For those of you that haven't been following this story...let me catch you up to speed. Maria Kang is a 32 year old mom of three that has a blog, Mariakang.com that promotes fitness. Late last year she started a social media frenzy when she put up her picture in skimpy workout gear with the "What's Your Excuse?" caption emblazoned above her and her three cutie-pie sons.
You would of sworn she personally whacked each and every unfit person in existence with a stick that said. "You're a slob!" Yes, she started a sh** storm of controversy.
On Maria's Facebook page nearly THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND comments ensued and a portion of them were angry. Of, course, there are those that endorsed her for being pro-fitness and praised her for her healthy lifestyle. (Note: the comments on her FB page seem to be friendlier than the ones on blogs or news venues...guess the writers felt safer to be nasty when the site wasn't linked directly to her.)
The more interesting of the comments continued to come in by the thousands. They appeared on blogs, newsvines, websites and were Facebooked, tweeted and retweeted. Even on the CNN website more than 6, 724 people had something to say about the article. Fit Mom Brings Out The Bullies.
Thought Number One: Why Are So Many People So Angry?
After a year and thousands of comments, Maria is back in the news. In response to being called among other things: vain, self-absorbed, bitchy, and narcissistic, ..... as well as.... a horrible mother, an attention whore, a slut and a fat-shamer, she issued an apology of sorts on her web site to those that she might of offended with the "What's Your Excuse" line.
I've been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I'm a bully, I'm fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I've caused women. I get it. SO here's my First and Final Apology:
I'm sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won't go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business', have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won't even mention how I didn't give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.
What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It's Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn't create them. You created them. So if you want to continue 'hating' this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.
With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a 'bigger' issue than this photo. Maybe it's time we stop tip-toeing around people's feelings and get to the point. So What's Your Excuse? - Maria Kang
This week, Maria has been on a number of news and entertainment shows being interviewed about both the original picture as well as what many deem an insincere apology. On her blog, Maria, stated " I didn’t know I would be featured on Good Morning America, Inside Edition or defending myself on the Today Show. I never imagined talking to hard news stations like CNN, Fox News, Geraldo Rivera or Megyn Kelly about the impact this single photo sparked across the globe. I wasn’t prepared for every past and present action taken to be analyzed and criticized by the media.
So here are my thoughts on it.....
I don't understand the venomous comments being dispersed by both men and women. Even on the Today Show the anchors took pot shots at her.
Hoda Kotb said, "I think there are lots of examples of people that look great, but there's something about the tone, and showing the body, that grosses me out."
She's far from alone:
Facebook commenter Shaunalee Brown-Chavez summed her thoughts up with what many have expressed about the photo, writing: I think this picture and the presentation along with the caption was off putting and upsetting. There are thousands of other ways to show off a fit body without wearing a bra and underwear for the nation to see. Secondly, "excuses" come in every shape and size. I think for most women it's about priorities, not excuses! My kids are my first priority. If what you say is true you are a very busy working mom with no nanny. Where are your kids while your spending all your free time working on you? Finally, you don't have a daughter. I think if you did your message would surely be a different one. Would you want someone telling her she had no excuse for looking a certain way? What if she didn't look like you, and some woman made her feel bad about it? I'm sure you would change your tune. Your apology is a joke and as worthless to women as your initial post. Put some clothes on and spend some time with your children.
Here's my thoughts:
Sure she put herself out there to be noticed. She is peddling fitness at her blog and she is her own best example that her methods get results. Does she seek exposure? Sure she does, She is promoting herself, her fitness products and ideas. Had this been Jillian Micheal's website we would see the same "no excuses" approach. These women look great and can promote themselves and their ideas about fitness using their sculpted bodies to validate their approach.
Keep in mind, that Maria runs a not-for-profit company for fitness and does fitness modeling. This is, at least in part, her career.
If Maria was an artist and had a blog showing off all of her paintings, or if she was a writer that was writing novels ...would people jump to the conclusion she was neglecting her kids in those pursuits? (She says she works out about 30-60 minutes a day...so painting or writing might take at least an equal amount of time.)
What's with all the name calling and aspersions being tossed about to readily? How do people come to the place that they are comfortable with words like bad mom, narcissistic, fat-shamer, bitch, self-absorbed or vain. Really? This is over one picture with one caption. Aren't some of the name callers being a bit presumptuous in assuming any of their adjectives actually apply to Maria?
I, for one, admire that she has that type of discipline. Good for her. I am a fit person that will never have a body that looks like that.
BUT.... If I don't measure up and I am OK with where I am...good for me.
AND ..... If I am not happy with me, tearing her down isn't the solution.
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