This Woman Is Normalizing Stretch Marks By Turning Them Into Artwork

Girls everywhere have perfected the art of the Instagram post — a fresh outfit, golden lighting, perfected poses – it’s no joke. After comparing filters and cleaning up any cosmetic imperfections you may notice, you post—unless you’re Sara Shakeel, the Instagrammer breaking all the rules and gaining major props for it.

At one glance Sara Shakeel’s Instagram is a masterpiece of whimsical photoshopped images —leading us to believe we have a trained professional in our presence. Well, according to Cosmopolitan.com, Shakeel is a self-taught Photoshop prodigy who picked up the trade after failing out of dental school. She found that creating collages was an outlet for her during that difficult time. Now with 204K Instagram followers, Shakeel is empowering women with her photo series that transforms stretch marks into glitter, crystal, and galaxy masterpieces.

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!!!!

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By showcasing the society dubbed imperfections in the most flawless way Shakeel is gaining high praise from her followers. The artist took to her account to say:

“I have never felt so powerful & liberated and so f*****g proud of my stretch marks in my entire life !!! From where I come from & live, To be on the chubby side or to even talk about stretch marks 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!!!!”

Thank you everyone for the #glitterstretchmarks response and the numerous features of my artwork! The past few days have been unreal! Good and bad, but tbh I shall always look at the good side because nothing is more powerful then giving confidence to myself along with so many women and men out there! My hopes are unreal and so are my dreams! The stretch marks story will continue and I have so many other ideas and plans in mind. The artwork that I have made out of you are real! These picture that you see are REAL of REAL women with stretchmarks! Thank you for making #glitterstretchmarks a part of your lives. I love you all from the core of my fluffy heart. . CollageArt.SaraShakeel Photography @facesbycela . The next week I'll be super busy with my upcoming exhibition & an interview in my home country , my apologies if i don't post alot in the coming week. ☄☄☄ . . #love #loveyourself #lovemyjob #patientlywaiting #patience #hope #daydreaming #art #artwork #collage #glitter

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Finding her voice and promoting female empowerment was not easy for the conceptual collage artist. Shakeel told Cosmopolitan.com:

I still remember that feeling of making those glitter stretch marks, and I was quite scared of uploading it.

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.

“Each picture heals a part of me & i hope it heals a part of you too,” Shakeel wrote on her Facebook page. I think it is safe to say that she continues to inspire her growing fanbase with dazzling images that add some much-needed positivity in this world.