We see women with perfect bodies constantly parading on magazines, television, the internet; images of what our bodies are supposed to look like. The result? We often fall into the trap of hating our body for not being perfect.

Especially after having a child, most women feel even more wary of how their body looks especially in a bikini. Having another child adds up to the low self-esteem. There is a mom, however, that the birth of her three children did not stop her from wanting to share with the world her midriff and feel very proud about it.

Rachel Hollis, whose photo went viral for all the right reasons, is a 32-year old mom of three children aged eight, six and two. She was on holiday in Cancun when she asked her husband to take a photo of her on the beach. When seeing the photo, she noticed that her stretch marks were clearly visible but rather than feeling embarrassed, Hollis felt proud of her body, and she decided to share it on the Facebook page of the lifestyle website she runs. Within minutes the post had over 100 likes on Facebook and five days later it has been liked more than 370,000 times.

The photo that went viral for all the right reasons.
The photo that went viral for all the right reasons.

Certainly it was not the photo itself that draw the attention but the caption she wrote underneath which seemed to capture the hearts and minds of other mums across the world who have also been worried about their post-pregnancy body.

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,” she wrote.

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!”

Now, the mum-of-three has released a video to say she has been “overwhelmed” by the reaction her photo received.

I could have never anticipated this kind of response,” she says in the following video that was uploaded to YouTube on Monday. “I am overwhelmed because this isn’t anything that I did, this is something that you did – 12,000 people have commented on that photo.”

After seeing Hollis’s picture, women, not only mums (and men), from around the world began posting pictures of their unedited bodies online, while the video includes quotes from some of them.

Seeing this may give me the courage to wear a bikini again. Had my son almost 8 years ago and haven’t shown my stomach since,” one reads. Hollis encourages viewers to take the time to read the comments, so they can realize that they are “good enough”. Source: Huffington post

This photo is an excellent reminder that we are beautiful the way we are. And as Rachel Hollis said “there is something so chic about being the real you and putting it out there in the world“.

Lab scientist, sharp dresser and cooking guru Maria is one half of the original alwaysladies.com founding team. She brings her opinions with earnestness and a smile, even when there are razor blades inside.

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