Tanis Jex-Blake, a woman from Alberta, Canada, posted this photo to Facebook earlier this week.
The photo was posted with an open letter to the people Jex-Blake says she recently encountered at the beach.
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?".
Jex-Blake wanted the young people who made her feel self-conscious, and the rest of Facebook, to know that she was actually very proud of what giving birth had done to her body.
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.
The letter certainly struck a chord — it was picked up by a local radio station and was shared over a million times.
Jex-Blake's Facebook got so much attention that she was even interviewed by Global News.
Jex-Blake told Global that she never expected this kind of reaction, but is happy she can help other women feel empowered about their bodies.
Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.