What’s Your Excuse?
I live in a world that doesn’t exist. My equivalent of Neverland. Where people do the right thing when no one’s looking, and everyone hates everyone equally. In this world, Maria Kang, a fit mother of three can post a picture like this without receiving any backlash from insecure, overly sensitive, hypocrites.
In every situation, I make a genuine attempt to see both sides of an issue. I did this during the BART strike, when my girl wanted to stay with her cheating boyfriend, and just over the weekend when a friend of mine got into an altercation with someone in the Candlestick parking lot. When my friend Joe posted the photo above on Facebook, I did the same despite my initial reaction to it. And after reading dozens of comments regarding it, I’ve come to the following conclusions as to why some people were so appalled by it. My opinion follows in italics.
1. Her choice of clothing. Many argue that she posted this specific picture not to inspire others, but merely to receive compliments. They feel as if it is inappropriate, and not a good example of what a mother with role model intentions should be wearing.
She is what those with an affinity for social media call a “Fitspo mom”. Although she mentions other achievements in her life on her blog, her main M.O. is to promote the life of a busy mother that still finds/makes the time to feel and look healthy. I believe her outfit is relevant to the message she is trying to send. Professional body builders don’t compete in thong bikinis to showcase their mathematical skills.
2. Wording. The caption, “What’s your excuse?” with the accompanying picture is antagonizing, and to some looked at as “body shaming” and “bullying”. It suggests that only real moms look the way she does.
While I see how it could be interpreted that way, I honestly don’t think her intentions were malicious. And if it’s OK to assume they were, then it’s OK to assume you are insecure. People jumped to conclusions and judged her in the same manner in which they believed she was judging mothers who don’t have the same physique as she does.
3. The bigger picture. A mother of three that also works and is in a relationship, surely isn’t spending enough time with her kids if she looks like that. Furthermore, if what she wanted to do was inspire women, it would’ve made more sense to emphasize her work with non-profit organizations and residential care home facilities, rather than focusing on her chiseled abs or perky breast.
While being fit takes discipline, you don’t necessarily have to spend hours in the gym to look the way she does. My cousin brings his sons to the gym while he works out since they have an onsite daycare. Subsequently, part of her being healthy means she gets to run around and play with her children as well as be around for them longer. I am not a mother, but I believe every mother should be allowed some alone time as long as it is not affecting their children in a negative way. It just so happens that she’s using the time to well, look like “that”.
My friend Joe said that everyone does everything for a reason. Even if she did post this picture in hopes of an IG “like” or compliment, who fucking cares? If you are secure with your body and parenting – then you definitely shouldn’t care. Everyone has their own interpretation of what a beautiful body or “real” mom is, and they are entitled to it. If you are offended, you are giving her way too much credit. Personally, Maria Kang does not have the ideal body I want. However, she inspires me to get the body I do want.
I’m sure this pic even with the same caption, would’ve been less offensive. Which to me proves that people are just haters (which is perfectly fine if you’re honest about it)