. Lots of love. Cinta.

A post shared by ¿ Cinta Tort Cartró (@zinteta) on

Plus, she’s received tons of messages from other people her work has helped.

“It’s a way to empower,” Cartró says. “Moreover, it’s a way to fight to stop the pressure that women suffer in this oppressive system.”