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August 26, 2014 06:20 PM

Love Your Lines

Social media has not only changed how we communicate, it is also changing what we are willing to share. A new Instagram account is helping empower women by calling on them to reveal their "true selves."

There are pictures published on the world wide web that you may not see often.  From stretch marks earned during pregnancy to marks left by lupus, women are sending photos of themselves to the "Love Your Lines" Instagram account. The submissions are sent both anonymously and identified to the two moms who created this timeline, also anonymously.

"My first reaction was shock. But after looking it was very encouraging," Traci Brown said.

Mother and daughter, Traci Brown and Carol Morris, scroll through the photos online and agree the positive body image these women are showing is uplifting.

"It was cool to see that we all have flaws and that you know the pictures we see in the grocery store, they aren't real and so it makes me feel like, 'Hey, we are all human,'" Brown said.

The account currently has gained more than 36,000 followers since it first began earlier this month.  80 percent of those followers, like the women whose images they see, have stretch marks or other lines earned through life experiences.

Sarah Konrady, a license psychologist at Sanford Health, says flaunting and owning what some may call flaws can actually help you keep a positive self-image. 

"When you are hiding something, you know, it's because it's something you're embarrassed of and by showing it to everyone, you are taking back the power for yourself," Konrady said.

Keeping a positive self-image is healthy for women. Konrady says it's important to look at ourselves the way we see other people, beyond the blemishes. The imperfections instead are perfections. 

"It's not why we love other people; it's not why we want to spend time with other people, because they are perfect.  It's because of how they make us feel. The cliché of what's on the inside really counts; that's really true," Konrady said.

"I think it's good to get comfortable in your own skin and to accept your flaws and to accept yourself for who you are, I think that's healthy," Brown said.

If you'd like to see or submit an image for yourself, visit instagram.com/loveyourlines

  • HealthBeat
  • Women's Health
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