Woman Shuts Down Her Bullies With A Gorgeous, Proud Bikini Photo

It isn't easy to embrace your flaws — much less put them on display for all to see.

But that's exactly what blogger Michelle Elman recently did in an inspiring Instagram post encouraging others to love themselves, perceived flaws and all.

Elman, who runs the blog Mindset for Life, has multiple deep scars on her stomach from unspecified surgical procedures she had to fix life-threatening health problems.

She's spent most of her life covering up the scars, self-conscious from the stares and comments she'd received the one time she bared her stomach.

Recently, the 21-year-old posted a photograph of herself wearing a bikini to her Instagram account — the first time, she says, she'd worn one since she was 7 years old.

In a caption beneath the photo, Elman wrote,

This is one of the most difficult things I have ever done, yet once it was on, it was one of the most liberating feelings to know that I wasn't letting two pieces of material stop me from being comfortable in my own body.
My belief is that no one should have to feel ashamed of their body, whether you have stretch marks or a C-section scar so…THIS summer, let's stand up and be proud of our scars and what they represent — a story!

Elman posted the photo as part of her work as a body confidence coach, in the hopes of inspiring others to follow her lead. She even started a hashtag, #scarrednotscared, to remind other women,

Every human has scars, whether [they] are emotional or physical — they are part of our story and we should be proud of them.

Judging by the many comments of praise on Elman's photo, I'd say her brave move was a total success.

Citations: Woman who spent years hiding her surgery scars dons a bikini and strikes a pose on Instagram to inspire others (Daily Mail)