Many are hailing the mom of three children for posting a photo in bikini baring her stretch marks. Rachel Hollis had an epiphany: She would pose for a beach snap that exposed her less-than-perfect body after having three kids. Her bravery is being hailed as a profound example of self-love and non-conformance to social mores. Her inspirational stretch mark photo has inspired hundreds of thousands on social media, citing a People report.
Hollis, although not a self-described rebel like Ashley Wright — who is known as the “Pole-Dancing Mom” — took a bold leap by displaying her flaws in a commercial culture that says “thin is in” and Photoshop by any means necessary.
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) March 25, 2015
Others like Rachel have taken chances and come out of hiding. Recently, 22-year-old Matt Diaz stripped down on camera and displayed his hidden stretch marks and rolls of excess skin from losing 240 pounds of weight. His story led to a GoFundMe campaign that raised thousands for him to have cosmetic surgery. He is no longer living in fear of his body.
Man loses 270 lbs, strips down to reveal excess skin: “it’s important to love the bodies we’re in” http://t.co/bCp5Ulgi1V
— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) March 22, 2015
While out on vacation in Cancun, Mexico, over the weekend with her family — husband and three kids — the doting mom stood for a photo of herself that showed off her stretch marks in a two-piece bikini. She then posted it to Facebook for all the world to see, not knowing the results. Attached to the image was a very telling 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 [sic] 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!”
The responses to the mom of three posting pics of her bikini stretch marks were largely positive. One praised Rachel for her courage to put herself out there and attempt to empower others suffering from body image concerns. Still, one out of the fray took a not-so-optimistic and jovial approach to her comments.
“You have no idea of how empowering your words are to someone as myself. 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… THANK YOU! I BELIEVE YOUVE GIVEN ME A CERTAIN BOOST I NEEDED TO HELP BEGIN THE PROCESS OF REGAINING MY SELF CONFIDENCE.”
“Not to sound negative, it’s different on fair skin compared to dark skin, like a Blk person. My stomach is tore up, and my stretch marks are horrendous, from my hips to right above my naval. Nobody wants to see my stomach. I will be keeping it covered.”
The proud bikini mom of three, ages 8, 6, and 2, was overwhelmed by the number of responses on her account in the wake of posting the swimsuit shot of her stretch marks. Hollis told Today that she asked her spouse to take 100 snaps of her in a bikini — stretch marks and all. They then sat and picked out the right one that would convey her message appropriately. And judging by over 300,000 “Likes,” her mission was accomplished. She says the portrait was taken just one week after she completed a marathon.
“It touches my heart that people are having this reaction to it. I thought, it’s not going to get better than this. My body is never going to be smaller than it is right now, so if there’s ever time to show off your belly, this is probably it.”
Rachel, who stands at five-foot-two, said she was always “chubby” growing up and never went on a diet or exercise program to slim down until after she became a mom. But then she gained 45 pounds during her first pregnancy.
“[My body is] never ever going to be like a Victoria’s Secret model, but I think I look good, and my husband wants to make out with me, so I’m doing something right.”
What do you think of the mom of three for posing in bikini and proudly displaying her stretch marks? Is society sending the wrong message to kids and young adults about beauty and body image with Hollywood’s view of same? Are you living out loud like Rachel and others who are not ashamed of their bodies? Share your thoughts below.
[Photo credit: Facebook]