Lexi Mendiola and Her Stripes
Lexi Mendiola has the same insecure feeling about her stretch marks, the Philippines commercial model tells, “My ‘tiger stripes’ were the first things I saw — I guess it’s because I’ve always been insecure about them. It just made me feel discouraged, and immediately warped how I felt about the image altogether, which was so frustrating because I really liked everything else about it.”
Rather than cover and hide the tiger marks she had, Lexi Mendiola post the photo on her Instagram earlier this month. It was captioned, “I was thinking thrice if I wanted to keep this photo or dump it in the bin…ONLY because of my tiger stripes. I caught myself right before tossing it and just could. not. believe. how I let myself get so insecure about something so natural!!! It’s taken me quite a while (23 yrs to be exact) but putting this out there to remind myself and everyone that it’s really nothing to get all worked up or feel weird about. here’s to learning to love the lines”
The photo of herself in a one piece swimsuit, that clearly shows her stretch marks, a doubtful feeling that Lexi Mendiola action to share in public through her social media could danger her career life or perhaps reap many positive responds.
“It was at that moment when I caught myself throwing out maybe one of my best photos, only because of lines on my skin,” she says. “I was about to throw it away, but then I saw the bigger picture (literally!) and realized how crazy it is to let stretch marks dictate what I do, or post, or rethink what I ‘need’ to wear. It was ridiculous, and I just didn’t want to allow something that made feel embarrassed tell me what to do!”
“I was really nervous,” says Mendiola. “Social media is quite a competitive platform in the Philippines, especially for models and influencers, so the only thing I was sure of was that I was doing something against the grain.”
“I wasn’t sure how people would react to it, especially after seeing it in the middle of a feed which is probably [filled] with women who look like they’re fresh off a runway or fit beyond belief,” she continues. “I was really, really insecure about it, but part of me just thought, ‘Oh what the heck.’ People need to realize it’s not always the way it seems online, at least not for me.”
Lexi Mendiola’s post was praised by may of her followers, even has over 21,000 likes and hundreds of supportive comments.
“It was so emotional for me!” she says of the positive response. “I cried reading some of the comments, especially the ones where people share their own experiences, or how much confidence it gave them, or just supporting each other. I got hundreds of personal messages from people just thanking me. I just never expected so much love and honesty coming in. I didn’t realize it would get this far and touch people the way it did. I am so incredibly grateful.”