Who says crop tops are exclusive to teen girls and 20-something Instagram fitness bloggers? No one should, which is why this mom and her belly-baring shirt are encouraging other women to do the same.
Amelia Olson-Hendrickson shared a mirror selfie on Instagram while she was showing off a "super thin vintage Las Vegas showgirls crop top" given to her by a friend. That amazing "totally feelin' herself" vibe was written all over her face – the picture captured her smiling, mid-laugh, at her image in the mirror.
According to the caption, the New Mexico mom had given birth to her child, Birdie, fifteen months earlier. Immediately postpartum, she didn't recognize herself. "I didn't recognize my body or my identity or my arms or my brain or my words. I had changed in an impossible to trace way," she wrote, describing a feeling that many women who lose themselves into all-consuming mom-hood (body and mind) once they have kids know too well.
Weight. After having birdie I didn't recognize myself. I didn't recognize my body or my identity or my arms or my brain or my words. I had changed in an impossible to trace way. 15 months later, I feel like myself. Not who I was before her. Not because I treat my body like some fucked up work in progress. Not going backwards, not obsessed with forwards. Just here. Right now. 184 IBS and still trying to find ways to honor my body and heart. Ways to find gratitude for all the things my body has and does allow me to do. And when your pal @choloclown gives you an amazing, super thin vintage Las Vegas showgirls crop top you wear tf out of it even if it's scary and you worry it doesn't look good on your mom bod. So, today, I feel thankful. For my body, my cellulite, my scars, my stretch marks my periodic adult acne. All of it. Because this is me, and I haven't anything smarter than to love myself and feel absolutely beautiful no matter WHAT. And I'm tellin you right now, baby- you're perfect. You're beautiful. Exactly right now. Look in the mirror and find one thing to admire. Now do it everyday. You deserve to be your biggest admirer.
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Sharing the short shirt photo wasn't simply Olson-Hendrickson's celebration of regaining her pre-baby figure – it was a celebration of all the ways her body had changed since having her daughter, as well as her acceptance of those changes. "Today, I feel thankful. For my body, my cellulite, my scars, my stretch marks, my periodic adult acne. All of it," the mom wrote. "Because this is me, and I haven't anything smarter than to love myself and feel absolutely beautiful no matter WHAT."
Olson-Hendrickson ended the post encouraging other women to know that they're "perfect" and "beautiful" exactly as they are and reminding them they deserve to be their own biggest admirers. "Look in the mirror and find one thing to admire," she instructed in her caption. "Now do it everyday."
Olso-Hendrickson opened up to The Huffington Post about her decision to share the photo, and how her confidence on its own can seem subversive. "Our society is so uncomfortable with wildly confident women," she said. "My body and my confidence belong to me, and I get to decide how I want to exhibit my beauty and confidence regardless of if anyone agrees with me."
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