Sia Cooper has had enough, y’all. The popular Instagram fitness star — and mother — has over a million followers. And she is sick to death of trolls telling her to “cover up” after she recently posted a playful bikini shot of herself.
“To show your gains you don’t have to show your behind like that, you are a mother, think about what your children see your behind in the future, unfollowed,” wrote one commenter.
Others quickly piled on: “I wonder what your kids will be flaunting in the future now that they know that it is acceptable to post their half naked butt online. Hmm! This is why people keep getting worse and worse. They show the whole world what is meant to be kept in the privacy of their own homes.”
Another complained: “This just in. Women are crazy. They always seek attention.” Niiiiiiice.
Cooper responded to the mom-shamers and misogynist trolls with a long Instagram post defending the photo.
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The other day, I had posted a photo of myself in this very same bikini and was told to cover up… because I am a mother. Cue the mom-shaming. Since when were moms supposed to hide their bodies? Since when were mothers no longer allowed to feel sexy? How do you think babies even got here in the first place? She went on to say that I should think about what my kids will think of my behind someday. You know what? I want my kids to see a mother who’s body positive. I want my kids to see a mother who’s confident in her own skin. Plus, they love my butt and use it as a bongo when I’m cooking dinner or awkwardly standing in line at the grocery store. 😂 Anyone else, no? There is no rule out there that states you can’t rock a bikini just because you pushed a baby out of your vagina at some point in your life. In fact, that should make you worthy of one and so much more. I grew up with a mom who hated her body. In fact, she also made me hate mine by nitpicking it apart and pointing out every time it had looked like I had gained weight as a teenager. I fought like hell to finally love myself and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started wearing shorts again in public. I would’ve given anything to have a body positive mama and I make sure that my kids see and feel this positivity everyday-not just with looks but with it all. Sometimes, all a mother needs is to truly FEEL herself. Let’s face it: motherhood can make us feel less than sexy. It leaves us drained, depressed, exhausted, and staring into a mirror, looking at a former shell of ourselves that we barely recognize anymore. And don’t get me started on our postpartum bodies.. it can be harder to celebrate our bodies when they’re covered with stretches marks and loose skin. So mamas, put on your bikinis. You’ve earned it. Every woman deserves to feel comfortable in her own skin without society’s judgy opinions. Let the mom-judging stop. Motherhood is already tough as it is. We are damned if we do, damned if we don’t so stay true to yourself. ✌🏽
Cooper concluded her post with a battle cry we can all get behind: “Let the mom-judging stop. Motherhood is already tough as it is. We are damned if we do, damned if we don’t so stay true to yourself.”
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The most common excuse for not exercising is “lack of time.” I remember when I first became a mom, I went from going to an actual gym 5 days a week to figuring out how I would get myself dressed and leave the house in a rush to get back to breastfeed my baby. Getting back on a fitness routine after giving birth can be so hard. This is why I create all of my workouts including my workout guide to be done straight from home for the busy girl or mother. Little by little, I started purchasing a few home gym essentials second hand: dumbbells, kettlebells, yoga mats, resistance bands, etc. If you want it badly enough, you can make it happen. I created my Strong Body Guide: 12 Week Home Workouts to help make fitness easier for you because I KNOW how it can be. I want you to know it’s possible and that your only true limit is yourself. Think outside the box, get creative, and don’t give up-especially when you’ve got little eyes on you. 💪🏽
To which we say…HELL YES.
“The most vicious comments that I receive are usually trolls who comment negatively on my body,” Cooper tells SheKnows. “I’ve been taunted for having cellulite and for being ‘fat’ last year when I had gained some weight. I’ve also been told that I look like a ‘tranny’ or ‘manly.'”
Cooper continued, “Sometimes I feel the more positive you are about your own body, the more negative some people will be because they are either unhappy with themselves or can’t handle the positive vibes.”
But when we asked Cooper what she might say to the anonymous trolls who hammer her with negative comments, her answer both surprised and moved us.
“I would say thank you,” Cooper told us. “Although some comments hurt, I feel each one gives me the chance to become stronger and more resilient to the hate. Most trolls do not know me personally… I cannot take what they say personally either.”
Cooper attributes her own fierce commitment to body-positive messaging to an unexpected source: her “very body-negative mom,” she tells SheKnows, explaining that “[My mom] would step on the scale and talk about her weight all the time… As I starting growing into my body as a teenager, she would pick on my weight. This eventually led to low self esteem and an eating disorder.”
Fortunately, Cooper’s many fans have embraced her message of fitness and loving oneself. One follower wrote, “[The bikini photo] may have cost you a follower, but you have no idea how many women you probably empowered by having the courage to post a picture that highlights something you may be or may have been insecure about. Body positivity is such a huge thing to me especially being a girl mom. I want my daughter to know that she is always beautiful… Thank you for showing moms like me that it is possible to take care of yourself and be a mom….”
Another fan wrote, “As a mom, I follow the shit out of you! You inspire me so much. And you know something, my kids have noticed how much more body positive I am since I’ve started getting my gains! You can’t make that woman happy and that’s ok — she ain’t for your page then. But don’t ever forget, you do help so many others!”
Like Sia, we’re so over the mom-shaming, it’s not even funny. We were hoping it was a fleeting, nasty trend, like the time Kourtney Kardashian was also mom-bikini-shamed. But somehow, it shows no sign of going away. We’re not going to quit calling it out, because if there’s anything we hate, it’s women tearing other women down. Cheers to Cooper for her wise, empowering, and body-positive words. We’re here for her — and her bikini.