Maria Kang’s picture has been around for a while. I remember seeing it on my newsfeed a year ago. I remember it because I thought it was cute. I did not really focus on the “What’s Your Excuse” tagline but liked a picture of a mom with three kids.
So it was strange that all of the sudden this year, the picture is under fire. Well, honestly it was under fire for a while, but not nationally. Numerous accusations of fat shaming and body shaming have been flying around. Maria posted a “non-apology” as she calls it which did not really smooth anyone who was against it over. I do not think she really cared if it did or not. She just was shocked that so many people were calling her a bully and a bad mom.
I agree with Maria that she is not a bully or a bad mom. I do not think her picture was meant at all to be in bad taste. It is a “Fitspiration” to inspire her fans, not the world. I do not like “Fitspirations” but some do.
Many people were inspired by her picture. In fact, one of my readers Stephanie shared this with me…
“I am an admin for a Facebook group based on this. When I first saw Maria’s picture I was at the point I was giving up and just decided I would be overweight forever. This finally gave me the kick in the pants I was looking for because I realized I was full of excuses. To tired, to busy, to always a reason. After I found the book and group I have spent the last year working on my thinking and view on being healthy. I know the comments going around about this, but she has inspired 4000+ of us with varying body types, sizes, fitness levels to become better versions of ourselves.”
“What’s Your Excuse” probably was not the best quote on this picture, but who cares. She posted it on her Facebook page, not on yours.
In fact, “What’s your excuse” should only be used on this picture and no where else…
And Maria’s picture is not body shaming. Not in my opinion.
Saying “Real woman have curves” is body shaming. Saying “Real men go for curves and dogs go for bones” is body shaming. Posting pictures of Miley Cyrus saying she has no butt to twerk is body shaming. Posting pictures of women who do and do not “squat” is body shaming. Posting a picture of a fit woman with three kids is not body shaming at all.
It is not fat shaming.
Fat shaming is posting a picture of an obese woman from Wal Mart and putting a funny tag under it. Fat shaming is your spouse telling you that you are disgusting. Fat shaming is when people say if you are not a certain size you are nothing. She was not doing any of that.
What she did not do is consider some people who are struggling. She did not realize that there are a lot of people in a dark place and this is not the motivation they need. She did not need to realize that because this was for her fans. This is very acceptable in the fitness community. In the weight loss world, this is considered controversial.
And it crossed over. It went to the weight loss world. It went to people who do not need for a “Hot Mom” to ask what their excuse is. Her “non-apology” was full of excuses as well. Excuses why people should accept the picture. Talking about her life.
Honestly, the Internet is full of critics. I got the nastiest emails because I posted the coconut water is gross. By the way, it is gross. I have no apologies for it.
Maria is an inspiration to many. I do think the Internet is being a little unfair.
But since Maria did ask, I would like to tell her my excuse…
I am a food addict. I was a selfish eater for years. Then I lost 220 pounds and swore I would never gain again. I knew the answers. Then my wife and I lost a child and I turned to food. I gained back 80 pounds by eating over 10,000 calories a day and still working out. I took every bit of strength I had to fight my demons. I do it every day. I struggle as well. I do not believe the whole “If I can do it so can you” mentality. That is elitist. I believe that as long as I share my story, I will not be over 400 pounds again and hopefully a few people will be inspired.
We all want to inspire others.
We just do it in different ways.