If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable in a bathing suit after having kids, you’re certainly not alone. But just because children have changed your body doesn’t mean you have to wear a cover-up or sit in your house like a shut-in because your body is unfit for public viewing. While it’s normal for most moms to feel a little self-conscious at the beach, one mom took it in the opposite direction. She had the balls to post a close-up picture of her stomach with stretch marks in a bikini in response to the reaction she received after a day at the beach.
The mom, named Tannis, added the following rant to her Facebook picture:
“This is an open letter to the 2 guys and 1 girl who decided to skip work today in Sherwood Park where they were building a house, but instead decided to come to Alberta Beach to relax in the sun, enjoy the water and some beers.
I’m sorry if my first attempt at sun tanning in a bikini in public in 13 years “grossed you out”. I’m sorry that my stomach isn’t flat and tight. I’m sorry that my belly is covered in stretch marks. I’m NOT sorry that my body has housed, grown, protected, birthed and nurtured FIVE fabulous, healthy, intelligent and wonderful human beings. I’m sorry if my 33 year old, 125 lb body offended you so much that you felt that pointing, laughing, and pretending to kick me. But I’ll have you know that as I looked at your ‘perfect’ young bodies, I could only think to myself “what great and amazing feat has YOUR body done?”. I’ll also have you know that I held my head high, unflinching as you mocked me, pretending that what you said and did had no effect on me; but I cried in the car on the drive home. Thanks for ruining my day. It’s people like you who make this world an ugly hateful place. I can’t help but feel sorry for the women who will one day bear your children and become “gross” in your eyes as their bodies change during the miraculous process of pregnancy. I can only hope that one day you’ll realize that my battle scars are something to be proud of, not ashamed of.”
After giving Tannis the slow clap she deserves, I have to say that I am so happy she publicly posted this “open letter” rant. I think we’ve all been there before, especially after having kids. I’m just sorry that this woman was criticized so openly and even called “gross” for what looks like a very nice body after having five kids.
I’d also like to point out that this same body-acceptance applies to all men and women, pregnancy aside. There are plenty of people who are afraid to wear trunks or swimwear to the beach because they have stretch marks (possibly related to weight gain) or are not comfortable with their weight. None of these people should be called gross either. None of these people should be made to feel ashamed of their shape.
This message of self-acceptance may be exhausted, but it bears repeating, especially if people are still being shamed at the beach. Tannis taking this rant public is one small victory for moms everywhere who may think twice about wearing a bikini this summer. A bikini isn’t just for slim, toned, supermodel-shaped women; it’s for anyone who wants to wear it with any body type.