There are two types of people in this world - the ones that throw abuse and negativity, and the ones that catch that abuse and turn it around for good.
Bald and Beautiful founder, aka Shelly Proebstel, is most certainly one of the latter. Not only does she promote a body positive outlook on life, but she also practices exactly what she preaches!
While on holiday and out enjoying the sun in a fabulous bikini on the beach at Mt Maunganui Beach, New Zealand, Proebstel noticed a group of men making fun of her and jeering.
Refusing to let it dampen her day, however, she held her head up high and continued to enjoy herself on the beach. She also decided to pen a powerful Facebook message about the experience, which has now gone viral with more than 17,000 shares.
In the post, she wrote:
To the guys who pointed and laughed when I took my sarong off today at Mt Maunganui Beach, bearing my soul (my bikini body) to the world, I just want to say (excuse my language but) F***YOU!
It’s because of dickheads like you that people are so incredibly insecure about their body image.
It’s because of people like you that women especially don’t feel safe or confident or comfortable to go out in society in something like a bikini, or a crop top (they probably aren’t even called that anymore!) or a short dress, or with their midriff showing.
It’s because of people like you that people starve themselves and make themselves sick in an attempt to maintain a ‘model-like figure’.
It’s because of people like you that people wear long sleeves all year round because they are scared to show their arms.
It’s because people like you that people become anorexic, obese, bulimic, self harm, commit suicide...I could go on...
No, you are not responsible for the entirety.
But YES, you have to take some responsibility.
So next time you see someone like me on the beach in a bikini or in a situation similar, before you laugh and point, take a moment to think about the damage you may just do, because not every person, young or old, male or female, will have learnt to have the thick skin, or the resilience, or the self confidence, that I do to brush it off.
I won’t lie, there was a split second that I almost quickly covered up again, and then I reminded myself of all I have learnt on this journey, and I held my head high and stuck my belly out and wore that bikini with pride.
Parents, I urge you to teach your children that there is no one body shape, but instead that there is a rainbow of beautiful bodies. I urge you to teach them not to stare directly at a bigger stomach than they might be accustomed to seeing on tv or in society, but instead, to look at a persons face and into their eyes.
I urge you to teach them to be kind to all types of people, regardless of their outer appearance. I urge you to teach your children to accept people for exactly who they are on the inside.
And I urge you to teach your children to be role models to those around them who aren’t being taught this, and to be the positive change we need to see in the world, so that in 5 or 10 or 20 years time, no more people are pointed at and laughed at by the way they look when they wear a bikini on the beach.
Needless to say, her incredible and inspiring message was met with resounding positivity.
One Facebook user commented:
Work it girl! The bod, the message, the confidence. Good on you.
The shell we live in is not who we are! I’m in awe of your confidence! Good on ya girl!
Not all the comments were positive, however. Some thought that her weight showed that she didn't respect her body.
I’m sorry but I just don’t get this. How can you ask us to believe that you respect and love yourself when you so obviously don’t care about your health
However, a fourth summed it up:
Thank u for being so inspirational.
The awesome thing is not only that you feel comfortable in ur own skin but also that someone who doesn’t embrace their non-barbie shaped curves would’ve seen u and felt encouraged to do the same.
So beautiful x Thank u for posting.
HT Bored Panda