A mother of three posted a bikini picture online over the weekend in an attempt to encourage other women to embrace their post-pregnancy bodies.
"I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini," Rachel Hollis, 32, wrote in a now-viral Facebook post. "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," she continued. "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."
[sharequote align="center"]"Those marks prove that I was blessed enough to carry my babies..."[/sharequote]
Hollis concluded her post encouraging other women to be proud of their bodies.
"They aren't scars ladies, they're stripes and you've earned them. Flaunt that body with pride!" she wrote.
Since it was posted from Cancun, Mexico, Saturday, the post has amassed more than 350,000 likes on Facebook and over 45,000 shares.
“It touches my heart that people are having this reaction to it,” Hollis told the "Today Show."
The 32-year-old explained that the photo was taken one week after she completed her first marathon.
“I thought, it’s not going to get better than this. You ran the 26 miles, and I had been training for six months. 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,” she said.
Hollis added to the "Today Show" that she has been overwhelmed by the mostly positive response.
“It touches my heart that people are having this reaction to it,” she said.
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