Mommy fat-shaming: Alberta mom hits back after being mocked at beach
Published Friday, August 1, 2014 10:08AM EDT Last Updated Friday, August 1, 2014 1:53PM EDT
An Edmonton mother of five who described being openly taunted over her less-than-tight tummy while sunbathing at a beach has received an outpouring of support after sharing her story online.
Tanis Jex-Blake, 33, said earlier this week she was at the beach in a bikini with two of her children for the first time in 13 years when she overheard a group of adults openly mocking her.
“I'm sorry if my first attempt at sun tanning in a bikini in public in 13 years ‘grossed you out,’” Jex-Blake wrote in a Facebook post on July 29 that has since been shared nearly 3,000 times.
The post also included a photo of her stomach – stretch marks and all.
“I'm sorry that my stomach isn't flat and tight. I'm sorry that my belly is covered in stretch marks,” she wrote.
Jex-Blake said two men and one woman on the beach pointed, laughed and pretended to kick her as she attempted to sunbathe.
She admitted that while she held her “head high” while being mocked, she cried during the car ride home.
“It's people like you who make this world an ugly hateful place,” she wrote. “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 said she was hoping the alleged bullies would respond to her post. But instead, thousands of others have responded with overwhelmingly positive comments.
“You are beyond beautiful. You bare the marks of a proud mama who gave her body, mind and soul to have 5 amazing children,” one commenter wrote.
Another commenter from the Netherlands wrote: “You don’t need to say sorry to those idiots! Please keep wearing your bikini!”
A local Edmonton radio station also shared the picture from its Facebook page, where it got more than one million ‘likes’ and 200,000 shares.
Jex-Blake’s story has since been picked up by media organizations world-wide.
Following the outpouring of support, Jex-Blake said she is even considering hosting a “post-baby bikini sit-in.”
Moms have increasingly taken to social media to decry what’s been described as mommy “fat-shaming.”
Last summer a California fitness blogger received plenty of backlash after posting a photo of herself flaunting her toned figure alongside her three young children under the heading “What’s your excuse?”
In the Facebook post, Maria Kang said the photo was meant to show other mothers that it was possible to find time to exercise and eat clean while raising a young family.
However, many took issue with the post, and accused Kang of being a bully.
Last November, Norwegian fitness blogger Caroline Berg Eriksen also caused an online stir after posting a photo of herself wearing only a bra and underwear and showing her chiseled stomach mere days after giving birth to her daughter.
“I feel so empty,” she wrote in the image caption.
The photo came under intense scrutiny with some saying Eriksen was setting an unhealthy and unrealistic precedent for new moms.
Eriksen defended the photo, saying she wanted to prove that your body could return to its pre-pregnancy state.