Rachel Hollis has worked very hard as a mother to raise her three children right. While pregnancy has taken a toll on her body, she still finds time to enjoy life and relax a little. The stress of being a mother, especially of three little ones, gets to her sometimes, but now that she is at the beach with her family, she wants to enjoy her time.
But she has stretch marks. While other women might be embarrassed at the signs of bearing three children, Hollis believes that is ridiculous. Although her body is different than it was before having children, she stripped down to her bikini and posed in front of the camera.
After sharing that image on her Facebook page, she got a flurry of responses. And not all of them good. But as she wrote in the caption of the post, “flaunt that body with pride!”
Because the internet harshly judges women who post pictures of themselves in bikinis, if they don’t have “perfect bodies”, Hollis wanted to tell other women to ignore those haters and be proud of motherhood.
To lead by example, she showed her true self in the picture while in her bikini. Then she shared the image and wrote the following caption:
“I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini. I have a belly that’s permanently flabby from carrying three giant babies and I wear a bikini. My belly button is saggy… (which is something I didn’t even know was possible before!!) and I wear a bikini. I wear a bikini because I’m proud of this body and every mark on it.
“Those marks prove that I was blessed enough to carry my babies and that flabby tummy means I worked hard to lose what weight I could. I wear a bikini because the only man who’s opinion matters knows what I went through to look this way. That same man says he’s never seen anything sexier than my body, marks and all. They aren’t scars ladies, they’re stripes and you’ve earned them. Flaunt that body with pride! #HollisHoliday”
As the founder of The Chic Site, Hollis was surprised when she received an outpouring of support. Thousands of people online wanted to let Hollis know that they would stand by her and all other mothers because mothers are awesome.
“I’ve never had anything like this happen before – I mean, I think very few people do, so you don’t anticipate it. I honestly hoped it would get 20 likes, so this is completely overwhelming and exciting and humbling!” Hollis told People.
But her post went viral and more than 500,000 people like it and more than 60,000 shared it. Because strangers had pledged their support, Hollis was encouraged and hoped society could look more favorably on the honest bodies of women.
“Women who I don’t know [have been] posting their own bikini pictures, showing off their own bodies,” she said. It’s women saying, ‘I’m going to be proud of what my body looks like right now – not when I was 10 lbs. [lighter], not 15 years ago, but right now. I’m proud of how this looks, and I want to show it off.'”
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