A Cape Town mom revealed pictures of her post-baby body in a monokini on the beach, saying our bodies are beautiful because they are. Amen, sister!
Our bodies change during pregnancy, they change after pregnancy. The skin stretches over our growing tummy, our ribs and hips move apart to accommodate the little person in-between, the belly button pops out, you put on extra weight and some women even go up a shoe size!
Sometimes these changes reverse after birth, often they don't. (I went from smooth, washboard tummy to cuddly Shar-Pei skin and my ankles remained thick as trunks.)
On Monday, a fabulous Cape Town mom stepped out in a beautiful blue monokini on the beach. Not because she's a size 8 but because she's proud of her mommy body just the way it is.
Queen Stacey Alison decided to share her holiday pics with her Facebook followers, warning them upfront that it may "hit a nerve or two" and that those who can't handle "her heat" should leave.
"So I wore a swimsuit to the beach today," she announces. "At almost 4 years since giving birth to Kian, my tummy is soft, squishy, and covered with stretch marks. I am a woman who, according to our SOCIETY, is Not Supposed to Wear a Bikini/monokini."
"But I wore one anyway, because I love the way it feels and looks," she continues. "I love the sun on my skin. I think of my stretch marks as radical, powerful decorations. My body has obvious signs of growing and carrying a human in it."
Her message is powerful and deep inside we know it's true, despite years of conditioning. The overwhelming love and support she received on her own Facebook wall as well as on the group Mamahood Cape Town, where she shared it, indicates that she did hit a nerve – in all the right places.
"Wow... I am so humbled by all the love my post got," Stacey told Parent24. And who wouldn't love it? She's a stunning woman and mom enjoying a day out with her little boy, celebrating her body without the hang-ups and insecurity many moms lug around.
Of course, it's often only we who see the imperfections and our husbands and others are just in awe of us as women and humans.
"Our culture tells us that we are supposed to hate and hide all evidence of pregnancy; that our bodies are somehow “ruined” by having children," she wrote on Facebook. "The opposite is true. Our bodies are beautiful just because they are. Not because they are tanned and skinny or pale and curvy or tall or short or 'perfect'. Not because we have a thigh gap or no thigh gap or strong ab muscles or a soft postpartum pooch.
"Despite what we’ve been told, our bodies do not exist merely to be gazed upon. Our worth is not determined by how closely we resemble an arbitrary archetype of beauty. Our bodies are beautiful just because they are," she declares.
"And – much more important than being beautiful – our bodies are amazing because they work. They function. They grow and birth children. They lactate the most perfect food for our babies. We have arms to carry our kids, lips to kiss their wounds, strong legs to squat and change diapers, core muscles that support us as we wear our children around. Blood, brain, and a heart that keeps it all functioning well.
"Take care of it. Honour it. Don’t hate your body because our society has deemed us Not Good Enough. You are good enough. Love yourself!"
She ends her post with the hashtags #justdeal, #realtalk, #wearthedamnbikini, #igrowhumans, #festive, #appreciateyourself. Join Stacey and her mom body revolution by sharing your own swimsuit pictures on Parent24's Facebook page, or your own page, Instagram or Twitter using #wearthedamnbikini hashtag!
Do you wear a swimming costume in public swimming places? Are you ashamed of your (or your wife's) stretch marks and floppy bits or do you flaunt it proudly? Moms and dads, send your stories and pictures to email@example.com and we may publish them! If you'd rather stay anonymous, please tell us.