Candice Swanepoel isn’t going to let trolls ruin her beach day. On Wednesday morning, the shared a series of paparazzi photos centered on her postpartum body on the sand.
Just three weeks ago, she gave birth to her second son, Ariel. The paparazzi pics, meant to call attention to her changed shape, gave her the opportunity to sound off on the unrealistic beauty standards new moms are held to.
The first two photos show her walking on the sand in a bikini. “This is me 12 days after having my son,” she wrote on her Instagram Story. “If you have something bad to say about it..Check yourself. Society can be so cruel to one another..Beauty standards are sometimes impossible for woman these days.”
“I’m not ashamed to show my [postpartum] tummy, I am proud actually,” she continued. “I carried my son for 9 months in there, I think I’ve earned the right to have a little tummy … is it because I’m a model? Well we are normal people too so let me enjoy the beach in peace please.”
In a subsequent paparazzi photo series, Swanepoel showed herself applying sunscreen onto her belly during her pregnancy.
“I don’t have to hide my stomach just because people have unrealistic standards of woman,” she wrote. “We create life.. what can you do? Ladies we are all in this together … be kind to each other.”
Pregnancy changes a woman's body—there’s no doubt about that, and in fact it's a pretty awesome thing. But with positive, strong messages like Swanepoel’s, all moms should feel proud and confident of their shape.