It was as innocent as holiday snaps tend to be. A body in a bikini, a phone in hand, a mirror within reach.
There she stood, her body in full view, her camera taking a short but sharp video.
She, of course, is popular mummy blogger turned business-owner Sophia Cachia, but this time, the content wasn’t regarding her business or her children or her parenting.
Instead, this was a woman comfortable in her own skin, a mum-of-two proud of the body that’s held and birthed two kids.
It didn’t take long for the criticism to seed its way into the dark corners of the internet.
After Cachia uploaded a bikini photo on Saturday morning while on holiday, she found a Facebook post in a ‘mums group’ that ridiculed the post in question. It had been a matter of minutes since she uploaded the photo.
“Did anyone see Sophie Cachia’s Insta story this morning?! I used to loveeeeee her now she is like so self-obsessed,” one woman wrote.
“I think good on anyone for having self-confidence but I think she’s a little too vain," said another.
Cachia was candid in her response:
"To everyone who's messaged me to see if I'm okay – guys, I am more than fine. I am sitting on a holiday, with my hubby, with my book. I just wasn't in the mood to be f*cking spoken about like that today. I never engage with trolls or critics like that anymore but at the end of the day, I just want to say I will never, ever, ever apologise for being a confident woman who is happy in her own skin and none of you should."
While we could very easily accept the saga as nothing more than trolls using the internet as an anonymous sounding board for hate, there's a reason people feel so uncomfortable with what the mum-of-two posted yesterday, and it has nothing to do with Cachia herself.
Instead, it has everything to do with the image we project, and expect, of mothers.
As a feminist, do you ‘need’ to love your body? Jessie Stephens argues why not, on Mamamia Out Loud.
Mothers, we subconsciously concede, must be wholesome beings who exist as nothing more than the captains of the children they bring into the world. As if the minute they welcome a child, the must shut down a sexual side of themselves, because of course, a woman can't be both nurturing and sensual.
The mothers who reject that are apparently unruly, rebellious and with abundant ego.
And so, the minute Sophia Cachia started her blog and branded herself as a mummy blogger first and foremost was the moment we decided she couldn't be anything other than the nurturer she built a following off.
It's unfair, archaic, and sexist.
Humans are nuanced and mothers more so. Sophie Cachia can be both a brilliant mum and confident in her own skin, a sexual being with the same kind of desires she held before she first held her baby in her arms.
It feels silly to even have to point it out.
But then again, it feels silly to have to defend a woman who has autonomy over her Instagram account and can post whatever she pleases.