Tanis Jex-Blake was hoping to enjoy a day of sun, sand, and surf with her family. But instead, the Canadian mother of five endured a lot of pain (and we're not talking about sunburn). While sunbathing in her bikini, something she hasn't done since giving birth to her first child 13 years ago, Blake overheard a group of people commenting on her stretch-mark-covered stomach.
"All of a sudden I heard, 'Oh my god, look at that, that's f*cking nasty, that's disgusting, look how gross that is,'" she tells a local news network.
After a tear-filled drive home, Blake took to Facebook to share her feelings on that day's events. Along with a photo of her postbaby tummy, she posted the following message:
"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. 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. 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. Thanks for ruining my day. It's people like you who make this world an ugly hateful place. 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. I can only hope that one day you'll realize that my battle scars are something to be proud of, not ashamed of."
Though the three recipients of the letter may not have read it, plenty of others have. More than 6,500 people have shared Blake's message and almost 10,000 have "liked" it since it was posted. Blake hopes her words will change the way women and society view stretch marks.
"I hope more moms feel confident about the way their bodies look after bearing children," she tells Huffington Post. "These aren't scars to be ashamed of. They are our badges of honor, and we should wear them with pride."
From now on, we will.
Source: Facebook user Tanis Jex-Blake