Why This Woman’s Bikini Selfie Is Inspiring Moms Everywhere

I have to admit, as beach season approaches, I’ve been worried about my mom pooch—that soft, jiggly belly flab that’s still hanging around nearly a year after my son was born. Then I saw Rachel Hollis’ bikini pic.

While on vacation in Cancun, the 32-year-old mother from Los Angeles decided to flaunt her midriff in a Facebook post that went viral. She wrote in the 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!

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Hollis was inspired to send out this message after her husband snapped a picture of her monogrammed bikini top. “When I saw the photo, I noticed my stomach and realized 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 Chic Site blogger told Yahoo Parenting.

With more than 463,000 likes, mothers everywhere are expressing their thanks. In the comments below Hollis’ picture, women are sharing snapshots of their own post-baby bods. “Here [is] my imperfect tummy but from it I have a perfect daughter,” writes one. Another chimes in: “my babies were worth it…. i’d do it again.” And: “Rock on mama, rock on! I’ve got my battle scars too!”

Hollis told People she is “flabbergasted” by the positive response: “It has been an outpouring of so many people talking about being happy with the body they have.” She hopes that sentiment continues to grow. “I hope other women pick up that torch and run with it.”

As my little guy turns one(!) this Friday, I am grateful to Hollis for the reminder: Yes, pregnancy permanently changes your body. But that is nothing to be ashamed of. Now when I look down at my mom pooch, I think about how amazing it is that I carried him there.

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