Sammy Nickalls
November 27, 2015 9:40 am

Mel Rymill, 33, has always had a strong body. She’s played roller derby for the past seven years (she’s known as “Jetfire” in the rink — raddest name ever, right?), but when she was told her pregnancy was high risk, she had to stop exercising altogether.

“I loved being active and take pride in my body, but after giving birth I felt like I needed some guidance and motivation to become strong again,” Mel, who’s a media and community engagement officer in Australia, told Today.

But when went to her first personal trainer appointment, she got a lot more than what she paid for. . . and not exactly in a good way. Her PT took one look at her and said, “Obviously you want to get back to your pre-baby weight.” So Mel decided to take to Facebook to give the world a lesson in body positivity in the best way possible.

Recently, Mel posted a selfie of herself in her underwear and a nursing bra with a powerful caption explaining the encounter and why it 100% was not OK. “I corrected her nicely by simply saying ‘[M]y goal is to regain my core strength and endurance. . . I’m not worried by how my body looks, only how it functions. . . it can be pretty badass,'” she wrote in her Facebook post. Badass indeed, Mel!

But the encounter “got [her] thinking,” she continued in the post:

She explained that labels can be harmful, especially with the expectations surrounding those labels. “What we should be worrying about is if people are ok, not what they look like,” she wrote, hashtagging her post #badassundies. “So here I am. I may not be magazine ready. . . But I am strong. My body is healthy. . . Screw what society wants from me. This is what’s on offer.”

“It was really a spur of a moment thing,” Mel told Today. “I looked in the mirror and started getting down on myself before snapping out of it and remembering that my body is amazing. It allows me to do amazing things.”

Did you get the urge to stand up and clap? Because we sure did, and so did thousands of women who took to social media using the hashtag #badassundies to share pictures of their awesome, badass bodies in all their glory.

“It’s been great to see people reclaiming the power and owning their own bodies,” Mel told Today. “It’s not about whether you are big, small, lumpy, cuddly, boney, shaped like a dodecahedron, a woman, anywhere on the gender scale or anything else you can think of. #Badassundies is about reclaiming the world we live in and flooding it with real bodies, no, REAL PEOPLE.”

Thanks, Mel, for inspiring us all. You are truly a badass, inside and out.

(Images via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.)