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They said she was too old for a bikini. Her response makes us want to fist pump.

Would you judge this woman as being ‘too old’, ‘past it’, too much of a ‘mother’ to wear a bikini?

Should she shy away? Hide herself? Back down and stay quiet? Or should she tell the nay-sayers to be damned and stand up proud of who she is and how she looks?

Nearly 150,000 people think she is something amazing. 8000 people have cared enough to send her messages of support. And her post has only been up for 17 hours. The post by a Queensland mother and motivational speaker named Julie Cross has gone viral.

On the weekend, Julie says she was the focus of a nasty body shaming comment when she walked past a group of teenagers at the beach.

At the time what they said stunned her, but Julie walked on. A little later she decided to hold her head up high and posted an image of her (may we say smokin’) body in a bikini on Facebook, to shout out to the word that she was proud of how she looked.

body shaming
Julie Cross

Her post said:

“I thought long and hard about this post. The other day at the beach I walked past a group of young people in my bikini, and I heard a comment... 'I think she is over the bikini!'... And I faltered for a moment and then went on. So this is me walking my talk... My name is Julie Cross, I am 46 years old, I am a size 10 on a good day, a size up on other days, but I don't look at the size anymore, I just buy clothes that feel comfortable, I have child bearing hips and stretch marks on my tummy that I am proud of because I carried two beautiful big 9 pound healthy baby boys, I have cellulite from my knees up, it has been there since I was 3 and cute, I am healthy, strong, proud and happy... And you are invited to feel the same! And if I come your way and you don't like what you see then move away... And sisters, now is the time to start looking after each other!!”

body shaming
Julie Cross - our body image hero.
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Julie says she has been stunned by the response to her post. And so am I. Are we this hard on each other that this is actually an issue?

Really? Are we this critical and judgmental that a healthy, vibrant, joyous mother-of-two would be body shamed for wearing a bikini?
Apparently so. And doesn’t that make you sad? It makes me want to weep.

As a mother your body is something to be proud of. It has nourished and raised a human being (or three). It has come back day after day after day to complete the mundane, the inane, the miraculous, the ridiculous. It has made you cry and pushed you to your limits, but it is your body and surely as Mums we can celebrate a women’s body however it looks.

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Julie doesn't let others dictate how she feels about her body.

It is easy to buy into the cult of perfection it is harder to buy into that of grace and courage. Julie has started it. So let’s join her and talk about it.

I’ll go first.

I have a spongy potbelly with a six-centimetre C-section scar. I have broken nails and flappy bits under my arms which my son, when he was four, told me were cool cause they looked like ‘Batman’s wings’. I am -according to my seven-year old, quite possibly the smallest grown up he has ever seen. I have scars on my arms from a desperate struggle in my early twenties with my mental health which I proudly overcame. I have the blessed luck of good health, much love and three breathtakingly divine children. I am strong enough to push a pram carrying two tired children up a steep hill. And these days I too have no issue with wearing a bikini because, like Julie, I am a mother and I am proud of what I have achieved.

What about you? What are you proud of?

Like this? Try these:

“I left my husband and got an accidental make-over.”

The list no mother would want her daughter to read.

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