Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Maria Kang and "fat shaming"...

I had seen Maria Kang's picture on my Facebook and really didn't think too much of it.  For those who don't know, Maria Kang is a mother of three kids under age three and she is very fit.  She posted a photo of herself in boy shorts and a bra surrounded by her kids with the caption "What's your excuse?"

Apparently, Ms. Kang has a business helping people get fit and showing that motherhood is no excuse to be flabby.  While many people have congratulated her for her narcissistic photos, others have claimed she is "fat shaming".  Honestly, I saw the photo and moved on, but then a friend on Facebook shared Maria Kang's response to the nay sayers.

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

Here are my "Frequently Asked Comments" here:http://www.mariakang.com/2012/10/15/maria-kangs-facs-frequently-asked-comments/


Here's what I have to say about Kang's response.  I think it's great that she has a fit body and is obviously happy with herself.  If she can make money off her "hot" image, good for her.  But, I also think that she and many of her admirers demonstrate a lack of compassion for those who are struggling with their weight.  Losing weight is not easy and it's a complex and painful issue for a lot of people.  Add in the fact that there are so many judgmental assholes out there who think they have the right to outwardly hate people for their size and you have a vicious cycle of people who hate the way they look and eat or drink too much because it temporarily makes them feel better.  Being rude to them is not going to break that cycle.

Everybody has a cross to bear.  I'm really sick of people who feel like they have the right to be so hateful to others when they have no idea what they're dealing with.  I get that many people are overweight or obese because of their lifestyle choices.  However, I don't think that being insulting or mean to fat people is a way to motivate them to change.  It's really just a form of socially accepted abuse that reveals the fear that someday, they might be in the same boat for whatever reason.

There will be many who are motivated by Maria Kang's photo.  If they are able to achieve what she has, more power to them.  But a lot of people will hold her up as an example and be bitterly disappointed when they don't even come close to achieving Kang's sculpted look.  They can change their diet and exercise forever, but still not look like they're 20 years old.  And they will still have to listen to shitty, holier than thou comments from other people who think they know why they look the way they do or what their personal issues are.  People are often unkind and everybody has their own idea of who should be considered fat and ugly or thin and beautiful.  To some people, a size 12 is fat.  To others, it's an unattainable goal.

Maria Kang is a hottie; there is no denying that.  I'm sure that whoever fathered her three kids is in love with her body.  Looks like Maria Kang is in love with her body, too.  And that's great.  I hope she stays nice and healthy and never has to take drugs that cause her to gain weight or make her hungry all the time.  I hope she stays optimally healthy and hot, even as she ages and her metabolism slows down.  For all I know, she may be hot and sexy on the day she dies.  Good for her.  That's her victory.  I truly hope the work that goes into maintaining that look is worth it to her and makes her happy and successful.

But-- other people can't achieve that standard and they shouldn't have to feel like they need to emulate her.  She posts her photo on Facebook and people make negative comments.  And she's right that their comments are their own and have to do with their own issues.  But I think I can see why people are insulted by her.  Obviously, their negative comments bothered her.  If they didn't, she wouldn't have bothered with her "non-apology", which encouraged all the haters out there to chime in with how fat people are fat solely because they are weak and lazy.  I'm here to tell you, folks; that's not the only reason people get fat.

Also, fat people are not necessarily "unhealthy", nor are thin people automatically "healthy".  Who gets to determine what "healthy" is, anyway?  I'm "fat" and I haven't had to take prescription drugs since 2004.  The drugs I was taking in 2004 were antidepressants, which I took because I was clinically depressed over trying to be someone I wasn't.  I have never been hospitalized and am able to do just about anything I want to do.  Am I "unhealthy" because I don't meet some weight standard or visual test that other people have determined is acceptable?  I don't think so.


Do I look unhealthy or unhappy in this recent photo?

As for me, I've got bigger fish to fry.  My husband loves me for who I am.  Would I like to lose weight and look better?  Yeah, that would be nice.  But if I do it, it's for me and my health, not because I want other people to think I'm "hot".  At 41, my days of wanting to be a sex goddess are long over.  I spent too many years trying to be something I'm not.  I'd like to be contented about myself for once in my life.

10 comments:

  1. She sounds like a really irritating person.

    I have an uncule whose weight places him in the unhealthy range, yet his cholesterol, triglicerides, glucose lvels, and all numbers excepts the numbers that scales give him are good. Who's to say that he wouldn't somehow be less healthy overall if he weighed less?

    You look very beautiful in your picture. Your face might look less pretty if you were bony.

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    1. Thanks Alexis. I will tell you that back when I first got treatment for depression, I had lost a lot of weight because I was waiting tables and working my ass off. I looked great and was still considered overweight, though even my doctor told me I wasn't bad at all. But I was never so sick so often as I was back then. I was constantly in the doctor's office. That was the only time in my life I almost got hospitalized (for cellulitis on my face). I was also VERY depressed.

      I would love to be thin because being thin is easier than being fat is, socially speaking. But having struggled with self esteem and eating disordered behaviors in my younger days, I just don't think it's worth it anymore. I want to be healthy and apparently, I am. At least for now, anyway.

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  2. My initial response to this woman's photo was: "I don't have an excuse because I feel no need to justify my choices or my body to anyone." When I saw her non-apology I posted this on my Facebook:

    The problem, Madam Insensitive, is the part where you take your personal success for your personal goals and then use them to be an ass to people who don't share your priorities. As I said the first time I saw this meme -- I don't have an "excuse" because I see no need to justify or explain my physical appearance to you or anyone else.

    The sad thing is that instead of using your personal success for your personal goals to be encouraging and uplifting you have turned it into a blaming and shaming experience. But you are the one who should be ashamed.

    (And just a note: It's not the "image" that's being hated here -- it's your message. I'm happy for you that you have a figure you're proud of. Nothing wrong with that. It does not, however, give you any grounds to judge the figure another person has. You are YOU and believe me, sister, you've got problems just like the rest of us. They just don't happen to be gathered around your middle.)

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    1. "I don't have an "excuse" because I see no need to justify or explain my physical appearance to you or anyone else."

      "...believe me, sister, you've got problems just like the rest of us. They just don't happen to be gathered around your middle."

      AWESOME! Way to go, Rebeckah! You rock!!!

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  3. I linked to your blog in mine! I needed a reference to the Maria Kang controversy. All the news sites were so full of ads I didn't feel good about linking to them. I loved your blog so I used it as a reference. Thank you for writing it! http://theskinnyonline.blogspot.com/2013/11/halloween-candy-moderation.html

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    1. Glad you liked my post! Thanks for leaving a comment and linking!

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  4. If losing weight was so hard why does she look like a goddess after 3 kids? Also all of you people complaining are just jealous of her and she is probably laughing all the way to the bank after all this media exposure

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    1. Mike, not everyone has the desire or ability to lose weight to the point at which they "look like a goddess". If that's what she wants to do, good for her. I really don't give a shit. Some folks have other things they'd rather do with their time.

      I don't have a problem with Maria Kang's desire to work out and look great or even her desire to make money. I even said so in my post. Did you read it?

      I don't think it's very smart for you to assign emotions to perfect strangers. How do you know how I feel? To my knowledge, we've never met.

      I think Maria Kang's got an uphill and ultimately fruitless battle on her hands if it's really her goal to just "look like a goddess". There's always going to be someone out there who is thinner, prettier, or "hotter". Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Men who are evolved understand that and don't just focus on what the outside of a person looks like. On behalf of women everywhere, I wish you luck in your continuing quest to evolve to neanderthal status.

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