Jasmine “Jazzy” Owens and her husband, Keenan, have been married for six years. They went on vacation last month, and a professional photographer caught a picture of them sharing a candid moment holding hands while walking on the beach in their swimsuits.
This may not sound like that big of a deal, but to Jazzy, it most certainly is.
“Over the years my negative body image has held me back from enjoying life with my husband and kids and I was finally fed up with hiding from the world,” the aspiring model told HuffPost.
“As one of my [Instagram] posts said, I stood in the mirror and truly looked at myself. Before I couldn’t even stand to see myself, so to be able to get naked and stand in front of the mirror and just look at my body was a huge first step for me. Since then, I have made steps such as buying my first two-piece bathing suit, wearing it to the pool and to the beach and learning to stop judging myself.”
Keenan has been extremely supportive and loving, his wife explained in the caption that accompanied the photo, which was “liked” some 80,000 times in the week following its publication.
“Over the years this man has loved every curve, every roll, and every stretch mark on my body. I never understood why!” Jazzy wrote. “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, hell if I run up the stairs too fast my body claps (lmao)!!”
“But now I see I do have the ‘perfect’ body!! 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!!”
The internet saw it too. Less than a month before posting the now viral beach photo, Jazzy celebrated her 100th follower on Instagram. A week after sharing her picture, she found herself approaching 67,000 followers.
It hasn’t all been love and support from the internet, though. Of course, someone had to try and rain on her parade. Jazzy took a screenshot of a comment she received from a cold soul, who accused her of not taking control of her health—calling her page “shameful,” and describing her pictures as “gross.”
“People like this hate on others because they are not happy with themselves!” Jazzy wrote in response to the hurtful comment. “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!”
“Just because I’m a big girl doesn’t mean I’m unhealthy and promoting being unhealthy! I’m simply promoting loving yourself the way you are! Never did I say unhealthy is the way to be. So for others that want to downplay me as a person and what I am trying to accomplish, go ahead leave your negative comment! They will only be used as fuel to my fire of promoting happiness!!”
And Keenan will be there to help.
When the haters started hating, Jazzy told HuffPost, Keenan was quick to remind her “that [she] was too beautiful to let the insecure, negative people impact [her] life.”
She went on to describe her husband as being her “number 1 supporter” who encouraged her “to get out there and show the world who [she is].”
Now that’s what true love looks like—romantic love, self-love, and acceptance.