"I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini." So begins the bold caption under Rachel Hollis' equally bold Facebook photo: one that shows the mother of three at a Cancun beach with her "permanently flabby" belly exposed, and one that's been liked more than 375,000 times since Saturday.
In the caption, the founder of lifestyle website The Chic Site goes on to explain that she's proud to bare her body, whose 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 (sic) opinion matters knows what I went through to look this way. They aren't scars ladies, they're stripes and you've earned them." Those "ladies" are exactly the ones she posted the photo for, Hollis explains to Yahoo Parenting.
While "just hanging out drinking tequila" with her husband, she asked him to snap a photo of her in her "really cool" monogrammed bikini top. Seeing the photo made her realize that "I had never seen a really honest bikini shot on social media, so I thought, 'I'll just post this for the moms.'" The 32-year-old tells Today.com that she ran her first marathon a week before the photo was taken and realized that after her extensive training for the race, she's in the best shape she'll likely ever be in, "so if there's ever time to show off your belly, this is probably it." She closes her caption with "Flaunt that body with pride!" And that seems to be the reaction: Some commenters have posted their own bikini shots; many more have commented like this: "I gave birth to my last baby (my third son) 6 months ago. I have many stretch marks... and my confidence has plummeted. Reading this has made me realize how im seeing everything in the wrong way..." (Click for a "post-baby body" project making headlines.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: Mom's Proud Photo of 'Flabby' Bikini Body Goes Viral
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