Shani Wilson(NEW YORK) — It’s summer, which can mean for some people just trying to make it through bathing suit season.
One mom in Oklahoma is choosing to thrive instead of just survive summer, staying positive to help both herself and her kids.
Shani Wilson, 31, a mother of three, shared a photo of herself in a bathing suit alongside her daughter, Eden, also in a bathing suit.
She captioned the photo with a powerful message:
“I could cover up my thighs, but shes watching.
I could suck in for the picture, but shes watching.
I could grab my legs and complain about my cellulite, but shes watching.
I could make a comment about how I dont like my arms, but shes watching.
I could make disappointed faces as I stare at my body in the mirror, but shes watching.
I could just forget the suit, put on a tshirt and shorts to swim in, but shes watching.
I could be ashamed of my body because it’s not perfect, but shes watching.
I love who I am, I love my heart, and I choose not to say bad things about my body, because…… shes watching!
I’ve always taught her true beauty comes from within. So, go swimming mommas. Put on a suit and have fun with those babies. Show them how strong and confident WE can be, even if our bodies aren’t perfect!”
Wilson originally posted the photo of herself and Eden, now 8, last summer on Facebook. It was shared again recently on Instagram, where it already has more than 100,000 likes.
“It makes me proud that I’m trying to make a difference and I feel like I have made a difference,” Wilson told ABC News’ Good Morning America about the response to her post. “It makes me feel good to know that I’m helping people be more confident and be aware of what they say.”
Wilson recalls that she first heard negative comments about her own body from family members at age 7. She made a shift in how she talks to her own kids about their bodies after an experience with her then-4-year-old son.
“He put on one of those big puffy jackets and he said, ‘Momma I look fat,’ and he didn’t want to wear it,” Wilson said. “I knew that he heard that from me.”
Wilson said the moment immediately changed her parenting approach, from what she does, like not wearing a bathing suit cover-up, to what she says, especially to Eden, her only daughter.
“I always want her to know that beauty comes from the inside and not the outside,” Wilson said. “I do tell her she’s beautiful but I always tell her that her heart is beautiful and that she’s brave and smart.”
Eden, according to her mom, is a confident, sweet and outgoing young girl who is happy to put on her bathing suit, whether to swim or just play outside.
“She’s not worried about what she looks like,” Wilson said. “She lives in the moment and that’s what I want.”
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