“All of a sudden I heard, ‘oh my god, look at that, that’s f--king nasty, that’s disgusting, look how gross that is.”
That’s how Tanis Jex-Blake recalls the moment three young strangers reacted to her body while she sunbathed with her family at Alberta Beach in Edmonton, Canada on Tuesday. It was the first time she put on a swimsuit since giving birth to her first child 13 years ago.
And it only got worse from there.
Jex-Blake opened her eyes to see two men and one woman pointing at her and pretending to kick her as she innocently tried to enjoy her day.
At that time, she ignored them. On her drive home, however, it all set in and she couldn’t help but break down.
But then she mustered up the strength to share her story on Facebook. Little did she know the story, along with a photo of her stretch marks, would go viral.
“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,” she wrote.
“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.”
Tanis poses in a photo on Facebook
She continued, “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.
“I can only hope that one day you’ll realize that my battle scars are something to be proud of, not ashamed of.”
A local radio station shared the photo, which has been viewed by more than 12 million people.
Tons of Facebook users came out in support of the 33-year-old.
“My wife has four kids… and we call her stretch marks ‘love stories’. It’s beautiful! Real men appreciate those stretch marks.”
Another user added, “Tanis there is nothing wrong with your body it’s beautiful and yes you went through the miracle of child birth and those are your medals for doing it.”
Now that's beautiful.
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