In a social media post that has recently gone viral, a mother of four shared images of her body and the inevitable stretchmarks. At 23 years old, Doreen Ching has decided to embrace her well-earned motherhood body by posting the images in the name of body positivity.
But instead of an outpouring of support and stories of others who could relate, Doreen was faced with a barrage of trolls commenting on her post. Some of the comments even blamed her for the stretch marks.
Doreen Ching. 23-year-old Doreen Ching from Johor Province, Malaysia is a proud mother of four children. Her three sons and one daughter are quadruplet siblings Doreen gave birth to nearly two years ago. Though she has struggled with her image over the past two years, Doreen has had a change of heart recently.
The Post. Deciding to embrace her image, Doreen posted a revealing photo of her abdomen, baring all of her stretchmarks and post-baby skin for all the world to see. Her Facebook post quickly went viral with over 12,000 shares and thousands more who liked it.
The Problem. The issue, is that for all the supportive claims and comments, there were several others who decided to slam the young mom for her body’s marks and scars. She found herself having to defend her choice to post and her right to her earned body marks.
Her Writing. When Doreen uploaded the telling image, she included her backstory behind her body image issues. According to her story in The Sun, Doreen recalled “a friend telling her that her body would be ‘ruined’ after having children,'” a comment that stuck with her for two years.
Giving Birth. After giving birth to her four children, Doreen told reporters she pulled back the sheet of her hospital bed in recovery and stared down at her stretched and scarred mid-section. The sight of her abdomen brought immediate tears to her eyes.
Cried for Days. “The first thing I did after leaving the delivery room was to look at my stomach and cry,” Doreen said. She continued crying for days, wondering how she would ever be ok with her body again and hearing the words of her friend ringing in her ears.
Stretch Marks. To Doreen, the stretch marks and loose skin were so foreign to her. She had always been a small-framed person with a trim figure and now she had no idea whose body she was in, but it didn’t feel like her own. She tried to put on a smile for her new children, but inside she was struggling.
How Would I Be Ok? “Only 21 at the time, I wondered how I would be able to accept my stomach looking like this for the rest of my life,” her caption read under her Facebook post showing an image of the body that was so foreign to her. She could never have imagined the amount of feedback she would garner by sharing the photo.
Embracing Her Body. The Malaysian mother of four came to the realization that no matter what she did, her body was her body for life. No amount of diet, exercise or surgery would ever be able to give her back the body she had before her pregnancy.
It Doesn’t Matter. Later posts show Doreen in her bikini at the family home with the statement that she’s just trying to get on with who she is – stretchmarks and all. “My stomach doesn’t matter. I can still wear a bikini at home. I can only be as perfect as I can be,” her post said.
Brave and Beautiful. Doreen was happy to see a large portion of those who commented on her post were offering her support for sharing her post and her progressive attitude toward accepting and loving herself as is. Most called her “brave” and “beautiful,” but not all were so supportive.
Criticism. In a later post, the mom decided to take charge and call out some of the people who had shamed her for her photos and blamed her for her stretchmarks. Her goal was to own who she is and put an end to those who couldn’t accept it.
Ugly and Disgusting. “Many told me I looked ugly and disgusting, and that they wanted to vomit,” she wrote of one commenter on her post. Doreen soon noticed not everyone was accepting of what motherhood does to a woman’s body and that she was apparently up for their trolling.
Placing Blame. In the worst of the ridicule, several others told Doreen her stretchmarks and loose skin were ultimately her own fault since she had wanted to be a mother. “Some men said it was all the woman’s fault for wanting to have so many kids,” she said.
Please Show Respect. In her closing remarks, Doreen asked that others learn to be more respectful and understanding of the women in their lives. “Please respect the women of this world, such as your mother and your wife, who manage childbirth and still work,” she said.