Defiant mother-of-five Tanis Jex-Blake of Alberta was viciously attacked on a beach because of her stretch mark. A group of people started ‘pointing, laughing and pretending to kick me’ as she attempted to sunbathe in a bikini, for the first time since giving birth to her first child 13 years ago.
Moved by this ordeal, she posted a photo of herself sunbathing in her bikini and described how she felt on FB:
“This is an open letter to the 2 guys and 1 girl who decided to skip work today in Sherwood Park where they were building a house, but instead decided to come to Alberta Beach to relax in the sun, enjoy the water and some beers.
I’m sorry if my first attempt at sun tanning in a bikini in public in 13 years “grossed you out”. I’m sorry that my stomach isn’t flat and tight. 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. I’m sorry if my 33 year old, 125 lb body offended you so much that you felt that pointing, laughing, and pretending to kick me. But I’ll have you know that as I looked at your ‘perfect’ young bodies, I could only think to myself “what great and amazing feat has YOUR body done?”. I’ll also have you know that I held my head high, unflinching as you mocked me, pretending that what you said and did had no effect on me; but I cried in the car on the drive home. Thanks for ruining my day. It’s people like you who make this world an ugly hateful place. I can’t help but feel sorry for the women who will one day bear your children and become “gross” in your eyes as their bodies change during the miraculous process of pregnancy. I can only hope that one day you’ll realize that my battle scars are something to be proud of, not ashamed of.”
Her open letter received hundreds of messages of support and led to dozens of Canadian women of all shapes and sizes turning out to support the mother in her home town. Protestors carried signs stating “Girls aren’t born hating their bodies. We teach them to!” There were cheers as the mother stripped down to her bikini.