Mother-of-five Tanis Jex-Blak, 33 from Canada, received insults from strangers as she sunbathed at Alberta Beach in a bikini for the first time since she had given birth to her first child 13 years ago.
After leaving the beach in tears, Tanis decided to post a picture of her body on Facebook along with an open letter to her attackers. The brave move has gained the support of thousands of people.
Tanis described the incident on the beach to Canada Global News: “All of a sudden I heard, ‘oh my god, look at that, that’s f***ing nasty, that’s disgusting, look how gross that is.'
“So I peeked my eyes open and [two men and a woman] were standing above me, looking down, pointing at me and pretending to kick me as I lay there.”
The letter Tanis posted online reads: "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."
The post has so far been shared over 6,000 times and liked over 8,000 times on Facebook. - so why has it proven to be so popular?
“I think [my post] struck a cord with so many people because other than supermodels, nobody’s perfect," Tanis told Canada's Metro. "Every mother, whether they have stretch marks or not, is embarrassed about our bodies because we don’t look like the supermodels.
"I hope more moms feel confident about the way their bodies look after bearing children. These aren't scars to be ashamed of. They are our badges of honor and we should wear them with pride."
Tanis, we couldn't have said it better ourselves.Suggest a correction