A Kiwi body positivity blogger has hit back at bullies who made fun of her when she removed her sarong at Mt Maunganui Beach.
Waipa woman Shelly Proebstel took to her Facebook page Bald and Beautiful to recount how a group of young men bullied her on the beach.
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"To the guys who pointed and laughed when I took my sarong off today at Mt Maunganui Beach, bearing my soul (my bikini body) to the world, I just want to say (excuse my language but) F**K YOU!" she wrote on Saturday.
"It's because of d**kheads like you that people are so incredibly insecure about their body image."
Proebstel blamed the negative attitudes of the young men on women feeling insecure about their bodies, and why "people starve themselves and make themselves sick".
"No, you are not responsible for the entirety. But YES, you have to take some responsibility," she added.
"Next time you see someone like me on the beach in a bikini or in a situation similar, before you laugh and point, take a moment to think about the damage you may just do, because not every person, young or old, male or female, will have learnt to have the thick skin, or the resilience, or the self-confidence, that I do to brush it off."
Proebstel urged parents to teach their children that there is no one body shape, "so that in 5 or 10 or 20 years' time, no more people are pointed at and laughed at by the way they look when they wear a bikini on the beach."
The post has so far racked up over 20,000 responses and almost 3000 comments, with many praising her confidence.
"True that... well said. Them little boys wouldn't be able to handle a woman with curves," one person commented.
"You are awesome, I wish I had your confidence but I'm working on it, 2019 is my time to shine. Power to me," wrote another.
After the outpouring of support, Proebstel took to Facebook again on Tuesday to thank her supporters, and add a clarification for the trolls.
"Not that I have to justify myself to anyone, but I would just like to make it very clear that I'm a very fit and healthy person (and I work daily to always improve this!) I do intense workouts 3 times a week, I take 2 dance classes, I do yoga, I enter running events, I walk my dog, I swim, I go for 6km walks on the weekends for fun," she wrote.
"It's like the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover'. You have no idea what's going on in someone's life, and I for one, want my children to know that a healthy mind is the FIRST step to obtaining a healthy body, that they won't have a healthy mind if they listen to your opinions, and that there are so many different body types in the world."