A mum has shared a powerful message of body acceptance after her three year old daughter encouraged her to buy a bikini for her swim class.
Shelby Eckard blogs online as PCOS Support Girl, and has gained a following online for her honest accounts of dealing with the effects of the condition. But despite her commitment to body positivity, there was still one hurdle that she couldn’t quite get over.
‘My daughter starts swim lessons tomorrow. And, I hate to admit this, but she should have started two years ago,’ she began. ‘But my fear of getting in a pool, in front of others, who knew me, in a bathing suit won.’
‘But she’s smart. She is watching me. She’s a little spitfire. She says what she thinks. She is brave and bold and stands up for herself. She tells me all the time how pretty she is and how strong she is. And I want to be like her,’ she continued.
Sharing a scene from their shopping trip for the little girl’s swimming costume, she explained: ‘Today, as we talked about swim class tomorrow, she said, ‘I want a bikini. And off we went to Target. She picked hers out, all on her own. Then she said, “Your turn”. A knot in my stomach, I told her, “oh mommy can’t wear a bikini to swim class, boo.” She looked up from the cart and asked, “but why?”‘
Her daughter’s simple question was something of a lightbulb moment for Shelby, and she decided there and then she would make a conscious effort to love and embrace her body so that her daughter didn’t grow up to have the same hang ups that she did.
‘Because she is learning, every day, from me just how to view her OWN body. I don’t want to teach her to put limitations on what clothes she can wear or to worry about what others will think. I certainly want her to see her body as unique and wonderful and to be kind to it.’
‘I want her to always stay the brave, bold blonde little girl who knows exactly what she wants and exactly how beautiful and strong she is. The same little girl I used to be, before life and society taught me I shouldn’t be.’
Followers have taken to the comments in their hundreds to thank Shelby for her bravery and compliment her stunning figure.
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‘You are amazing,’ said one. ‘Thank you for setting the bar and keeping it real. You look amazing and gorgeous. Seeing the picture of you with your daughter is so awesome. Love you’re teaching your daughter to own her body…and I’m turn by posting this reminding ME (and many other women) what is really important and how empowering it can be.’
Another agreed: ‘You look amazing in this suit!! What a truly inspiring mom you are. Thanks for sharing!!’