Gladstone women speak out in support of bikini mum
GLADSTONE women have spoken out in support of a Queensland mum who walked past a group of young people in her bikini and heard the comment: "I think she is over the bikini".
Julie Cross posted a picture of herself on Facebook after the comment, and has been stunned by the response.
She made national headlines when the post was liked by more than 120,000 people in a day.
The 46-year-old who describes herself as "having child bearing hips and stretch marks on my tummy", and made the courageous decision to show she would not be intimidated by snipes.
Gladstone's Lyn Ibbotson is 68 and still slips into her one-piece swimsuit every week.
The grandmother visits Gladstone Aquatic Centre once a week and does 30 laps without fail.
She also heads to the beach regularly to keep fit.
"Once you get to my age you've just got to do it," she said.
"I am past the bikinis but in my younger days I wore them for 25 years."
The mother of two has lived in Gladstone for 65 years and said she hadn't encountered any negativity about body image in the community before.
"Most people in Gladstone are pretty accepting," she said. "You don't have to please everyone, though."
Mrs Ibbotson joined a number of other people who were enjoying the pool on a sweltering Gladstone day yesterday.
Thelma Mills, 59, said she and her friend Jennett Sullivan, 57, had been beach bunnies in their day.
"I wear a one piece and a sarong now," Thelma said. "I used to wear a bikini (and I did) until I was 50."
Marica Nodari said she didn't care what people wore.
"If they aren't naked in a public place then there's nothing wrong with it. I think young girls are jealous of the older ladies sometimes," she said.
Erica Darr said she wouldn't wear a bikini herself in public, but would be upset if someone criticised her.
"What you do is your own business."
Marina Karamatsou said that many women in Greece, where she was from, wore bikinis and were larger.
"They have the freedom to wear one. If you are comfortable then that's fine. I wear one and I have two kids," she said.