This Is What a Mom's 'Bikini Body' Really Looks Like! (PHOTO)​

bikini mom

A photo of a mom in a bikini -- stretch marks, "saggy belly button" and all -- has gone viral, and is inspiring other mothers to flaunt their bodies flaws and all. The woman in the pic is Rachel Hollis, a 32-year-old mother of three and founder of the lifestyle blog The Chic Site. Her husband had taken this photo during a recent vacation in Cancun.


At first, Hollis admits, she'd been hoping her husband would get a more flattering photo. But this picture felt real, so she posted it on her Facebook page with an inspiring caption, below: 

I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini. 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. 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. They aren't scars ladies, they're stripes and you've earned them. Flaunt that body with pride! #HollisHoliday

A photo posted by Rachel Hollis (@msrachelhollis) on

In five days since being posted, the photo has racked up nearly 380,000 likes on Facebook. It's also inspired plenty of other mothers to post their less-than-flattering bikini photos with pride.

I hafta say, I was just shopping for a swimsuit the other day and saw plenty of bikinis I would never touch. But Hollis's words do move me. Maybe not enough to wear a bikini, but close.

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What I love most is that this mom isn't just showing pride in her body. By re-spinning stretch marks as stripes, she's showing pride in being a mom. And that's refreshing! Most times, I feel like I'm apologizing for my motherhood status -- saying "sorry" when my stroller takes up 75 percent of the sidewalk, curbing the number of baby photos I post on Facebook for fear of boring my non-parent friends, and all in all feeling guilty that I've let my life be consumed by this little person who's become the center of my universe.

But hey, that's motherhood for you. And it's something we should feel proud of, not apologize for. So thank you, bikini mom, for stepping forward with your tiger stripes. I may not go buy a bikini, but your message is not lost on me.

How did you feel about your body after having kids? 


Image via msrachelhollis/Instagram

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