Rachel Hollins, and the reaction she has received from her photo (including her heartfelt text), are making for quite the sensation online. On Facebook and Instagram her snapshot was shared more than 1,000 times within minutes. After just 4 days the number was 350,000. She never could have expected such an explosion of sympathy.
This is Rachel Hollins with the youngest of her three children. Next to being a mom - which, as she says, makes her immensely proud - she runs an advice website which provides information to make life just a bit better. But then one of her photos led to something she never could have predicted…
This photo was taken during her summer vacation. At first glance its a pretty typical holiday photo at the beach. But it wasn’t just the photo, which she posted on Facebook shortly after it was taken, that unleashed a social media avalanche. More than anything else it was the words that she wrote underneath:
“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! #HollisHoliday”
She never expected such a deluge of responses. "It grew like wildfire. I am totally humbled and overwhelmed by all the attention and so grateful that it’s lifting up other moms in a positive way. Hopefully these words help others to feel inspired and encouraged to be proud of their bodies no matter what they look like!”