Margaret Eby
August 04, 2014 2:19 pm

Say it loud: No one should be ashamed of their body. Tanis Jex-Blake, an Edmonton mother of five, stood up for women everywhere when she wrote an impassioned open letter on Facebook to three people who mocked her on the beach after she donned a pink bikini to soak in some rays.

“I’m sorry if my first attempt at tanning in a bikini in public in 13 years ‘grossed you out,’” Jex-Blake wrote, attaching a photo of her belly to the public post.

Jex-Blake took the gawkers to task for their wretched behavior, which included “pointing, laughing, and pretending to kick me.” And she pointed out something absolutely crucial: Women’s bodies are not just meant as decorative objects. They are powerful and productive, and they are beautiful in all their iterations.

“I’m sorry that my belly is covered in stretch marks. I’m NOT sorry that my body has housed, grown, protected, birthed, and nurtured FIVE fabulous, healthy, intelligent, and wonderful human beings.”

Jex-Blake took the gawkers to task for their wretched behavior, which included “pointing, laughing, and pretending to kick me.” And she pointed out something absolutely crucial: Women’s bodies are not just meant as decorative objects. They are powerful and productive, and they are beautiful in all their iterations.

“I can’t help but feel sorry for the women who will one day bear your children and become ‘gross’ in your eyes as their bodies change during the miraculous process of pregnancy,” Jex-Blake continued. “I can only hope that one day you’ll realize that my battle scars are something to be proud of, not ashamed of.”

Jex-Blake’s post went viral, attracting over a million Facebook likes and loud cheers in the comments section. Other women were inspired to share photos of their post-pregnancy bellies. One posted her belly with the words “your body is not ruined. You’re a tiger who earned her stripes.”

Damn straight. No woman should be made to feel bad about her body or have to worry about cruel comments from ignorant people. And it makes all the difference in the world when strong women, like Jex-Blake, rise up to expand our culture’s narrow-minded beauty standards and stop the body-shamers in their tracks.

(Images via Facebook)

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