Fit Mom of 3 Accused of 'Fat-Shaming' Women Is Just Telling the Truth (PHOTO)

Say What!? 181

maria kang what's your excuseThirty-two-year-old California mom, fitness enthusiast, and former beauty queen Maria Kang probably thought she was just posting some run-of-the-mill "fitspo" or fitspiration when she posted a photo of herself on Facebook. She was in a workout bra and booty shorts, flaunting her toned body, alongside her three little sons, then aged 3 years, 2 years, and 8 months, with the caption: "What's Your Excuse?" Instead, she started a comment war -- with many of the more than 12,000 responses to the photo being hateful accusations of fat-shaming.

People got even more bent out of shape when Kang posted what she calls a "non-apology" ... 

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Kang wrote:

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 businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. 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.

BRAVO to that! Although getting defensive probably wasn't the wisest move, Kang shouldn't have felt compelled to apologize at all. Nothing about her original post could be considered fat-shaming. She didn't say or even mean to portray something like, "You moms who don't work out are gross, lazy, fat asses." She was saying you can and should make fitness a part of your life even when you're a busy mom -- and she's not even the first mom to say that!

Jillian Michaels, who is notoriously tough on everyone for their excuses, told us back in April that even she has struggled with maintaining her fitness regimen since becoming a mom, but, at the same time, "it's a form of medicine, and if you want to have your best body, sure, you need to work out. And if you're eating well 80 percent of the time, then basically, you set yourself up for not having to work out as often. And then, when you do exercise, if you incorporate some key fitness techniques, you can make a half an hour count like it's 60."

That's exactly how I feel -- and I'm sure Kang feels -- about fitness. But when we see the picture of her with her little ones, bangin' body, and that in-your-face question, it's natural to react in an intense, potentially negative way, especially if you're not feeling so great about your own body. I'm sure that I'd feel very differently if I was currently feeling out of control with my own personal fitness goals. Of course our perspectives are colored by own unique challenges.

But as Jillian also told me, prioritizing fitness has to do with shifting our perspective. Realizing that dragging your ass to the gym or jumping on a treadmill during the baby's 20-minute nap doesn't necessarily have to be about trying to look like Kang. It can mean doing what you know you've gotta do to "be around for your daughter's daughter to be born. Or not being on the sidelines of your kid's life," as Jillian put it.

Personally, when I am a mom, I know finding a way to work out no matter on a regular basis will be integral to keeping me feeling good about myself and feeling good period. I have to keep my core strong, so my bad back doesn't give out on me when I'm lifting my baby. I have to boost my metabolism for sustainable energy to play and keep up with my baby. I'll have to work out to be a healthier, happier, better mom. Those are my motivations -- my reasons for avoiding excuses.

Which really makes me feel like by posting that photo, Kang didn't mean any harm; she just could have been a bit less abrasive. Instead of "What's your excuse?" maybe we all need to be asking ourselves "What's your motivation?"

How do you feel about Kang's photo and "non-apology"?


Image via via Mike Byerly

exercise, general health


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nonmember avatar 4under4

Her caption was awful, I completely understand why it upsets people. I think she could have been MORE inspirational if she had posted this picture with a positive caption.

Craft... CraftyJenna

What should she be sorry for exactly?

Choco... Chocodoxies

I would like to answer her question with a question: I am a stay at home mom. What is your excuse? 

I cloth diaper. We drive one car. My husband makes a minimal income, but we live within our means. We don't eat out, we save small bits from each paycheck and we send our daughter to private school. We only eat sensibly and never fast food and we don't rely on family to pay our bills or watch our children. If I can do it, what it your "excuse". 

That right there is why what she did is just ridiculously judgmental. Who the hell says that everyone can, or should, be a stay at home mother? Who says everyone should look like a tiny, small framed, very toned woman. My life has lead me to make choices and decisions that have resulted in my being able to stay at home. Not choices that everyone would want to, or could make, but choices that I made and am happy with. I suppose I could name of all the reasons I don't I have a six pack, but I shouldn't have to, and neither should any woman who works every day. 


Rando... Randomlady

chocodoxies, did you read her part of the article? here is what you skipped "work full time owning two businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer". she never said she was a stay at home mom exercising every waking minute. not everyone will look like a " tiny, small framed, very toned woman." but that doesn't mean you should want to be a landwhale either. sure it isn't easy to work off fat and eat properly, but if you choose not to do these things, you are shaming everyone who isn't fat by posting things like this. she was not shaming anyone, just showing off her hard work and hoping to inspire others who think they can't do it.

wamom223 wamom223

I think it was classless to write 'what's your excuse' but I think it was worse to write this blog and act like your opinion should count when you don't even have kids.  Oh how us current mom's love hearing about what you are GOING to do when you have kids!!!  

nonmember avatar candice

There people are so upsetting to me. I am 23 years old. I became pregnant at 20, and had my child at 21. I had stretch marks that are 2 inches thick by 7 inches long. My body can be found on a body celebrating website. They cover my back, arms, legs and stomach. My body was so filled with excess water, and I gained 30 lbs aside from the water weight. After his birth, I noticed that I had loose skin on my abdomen. With a 65 lb weight loss, I now know that it will never go away. I have 7 handfuls of loose abdominal skin that I am so disgusted and ashamed by. I worked incredibly hard to lose the weight, and my body will always be disgusting to look at. I will never look like her. I am strong, I am fit, but my skin is deflated and will always be. That is my excuse why I do not look "fit",but I am in great shape.

Denise Weiss Asmussen

We all take different things from different statements.......I don't feel that she was fat shaming anyone just showing it could be done, Also Randomlady I took from what chocodoxies said is this ...she could post the same kind of statement about being a stay at home mom saying basicly why aren't you a stay at home mom. You took it as only stay at home moms work out all day, if they don't they are a "landwhale" now that statement is fat shaming, saying that if you don't work out you are shaming everyone who isn't fat. People think first then comment we all have different lives, bodies, goals, genic's , and opinions. This world in general has lost it's ability to respect others and assume only our opinion matters and those that disagree are always wrong. To me responses didn't need to be hateful if you didn't like it then don't buy into it. Different things motivate different people, and different opinions make this world go around.

cleig... cleigh717

In a funny way, this could have been a ploy for her two businesses. Because of this controversial post, she is getting major exposure. I have a feeling she is pretty happy that now people will know who she is again. 

Choco... Chocodoxies

Randomlady: Yes, I did read her comment, and this is what I took from it. She has not struggled with her genetics. She was 150lbs before working to this body, she was not "fat". She clearly has a small petite frame, and that is genetic, so she is coming up with her own excuses for being snotty and superior to defend herself. How very hypocritical of her. She had an eating disorder. By including that information she is readily admiting that she puts a very high, and unhealthy, premium on looks, where as other's put a high premium on many other, much healthier, areas of our lives. She believes that the fact that I find her condescending tone to be condescending is in no way her fault. That is confusing. I should have taken that as motivation to put a higher priority on getting a six pack?  

What really bugs me is that she posted the ages of her children, the most important being front and center with 8 months. The point of her picture is that she looks fantastic at 8 months PP. I think it is time that we stop leading women to believe that the first priority after birthing our children is getting back our "sexy" bodies. Every celebrity comes out a week after birth with a "diet plan". When are we going to start letting women understand that it is okay to have your body change slowly, and that there are more important things about being a mother than looking sexy in a bikini after 6 months? 

Choco... Chocodoxies

Denise, you nailed my point. Thank you for clarifying. 

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