My stretch marks inspire young girls – their dads love showing them my pics

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    An influencer revealed she's inspiring young girls by flaunting her stretch marks and cellulite.

    Danae Mercer Ricci is a body positive influencer and journalist who advocates for self-love.

    The mum-of-one has built up a large following on social media where she is not afraid to show her body in its natural form.

    READ MORE: 'Trolls never bothered me when they called me fat – but it hurts now I'm a mum'

    The 36-year-old, from the US, often posts side by side snaps to show how easy it is to fake 'perfection' online.

    And it's not just young women she's inspiring – she's won the hearts of dads too.

    "I had a dad message me recently saying he sat down with his daughter who is 10-years-old, and she had started commenting about her body and commenting on social media," Danae exclusively shared with Daily Star.

    "So he sat down with her and he used my page to start the conversation of 'what's real and what's not' – and bodies and how they look in different ways.

    "Messages like that make me want to cry because they are so beautiful, and I feel so thankful that I can play even some small part in that conversation and in that journey."

    Danae, who is now based in Italy, knows what it's like to have a difficult relationship with her body as she was diagnosed with an eating disorder aged 19.

    Growing up in an age of super skinny supermodels and fad diets, she struggled with her own body image when she hit puberty.

    Danae saw a number of medical professionals after her diagnosis, which kickstarted the journey of seeing her body in a different perspective.

    "I developed very rapidly as a teen, I must have been 12 or 13 when I developed," the parent to baby Aurora explained.

    "Suddenly, I went from being very lanky into having boobs, hips and butt – I hated it.

    "I was so uncomfortable with it especially at the time the standard of beauty was very much 'Kate Moss, super thin and the hip bones – and that wasn't my body.

    "I remember being 13 and buying some fast shakes, then going on the south beach diet and the Atkins diet and buying diet pills on the internet.

    "I didn't really understand the internet at the point, but I knew that I could get some stuff on there."

    Reflecting on her younger self, Danae hopes young girls don't have to endure the suffering she went through.

    And, she hopes that her platform can assist young girls – and women – to not become a victim to the beauty ideals peddled by society.

    By talking about having wobbly bits, Danae has aided her own recovery and become the role model she needed when she was younger.

    "It was awful – I struggled a lot as many teens, and increasingly, many little girls do," she bravely shared.

    "I struggled with my body image and I struggled feeling comfortable in my skin.

    "And, I think that having only glossy magazines and one standard of beauty definitely exasperated those feelings.

    "I'm just trying to be who I needed to see when I was growing up."

    Danae continues to post pictures of her stretch marks and cellulite on social media – as well as the reality of being a mum.

    She recently gave birth to her first child and revealed that the trolling she's received has never been so awful before.

    But, that hasn't put her off from her pivotal work in the body positive movement.

    You can follow Danae on Instagram here.


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