body positivity

Women Are Loving Kendrick Lamar’s Ode to Stretch Marks

Photo: Vevo/YouTube

When Kendrick Lamar released the audio for “The Heart Part 4” last week, his fans sensed it was just a teaser for what was to come. Was he simply putting rappers everywhere on notice? Was he taking shots at Drake and Big Sean? Was there an album forthcoming? With the release on Thursday of Lamar’s visually rich music video for his new song “Humble,” it seems at least the latter might be true.

While there’s plenty to dissect in the video’s religious iconography and serious Young Pope vibes, there’s one scene in the video that women everywhere watching at home can’t get enough of: Kendrick Lamar’s ode to women’s natural beauty, stretch marks and all.

He raps:

I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop /
Show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor /
Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretchmarks /
Still will take you down right on your mama’s couch in Polo socks, ayy /
Photo: Vevo/YouTube

And to leave no doubt about his message, the video shows a woman wearing a slinky top with slicked back hair and pore-less skin. As she walks from one frame to the next, she reappears sans makeup, wearing a white tank and with long curly hair. When Lamar raps about stretch marks, he looks admiringly from one side of the split screen to the other, where a woman’s stretch marks are on full display. Eventually a close-up shot of the stretch marks takes up the whole screen.

Lamar’s unexpected body-positive message and embrace of stretch marks — which have been historically and irrationally vilified — set off a round of applause on Twitter.

And finally …

Kendrick Lamar’s whole video is worth a watch, but his ode to natural beauty clocks in at 1:44.

Women Are Loving Kendrick Lamar’s Ode to Stretch Marks