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How an Artist Is Using Glitter to Send a Body-Positive Message About Stretch Marks

The Pakistani artist has shared multiple shots of women's stretch marks accented with glitter to send a powerful message about loving the skin you're in.

Stretch marks staras/shutterstock

An Instagram collage artist named Sara Shakeel is known for weaving different photos together to create visually engaging art, and now, she's making headlines for her latest series of stunning images, which send a powerful message about body positivity.

In the images, Shakeel fills in women's stretch marks with glitter. Here's one example from last week, captioned, "GlitterMarks or #stretchmarks#glitterstretchmarks #proudowner CollageArt.SaraShakeel #art #love #glitter #embrace#embracingtheeveryday #happy #happiness#body #vision #bodygoals #fitness #woman#woman #bodyglitter #girl #girls #power." 

In another photo, a woman flaunts shimmery tiger stripes on her stomach.

I have never felt so powerful & liberated and so fucking proud of mystretch marks in my entire life !!! From where I come from & live , To be on the chubby side or to even talk about stretchmarks is not something one is proud of, i have seen my stretch marks grow from the day i started putting on weight, I'd be honest even before uploading it I was thinking why would anyone be interested in my concept of stretch marks turned into glitter or crystals!!! My god I was so wrong! Amazing people and women are already doing such an amazing job with representing these stripes and cellulite!!! Thank you for a beautiful response everyone!!!! I have been featured on @cosmopolitan & @yahoostylebeauty link is in my story. Support and love yourself for who ever you are! Cause there is someone out there sharing the same feelings as you are! There is one thing for sure YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! 🌹🌹🌹🌸🌼🌻 #glitterstretchmarks #stretchmarks #happy #inlove #loveyourself #theweekoninstagram #instagram #tigerstripes . . This picture is by one of my amazing followers who was brave enough to share this with me!! Thank you love!!!! #theweekoninstagram #whereicomefrom

A post shared by Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel) on

This one's caption beautifully reads, "Perfectly ripped body." 

So gorgeous!

Shakeel tells Cosmopolitan.com that she mastered Photoshop after failing her last year of dental school. In order to deal with her "sadness and depression," she used her collages as a creative outlet. "I still remember that feeling of making those glitter stretch marks, and I was quite scared of uploading it," she explained. "I am a Pakistani-based artist and talking about stretch marks or even making art out of it is not something you talk about on a regular basis. ... Stretch marks are something I relate to on a very personal basis." She shared that when sudden weight gain left her with her very own set of "stripes," she decided to "fill them up with something pretty."

Shakeel's work calls to mind the work of artist Cinta Tort Cartró whose stretch mark photos went viral earlier this year. The difference is that Cartró colors in stretch marks physically as opposed to using photo editing, but both artists' work is jaw-droppingly pretty and powerful.

Obsérvalas, léelas, descúbrelas y ámalas. Estrías 💛💚❤️💜💙 Des de bien pequeñitxs nos hacen odiar todo aquello que tenemos en nuestro cuerpo e intentan constantemente que eliminemos todo aquello que para ellos no es normal: las manchas, las pecas, los pelos, y un sinfín de cosas más, y... las estrías. Las estrías son aquellas marcas que muchxs de nosotrxs tenemos en la piel. Me pasé años odiándolas e intentando encontrar una manera de eliminarlas, hasta que me dí cuenta que si no las aceptaba no me estaba aceptando a mi misma. Hace unos pocos años que he empezado a trabajar el amor propio y a aceptar y ver todo lo que hay en mi cuerpo. Aceptar todo esto es aceptar tus raíces, tu historia, todo lo que hay en él y, al fin y al cabo, aceptarte a ti misma. Las estrías son parte de nuestra esencia, nuestros momentos, de nuestras vidas, de nuestras historias y de nosotrxs. Son tan bellas que no se como a veces consiguen que las odiemos. Observarlas es terapéutico. No dejas que se metan con todo lo que tienes y todo lo que eres. Quererse es un acto revolucionario.

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

As for Shakeel's shimmery take, what more is there to say than brilliant -- and beautifully done! Bravo!