A mum who developed stretchmarks while pregnant has painted them on a Barbie doll to show her daughter they are 'perfectly normal'. 

Kate Claxton, 35, from Swindon, suffered from postnatal anxiety and hated her stretchmarks after she gave birth to her daughter, who is now three years old.

But after learning to embrace her body insecurity, she wanted to teach her little girl that they were nothing to worry about as she grew up.

Her daughter is now a massive fan of Barbies but children's author Kate said she could not find any dolls which represented her own body.

Swindon Advertiser:

So she decided to paint stretchmarks on a doll herself using nail varnish and has now urged manufacturers Mattel to do the same.

She said: "My daughter has really started getting into Barbies recently and I almost recoiled when I bought her first one.

"It was typically Barbie-like - perfectly proportioned, long legs, blonde hair. We've since brought other versions with vitiligo, prosthetic legs and fuller figures.


"So to theiSwindon Advertiser: r credit, they do more inclusive dolls but I could not find one anywhere with stretchmarks.

"I have written a children's book about stretchmarks and when I researched it I found 96 per cent of women have them.

"But there aren't any dolls representing how normal this is, so I thought I would do one myself.

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon mum Kate Claxton is a children's author and has written a book about stretchmarksSwindon mum Kate Claxton is a children's author and has written a book about stretchmarks (Image: SWNS)

Kate, who lives with husband Tony, 36, said she had her own insecurities about her body after giving birth and also had stretchmarks as a teenager.

The mum-of-one added: "They really came out towards the end of my pregnancy and I hated them at first, but now I'm proud of them.

"I just used nail varnish to achieve the effect, I didn't use one of my daughter's current dolls, as it's now too toxic to play with.

"But I had a conversation with her about what they were. We decided to get the doll changed and she didn't mention the stretchmarks.

"So hopefully they are already something completely normal to her and she won't worry about them as she gets older and that's what I wanted to achieve.

"She knows mummy has got stretch marks, and they're not a big deal."

Kate has previously written a self-published children's book My Mum's a Tiger which has sold 13,000 copies worldwide, about a girl who learns why her mum has 'stripes' on her skin.

The former theatre marketing manager added: "This is already something which is an important issue to me having written the book when my daughter was three-months-old."