Photo of woman in bikini goes viral on Facebook, empowers people everywhere

Posted at 1:38 PM, Mar 27, 2015

Credit: @MsRachelHollis/TheChicSite

LOS ANGELES -- A photo of a woman in a bikini has been shared on Facebook nearly 50,000 times in the last few days. But it's not being shared for the reason you might think.

The photo is galvanizing and inspiring women and men across the internet.

Hollis is the founder of The Chic.  She's an author, event planner, chef and fashion reporter.

Rachel Hollis’ empowering message of self-love inspired hundreds of thousands of people, including many mothers who are also coming to terms with their new post-baby physiques.  Hollis wrote:

“I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini. I have a belly that’s permanently flabby from carrying three giant babies and I wear a bikini. My belly button is saggy… (which is something I didn’t even know was possible before!!) and I wear a bikini. I wear a bikini because I’m proud of this body and every mark on it. Those marks prove that I was blessed enough to carry my babies and that flabby tummy means I worked hard to lose what weight I could. I wear a bikini because the only man who’s opinion matters knows what I went through to look this way. That same man says he’s never seen anything sexier than my body, marks and all. They aren’t scars ladies, they’re stripes and you’ve earned them. Flaunt that body with pride! #HollisHoliday”

The photo has been liked on Facebook nearly half-a-million times, and Hollis has replied to many of the more than 50,000 comments.

One woman, whose comment received more than 6,000 likes, wrote:

“You have no idea of how empowering your words are to someone as myself.  I gave birth to my last baby (my third son) 6 months ago.  I have many stretch marks . . . and my confidence has plummeted.  Reading this has made me realize how im seeing everything in the wrong way . . .  THANK YOU!  I BELIEVE YOU’VE GIVEN ME A CERTAIN BOOST I NEEDED TO HELP BEGIN THE PROCESS OF REGAINING MY SELF CONFIDENCE.”