I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. What exactly is wrong with Maria Kang’s photo?
I don’t think she’s fat shaming anyone.
I don’t think she’s narcissistic.
I don’t think it’s inappropriate.
ALL. DAY. LONG. people are posting photos of themselves. From selfies in the bathroom (that’s where our outrage should be) to before/after weight loss pics (champion those every chance you get), we are not a people who has a problem with showing off ourselves.
So why is it a problem when this woman does it? My take away – completely neutral of any other commentary – when I first saw it was, damn, good for her!
I often feel like I’m barely holding it all together with one kid; she’s got three, and one is still an infant! She’s right, my excuses, when I employ them, just aren’t good enough.
The photo was originally posted to her Facebook community, a seemingly appropriate place to post photos of yourself. She was in a safe place.
“I thought the caption [What's Your Excuse] was fitting since I often saw posters of grandmothers running in marathons, paraplegics competing in the Olympics and even a father performing a pull up with three kids in tow – all with the same caption: ‘What’s your Excuse?’.” This as part of a lengthy response she posted on her personal website.
Fully agree; in fact, couldn’t agree more. Look at these and tell me they are worthy of starting a firestorm of controversy on the Internet.
Are you offended? You couldn’t possibly be. These are people fighting every hurdle life has thrown them – be it age, loss of limb, maybe even spirit or gender – and saying they are athletes because they didn’t use even the most obvious excuses to hold them back.
I think Kang is putting herself out there, at a time when women are absolutely frazzled down to the quick, to say, “Hey! It doesn’t have to be that way.”
She’s a woman, a mom of three, so she’s just expected to be frumpy, is that what it is? And when she’s not, and shows the world that as a woman, a mom, a business owner, she’s still able to be fit and in shape, she gets blasted? That’s not OK.
I’m not saying being a woman is her handicap, nor am I saying that being a mom is a handicap. But the world expects the world of moms and women and we break ourselves trying to live up to those expectations. We don’t put ourselves first, we don’t take care of ourselves. We should celebrate Maria Kang for making the time to take care of her body for herself and her family. What a role model she is to those three boys. Heck, to me! Why does she have to be a bully? Why can’t she be a role model for women?
I’m also a mom of a young child, with a husband, and I work a full-time job plus freelance projects, volunteer on three different committees, and have a list of familial obligations as long as my arm. I insist on making a homemade, wholesome dinner every night. I can’t stand for my house to be a mess. But I’ve got the same 24 hours as everyone else. Sometimes I get to go for a run, sometimes I get to take a walk around the block, or go swim at the gym with my daughter for an entire hour. Sometimes carrying laundry down three flights of stairs is the workout of the day. Fitness is a luxury for me, but so is wine, and new shoes, and beating my high score on that iPhone game I like so much… and I always seem to make time for those. I have to make a point of squeezing it in every single day, as much as I can. Do I look like Kang? Not so much. Do I really want to? I wouldn’t be mad at it, but it’s not what I’m striving for.
The truth is I don’t have any excuses that are good enough to not take care of myself. And I think that’s what Kang’s message is. She’s not putting moms in the hot seat saying, well, why don’t you have a six-pack and a tight ass yet? She’s saying, there’s no reason you can’t be healthy or be your version of fit. My take on the message is that there is no excuse for not taking care of yourself.
Don’t look at Kang and think that the gym is her life. “I don’t workout all day. I work out for 30-60 minutes sometimes in the morning or in the evening when I have my husbands assistance or can utilize the gym’s daycare,” she wrote on her site.
Have you spent any time on her Facebook page? She oversleeps and misses her workout, too. She eats big glazy donuts. She’s also not letting any of that stand in her way.
So, I’ll ask again, what’s your excuse? And why is this poster a problem?
I just don’t think it is.
images via deb38bodyblitz.tumblr.com, www.purelifenutrimedics.com, patrick-trailanderror.blogspot.com, iconicesports.com, smfrfitness.com
October 16th, 2013