Empowering bikini photo of 46-year-old mum goes viral

The photo of Julie Cross that was shared on Facebook.
The photo of Julie Cross that was shared on Facebook. Photo: Facebook

When a group of teenagers made rude remarks about her body as she walked past them in a bikini at the local beach, Julie Cross refused to cover up.

In fact, the 46-year-old Queensland mum did the exact opposite - she posted a picture of herself in a bikini on Facebook and invited the whole world to see it.

The response was incredible. The picture went viral and received more than 140,000 likes in just 24 hours.

"My name is Julie Cross, I am 46 years old, I am a size 10 on a good day, a size up on other days ..."
"My name is Julie Cross, I am 46 years old, I am a size 10 on a good day, a size up on other days ..." Photo: YouTube

Julie made the decision to post the picture after she heard the comment "I think she is over the bikini!" as she walked past a group of young people at a local beach while wearing her swimmers.

"I thought long and hard about this post. The other day at the beach I walked past a group of young people in my bikini, and I heard a comment, 'I think she is over the bikini!'" Julie explained in her post.

"And I faltered for a moment and then went on. So this is me walking my talk. My name is Julie Cross, I am 46 years old, I am a size 10 on a good day, a size up on other days, but I don't look at the size anymore, I just buy clothes that feel comfortable.

"I have child bearing hips and stretch marks on my tummy that I am proud of because I carried two beautiful big 9 pound healthy baby boys.

"I have cellulite from my knees up, it has been there since I was 3 and cute. I am healthy, strong, proud and happy

"And you are invited to feel the same! And if I come your way and you don't like what you see then move away. And sisters, now is the time to start looking after each other!!"

 
 

Julie, a motivational speaker, posted the photo on Sunday. By Tuesday it had received 180,000 "likes", had been shared by more than 4,600 people and had more than 12,000 comments. 

 "The only way to have a bikini body is to put on a bikini. Good on you! You look great so you deserve to feel great," wrote one supporter.

"Being comfortable in your own skin is empowering," said another.

Julie, who holds motivational sessions for mothers and daughters, has been overwhelmed by the huge response to her post. She refutes claims that it was a heroic thing to do, but hopes her actions will help other women to feel comfortable in their own skin.

In a thank you post to her new Facebook followers, she said dealing with difficult life experiences had taught her there were more important things for women to worry about than cellulite.

Julie's husband had a massive stroke 10 years ago which left him incapicitated. Shortly afterwards, her four-year-old son was diagnosed with autism. Then four years later, her husband, who had never recovered from his stroke, passed away.  

Facing these experiences has taught Julie about the need for women to be secure within themselves in order to deal with life's obstacles. 

"You should look after your body that is for sure, you will need it to be strong and healthy, but life will give you bigger things to handle than the dimple on your thighs and the concern of what everybody thinks about those dimples," she wrote.

"Life challenges will be handled best on a strong foundation of self love and respect, because when life is tough, no matter how much external support you get, it is still you that must wake up every day and deal with it."