When summertime comes around, kids can’t be more excited. Not only do they get time off from school to relax and hang out with their friends and family, they can hear the call of the beach (or failing that, the pool)!
But for some mothers, a trip to the beach isn’t something they look forward to at all—it’s something that they dread. The thought of getting into a revealing swimsuit where their curves will be exposed terrifies them to the core. The fear of being judged by others is so powerful it can make them hide their bodies and their true selves.
For Australian mother Kirsten Bosly, this had always been the way she felt. Until one day, something inside her just wouldn’t be contained.
Today marks a new beginning for me. For most of my life I have hated my body. Despised it. Loathed it. Resented it….
Posted by 1MotherBlogger on Saturday, January 7, 2017
Originally from Perth in West Australia, Bosly was on a trip to Tasmania to visit her parents when she took her two kids to the beach. In the past, she had been mortified about her voluptuous, plus-size body.
As she wrote on her Facebook page, 1MotherBlogger: “for most of my life I have hated my body. Despised it. Loathed it. Resented it. Wanted so very much for it to change; for it to be smaller, thinner… less ‘fat.'”
More than just being embarrassed about her body, Bosly explained that it had become the most important thing about her identity, “the measure of who I am.” But one day while online, Bosly came across a meme with some amazing words that changed her life.
'I look at this photo and all I can see is how happy we are and that's awesome'
Posted by Daily Mail Australia on Friday, January 13, 2017
“Be in pictures with your kids because when you’re gone, the pictures will be all they have left.” This really touched Bosly, especially because of how carefully she had avoided being photographed in the past. As she told Daily Mail Australia, “it was like something went off in my brain that day. I thought, ‘what am I doing? No one is looking at you!'”
So on this beach trip. she decided that she had had enough of being her body’s own worst enemy. “Today I let go,” she wrote on Facebook. “I let go of the hatred and resentment of this body of mine and chose to enjoy it for what it is; my body.”
For this photo with her beloved children, she wanted to be there as herself. “No cover up. No board shorts. No ‘modesty’ towel. No filters.”
What Bosly didn’t expect was the massive reaction to her post and her picture, as they went viral with thousands of likes and shares, and most importantly, dozens of comments from other bigger women who said that her post had inspired them to accept their bodies and start taking pictures with their loved ones again.
Even when some people commented negatively on her body, the knowledge that her post had helped other women like her was so gratifying. As she told the Mail Australia, “if it gives one person a different attitude or the confidence to try something new then my mission is accomplished.”
As one commenter who was particularly touched wrote in response: “It’s time for us women to stop judging ourselves so harshly and appreciate that although we may not fit into the social ‘norm’ (whatever the heck that is anyway) we have these precious bodies that give us so much…not least the ability to create life.”
An amazing message of acceptance that all started with a simple but life-changing photo on the beach. It’s never too late to start loving yourself!