By now, you’ve probably seen this picture of fitness enthusiast and mother of three Maria Kang, complete with the line “What’s your excuse?” printed above her trim, toned self. The image has garnered more than 16 million views on Facebook and over 12,000 comments. While a fair amount of those comments are positive and supportive, many accuse Kang of contributing to the culture of “fat shaming”, and call her a “bully” and worse.
It’s not news that Americans have an obsession with our bodies, especially those of women, and any supermarket magazine can demonstrate our hyper-focus on the ways in which women’s bodies change with pregnancy and motherhood; every other headline is about someone ballooning up while growing a human being inside them, or about the remarkable speed at which a celebrity mom “got her body back.” Given the unrealistic expectations that women are exposed to every day, Kang told Yahoo’s Shine that she could understand why some women reacted as defensively as they did.
“I think people struggle with their weight…When you add on being a mother — and the pressures we face to have it all and be everything, including fit — the expectations are so high. I think some moms saw the picture and just said, ‘This is ridiculous.’”
But what she intended, she said, was something else entirely. Read more