The woman's Facebook post has since gone viral with thousands of social media users relating to and appreciating her body positive and self-love message.
While the beauty and fashion industries have, in recent years, been forced to rethink the unrealistic standards they've been perpetuating for ages, it will sadly still be many years before the damage completely wears off. Many of us often fail to see beyond our so-called physical shortcomings, picking at ourselves for being too fat, too thin, too pale, too dark, too tall, too short, and so on. On the other hand, with each passing day, more and more people realize just how stupid the idea of "the perfect body" is and are proudly flaunting what their mama gave them. Shelly Proebstel is one such badass woman who is done cowering every time body-shamers make a pass at her curvaceous figure.
Earlier this year, Shelly took to Facebook to share a powerful message to body-shamers. Recounting an incident that had occurred while she was enjoying herself at the Mt. Maunganui Beach, Tauranga, New Zealand, 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*CK YOU!
In her post, Shelly went on to list out the many ways in which remarks and gestures like these affect those who are victims of body shaming. She wrote: It's because of d***heads 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.'
Shelly continued: 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. The post that has since gone viral with over 55k likes, urged readers to take a moment to think before passing off-handish comments about someone else's physical appearance.
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 learned to have the thick skin, or the resilience, or the self-confidence, that I do to brush it off, she continued. While Shelly admitted that the hurtful actions of the men who'd laughed at her had for a moment made her consider covering herself up, she revealed that she'd decided against it after reminding herself of everything she'd learned about body positivity and self-love.
The woman also used the opportunity to urge parents to teach their children about the different types of bodies that exist in this world and how each and every single one of them is beautiful in their own ways. 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: she wrote.
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: Shelly added.