One Sherwood Park mother bared it all both on the beach and on social media after she received rude comments from individuals while wearing a bikini.
It was supposed to be a normal day at the beach for Tanis Jex-Blake and two of her children while visiting Alberta Beach on Monday.
“We’re going to Cuba next week and I just wanted a base tan. Normally I would wear a tankini and cover anything […] because I don’t like showing my body off […] but I bit the bullet and wore a bikini,” said the mother of five.
It was when she was sunbathing that the mother heard comments from people standing over her saying “it’s f***ing nasty” and pointing at her stomach.
Furious, Jex-Blake gathered her kids and went home, where she decided to post her frustration with the three individuals on Facebook alongside a photo of her in her bikini.
“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,” she wrote.
The post has earned her countless ‘likes’ and shares on social media, with the 33-year old receiving comments from people around the world.
Sheila Chisholm, founder of the Beautiful Me project, says social media posts like Jex-Blake’s need to become more common practice so women can share their love of their bodies.
“The post she wrote was a stellar post. Her body is beautiful and the work that it’s done and it created speak more loudly than the scars. I think that’s what we have to start teaching our kids,” said Chisholm.
Many women, like Jex-Blake, have turned to the Internet to share their photos and stories of their bodies which may differ than the ones seen in pop culture. Recently, a beauty pageant contestant wore her insulin pump while strutting the catwalk. A woman with Crohn’s Disease from the U.K. posted a photo of her in a bikini that showed off her colostomy bags and received worldwide support.
“I think [my post] struck a cord with so many people because other than supermodels, nobody’s perfect. Every mother, whether they have stretch marks or not, are embarrassed about our bodies because we don’t look like the supermodels. It struck a cord because every other mom out there, it could have been them,” said Jex-Blake.
The mother of five is partnering with others moms in the area to host a post-baby bikini sit-in to encourage mothers to be proud of their bodies and to sport a bikini.
Until then, the Sherwood Park mom says she will wear a bikini again and hopes her post encourages more moms to also do so.
“I’m just an average mom who has an average body that I guess invokes a lot of emotions in people.”