Summers VonHesse is a military wife and mother of two whose aspirations include running a horse sanctuary. She’s also an avid Instagram poster, and with her sultry photos, she has gained more than 100,000 followers. In a recent unedited photo, she shared how she truly feels about that “flabby stretched out loose skin belly,” and her candor has resonated with many, with the photo gaining more than 6,500 likes and 150 comments.
“I feel it’s important for other women to see what a plus-size woman like me really looks like,” VonHesse, of Nevada, tells Yahoo Beauty. “I’m tired of seeing us represented in the media with perfect flawless skin, when the reality is that we have stretch marks and loose skin, and that’s OK and it’s beautiful.”
“The f***ing pouch,” as VonHesse refers to her abdomen, came from birthing her two children, a boy, 2, and a girl, 5, and no matter how hard she has tried to get rid of it — through exercise, crunches, healthy eating — it just never went away.
“It’s been a process to love me,” says VonHesse. “I grew up very self-conscious of my body, but around two years ago is when I began seeing the body-positivity movement and other women’s confidence, [which] inspired me to love and accept all my perfect imperfections.”
The 30-year-old decided it was time to embrace her body and open up her perception of beauty. Now, she says, “I feel confident, and I want all women to feel the same. Everyone’s genetics are different. We cannot all be thin.”
Her message of self-love and body positivity has resonated with many of her followers.
One commenter wrote, “#proudpouchmama here, too!! If you ask my hubby, it’s his favorite part of my body. It took me a LONG time to be ok with it. It’s a reminder that God chose me to be my sons’ mother.”
Wrote another, “Never thought I could feel beautiful about my body until now. Thank you for this picture. You may have just changed my life.” To that, VonHesse replied, “Good to hear, beautiful, we all deserve to feel like goddesses.”
Not only does VonHesse want other women to feel empowered — she also wants her own daughter to grow up in a more body-positive world.
“I don’t want her to grow up and think that by accepting her body she is ‘brave,’” she says. “No — I want her to simply grow up in a world where a woman loves the way she looks.”
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