One woman’s photo with her husband is going viral for its beautiful, body-positive message.
Jasmine Owens, 25, recently posted this photo with her husband, Keenen, on a Hawaiian beach.
“Over the years this man has loved every curve, every roll, and every stretch mark on my body. I never understood why!” Owens, an aspiring plus-size model, captioned the photo. “How could he love something that isn't ‘perfect’? How could a man who was ‘born fit’ love someone like me! I don't have a flat stomach, I jiggle when I walk.”
But she said her husband’s unconditional love has helped her love and accept herself, too.
“Now I see I do have the ‘perfect’ body!!” she wrote. “Every roll, every curve and every stretch mark is put on me just perfect to make both of us happy!!! I love my body and I finally see why he does too!!”
Sharing the photo was a big deal for Owens because she hasn’t always felt comfortable wearing a bikini in public.
“This was the first time I had ever (worn) a two-piece to the beach, let alone in front of my husband, and I felt the need to share the confidence I had in myself,” Owens told TODAY Style in an email.
She added that thinking of the amazing things her body has accomplished helped her appreciate her figure.
“The part of my body that I hated the most was my belly. It has tons of stretch marks and it hangs,” she told TODAY. “But that doesn’t change the fact that it is also the place that two beautiful children were created.”
Owens’ photo has earned more than 80,000 likes (and counting), and most people have embraced her positive message.
“Wow! This made me tearful,” one woman commented. “I am in the same situation. Husband has always been fit. And me...always struggled with my weight. You make me feel like I am worth it and I need to start loving myself!”
“You are beautiful inside and out!” another user wrote. “I'm glad you know it because you have to be happy with yourself first.”
But Owens’ biggest fan is her husband, who says he admires his wife’s “motivation and dedication.”
“She's so determined to have a voice in this movement of body positivity,” Keenen Owens, 24, told TODAY Style. “I love listening to her views.”
When Jasmine Owens posted the beach photo last week, she braced herself for some negative comments. She shook off most of the snarky reactions to her post, but one especially mean-spirited comment stood out.
The anonymous commenter accused Owens of promoting obesity and called her Instagram page “shameful.”
But Owens handled it gracefully, posting a powerful response to the angry stranger.
“People like this hate on others because they are not happy with themselves!” she wrote. “This person does not know me! They don't know that I am VERY healthy and WILL live for my kids! They don't know that I eat healthy, hike, go to the gym all the time and can most likely out-lift them any day!”
More broadly, Owens wants people to understand that while physical fitness is important, true self-care begins from within.
“The people who have been negative towards my body-positive message are very narrow-minded and do not understand that I am not promoting being unhealthy!” she told TODAY Style. “I am promoting just the opposite of that. The only way to be truly healthy is to start with the mind and work your way out. If you do not love yourself, you will never take care of yourself.”
Owens' story is a sweet reminder to love ourselves and accept love from others.
Love is possible “no matter what shape and size you are," she said.