Blogger Olivia White shared a photo of herself in a bikini on Instagram, and it’s sparked an emotional response from other mums.
We admit at first glance this sounds unlikely, because bikini shots on Instagram are usually the domain of BananaGirls or duck-faced types. But Olivia’s bikini shot diverted from those norms.
The image she posted was one from when she was on holidays with her family. It features Olivia and her daughter playing on the beach, and at the time she filed the shot away as a sort of fail. Lucky for us, she revisited the photo, and it’s sparked a grown-up teaching moment – for Olivia AND for us!
You see, originally, she’d quietly sidelined the photo, because she thought it was a bit unflattering. But closer examination revealed that there was WAY more to the shot than her (actually lovely) tummy.
“I didn’t post this photo while we were away because I hated how my stomach looked,” Olivia explained. “As much as I try to be self confident and be positive about my appearance, it’s not just a switch and one day you’re completely 110% okay with yourself. It’s a daily thing, and you have good and bad days.”
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I didn’t post this photo while we were away because I hated how my stomach looked 🙄 As much as I try to be self confident and be positive about my appearance, it’s not just a switch and one day you’re completely 110% okay with yourself 🤦🏼♀️ it’s a daily thing, and you have good and bad days… But you can’t stop, especially when you have little eyes watching you 😬 you just need to keep reminding yourself everyday that you’re amazing no matter what anyone else or your own brain tries to trick you into thinking 🙌🏻 This is a beautiful moment between my daughter and I, a memory I want to treasure forever 😘😘😘 and nothing can ruin that 😎
Shake it off
We feel you, Olivia, we do. Who hasn’t cast an eye over a photo of themselves and wondered where all those chins came from? It’s all of us.
Determined to shake off this under-the-microscope mentality, Olivia pushed through her uncomfortable feelings and realised there was a bigger lesson – one of self-acceptance and self-compassion – here.
“You can’t stop [trying to accept yourself], especially when you have little eyes watching you. You just need to keep reminding yourself every day that you’re amazing, no matter what anyone else or your own brain tries to trick you into thinking.”
Olivia has highlighted a mindset that many women are tyrannised by. We get so caught up capturing what we think is our best self, physically, in photos, that it’s near impossible to measure up and get that shot.
This destructive quest for perfection doesn’t result in perfect pictures or happier women. It just makes us anxious and self-critical – often so much so that we miss out on the magic that’s actually been captured. We might even avoid having our picture taken altogether, in disappointment.
Olivia’s flipped those feels and is now hero-ing the once sidelined photo as a beautiful treasure – rather than proof of perceived “flaws”.
“This is a beautiful moment between my daughter and I, a memory I want to treasure forever and nothing can ruin that.”
We could not agree more and truly hope Olivia’s post inspires other women to celebrate the moments they are in with the people they love (without critiquing their bodies!)
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HEY MAMAS!! I wanted to remind you of something super important!! The other day when I shared my beach picture I was blown away by the response from other mums who empathised they had felt the same way about themselves in photos and they too had not kept or posted images because they didn’t like how they looked. Some people of course didn’t have the nicest things to say. And some people reminded me that I’m lucky to even have those images and you know what – they are totally right!! And one mama in particular really reminded me exactly why… One of the comments I received was from a mama in the US, she had just lost her two eldest sons ages 18 and 20 in a car accident that month. She pleaded with me to not care what I ever look like in these images because she regretted that she herself had next to no photos of her with her children for this very same reason!! My heart absolutely broke into a million pieces for her. My eyes began to water and in that moment, it hit me like a tonne of bricks! I know that this woman’s story is unique, but we so often complain that we aren’t in images because we are always taking them, only to then get one and pick apart how we look and not even keep it!! TAKE THE PHOTOS LADIES!! TAKE ALLLLLL THE BLOODY PHOTOS. Ask your hubby, set up self-time, take a selfie – WHATEVER!! Ask a bloody stranger to take it WHO BLOODY CARES what any one else thinks or says!! ‼️NOW‼️ I want everyone to go grab their camera, their phones – whatever you like and take a photo with your beautiful babies and tag me in it 🙋🏼♀️ Don’t worry about how you look, don’t worry how you take it – just snap a shot of you and your babies for the world to see 😍 and don’t apologise for it!!! nd if you ever see me down the street I want you to stop me and ask me to snap a photo of you and your squad 🙋🏼♀️ Always happy to oblige!! #takethedamnphoto
Six tips to promote self-acceptance
(With thanks to The Butterfly Foundation)
- Focus on your strengths and skills. This can help you to love, accept and appreciate your whole self.
- Practice saying positive things to yourself each day and avoid negative or berating self-talk.
- Appreciate and respect what your body helps you achieve.
- Set health and strength-focused goals for your body, not size-related goals.
- Work at appreciating your uniqueness – and try not to compare yourself to others.
- Note that media and social media images can be unrealistic.