When first-time mom Lexi Sinclair decided to take her adorable 4-month-old son to the neighborhood pool, she expected it to be a day much like any other. Little did she know that by the end of the day, she'd write a Facebook post that would make a big splash in the open waters of the internet.
In her post, Sinclair describes how she was enjoying her time at the pool when an older woman approached her. As is the norm for moms with babies, the woman began asking her lots of questions about the baby—was he sleeping well, eating well, the usual. Then the woman decided to get much more personal.
According to her Facebook post, the total stranger began to warn her that the men at the pool may feel "uncomfortable" by her appearance in a bikini, especially since she was "still recovering," and a one-piece would be "more appropriate" for a mother.
Oh. Hell. No.
Not one to shy away from speaking her mind, Sinclair recounts the absolutely perfect response she gave to the nosy body-shamer:
"But instead I just smiled, kissed my son and told her, 'I'm proud of my body. In just one year, I've gained 50 pounds and lost 37. I've grown a human and given birth to a beautiful miracle. My body provided food for my child. So, no, my body might not be the best sight for other men to see. My stretch marks and tummy pudge might not be sexy. But they're proof that I've done something amazing, and I have a man that loves me and finds me even sexier and more beautiful now. To be honest, I don't give a tiny rat's ass what other men, or a prissy twit like you think. Have a nice day, though.'"
Sinclair says she shared her story to help her other friends with kids feel better about their postpartum bodies. And they're not the only ones applauding her. The post has been shared over 23,000 times, clearly resonating with moms all over the internet.
The amazing mom tells 41 Action News, "I never thought it would go viral. Of course you get the negative feedback as well, but that's OK. If it's inspiring women and showing everyone how big of an issue body-shaming is, I'll take the negative."
And if she could send one message to the thousands of women out there reading her post, it would be this:
"It's your body. It's what you were given, so love it. You've done an amazing thing."
We asked 10 talented photographers, who are also mothers, to participate in our special project — The Body Beautiful: Celebrating Motherhood. We wanted to know — from these women, who look at life through the lens of a camera — what makes a mother's body beautiful? Their answers and images are poignant and inspiring and will move you, hopefully as much as they moved us. They will challenge you to look at yourself, again and again, until all you are left with, and all you see, is beauty. Because, as these talented women reveal in their images, beauty is absolutely more than skin deep.