When mother-of-three Rachel Hollis posted a photo of herself in a bikini that proudly showed off her post-baby stretch marks, she never imagined it would go viral in the way that it did.
“I sort of just put it out there,” she tells PEOPLE of posting the photo – which now has over 429,000 Facebook likes. “I didn’t think about it for a second. I’m amazed that it touched such a nerve.”
Hollis says she is “flabbergasted” by the amount of people that have responded so positively to her swimsuit picture.
“I don’t have the words to describe what this week has been,” she says. “I’ve never had anything like this happen before – I mean, I think very few people do, so you don’t anticipate it. I honestly hoped it would get 20 likes, so this is completely overwhelming and exciting and humbling!”
Hollis has found her own inspiration in all of the men and women who have responded by uploading their own proud body photos.
“It has been an outpouring of so many people talking about being happy with the body that they have,” says the Chic Site blogger. “Women who I don’t know [have been] posting their own bikini pictures, showing off their own bodies. It’s women saying, ‘I’m going to be proud of what my body looks like right now – not when I was 10 lbs. [lighter], not 15 years ago, but right now. I’m proud of how this looks, and I want to show it off.'”
Hollis hopes her photo keeps encouraging others to embrace the bodies they have.
“I hope that that continues to grow,” she says. “I hope other women pick up that torch and run with it.”