Why This Mom's Bikini Selfie Has Been Shared Thousands of Times

mom bikini selfie
Brittney Johnson/Facebook

Swimsuits are out in stores, and you know what's on every mom's mind? "Oh f-ck." No matter what kind of shape you're in, slipping into a bikini post-kids is always an adventure. Your body just looks so different. But "different" doesn't mean "bad," and one mom is reminding us of that with a Facebook post that celebrates the beauty in all of us -- and reminds everyone to make sure to pass that confidence along to our kids.

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Brittney Johnson writes on Facebook that she recently took her little girl to Target so she could buy herself a new bathing suit. Like most kids, her little girl strutted through the store with confidence, carrying her sunglasses and baby doll ("All diva. All the time," Johnson writes) and saying hi to every person they passed. Her daughter helped her pick out 11 different suits and then watched while her mom went to work trying them on.

mom viral bikini selfie
Brittney Johnson/Facebook

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Johnson says she pulled on suit after suit and snapped photos to send to her friends so they could give her the thumbs-up or thumbs-down -- as one does -- but somewhere in the middle of her selfie session she had an important realization.

She writes:

See that sweet baby girl in the corner? With half a dress on and one of the bikini tops I had picked out? I stopped for a second to see what she would say and when she turned to the mirror, she said, 'Wow I just love cheetah print! I think I look beautiful! Do you think I look beautiful too?!'... It hit me that she only says what she hears. What she sees. I tell her that she is beautiful every single day. She is kind walking through the mall, because I tell her she is kind everywhere else. She is polite at the order counter because she hears me when I'm polite to strangers everywhere ... And when we are in a dressing room, with swimsuits of all God forsaken things, there is a split moment when I have the power to say, 'Wow I have really gotten fat this year' OR 'Wow I love this coral color on me!' And those are the words burned into my daughters brain.

That's a powerful truth.

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Johnson goes on to implore other parents to "be an example" of kindness, confidence, and body positivity for their kids.

I have big thighs and a huge rump and for some reason the middle of my body gets more tan than the rest? But this body made a whole other body. I am strong. I am able. And I am happy. I don't have to be beautiful like you, because I am beautiful like me. And as my daughter gets older and faces judgement and criticism, I will always remind her that the girls who look the prettiest in a two piece, or a body suit, or a freaking Snuggie, are the ones who are happy.

It's not always easy to feel confident in your own skin, especially once you become a mom. There's so much pressure on women to look like perpetually youthful super models, even though that's totally unrealistic. But Johnson's honest words are a powerful reminder that we don't have to perpetuate the outside voices that try to tell us who to be. We can decide for ourselves what makes us beautiful and worthwhile, and we can change the world by instilling that same confidence and self-love in our kids.

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