If you watch the news or read the news, or browse Facebook regularly, you’ve probably heard of Maria Kang, the mom of three little boys who asks all of us, “What’s your excuse?” – she posted a half-naked picture of herself with her three boys on her Facebook page with this caption.
When I first read the story, I didn’t think it was my place to comment on it. First of all, I’m not a mom, and second of all, I’m a blogger who regularly promotes the benefits of working out — I didn’t want to seem like a hypocrite if I said anything negative about her post.
But then, the more I thought about it, the more I realized what was wrong with the whole thing. After I saw her speak on Bethenny, I became a little angry. She’s beautiful, but anything but inspiring.
I cannot help but wonder, who takes a picture in a skimpy outfit when surrounded by three little boys? Do you think that she would’ve staged the photo the same if she had three little girls? All I know is, if found an old picture of my mom in a skimpy outfit with my sisters and I placed strategically around her, I would be mortified. Not only mortified, but I would also immediately start to compare myself to her. My mom got her pre-pregnancy body back after having my sisters and I, but she didn’t need to take a revealing photo to prove it. If Maria Kang had daughters, I wonder if she’d feel differently about what she did.
Then, I thought, who was her intended audience? On “Bethenny,” she claimed that she was just changing her profile picture for fun. Hmm. It’s pretty clear that she wanted attention. But, was she trying to target overweight moms, or was she trying to join forces with other moms who look like her? I’m not sure.
This is what really bothers me — I’m 25, I don’t have kids, I work out regularly, and I don’t look like Maria Kang. When I first saw her picture, my reaction was, “What is she doing that I’m not?” I found myself caught in the comparison trap, just as I assume her kids would someday, if she had daughters instead of sons. That’s not okay.
While her picture is one issue, the caption is another. I’m not sure that it’s fair to ask us, “What’s your excuse?” There are so many other factors, besides fitness, that aren’t being taken into account. She never mentions her eating habits. She has a history of bulimia; how do we know that she’s not depriving herself now? We don’t. We don’t know how tall she is either. If she’s only 5’1,” it’s only natural that someone’s who 5’10,” or even 5’5,” will not be built like her.
With all of that being said, I do believe that every woman has the ability to be her best self. Maybe that means doing yoga three days a week and having a vegetarian lifestyle, maybe that means spinning five days a week and eating a paleo diet, or maybe that means eating everything in moderation and going for family walks everyday. All of us have the ability to be healthy and fit, but only we, as individuals, know what that looks like.
It’s hard enough growing up as a girl in this world. We need to join together and embrace all body types, instead of putting ourselves down because we don’t look like what the media tells us to look like (those pictures are airbrushed anyway).
What do you think?
For a funny, straight to the point response to Maria Kang’s post, check out this article from TODAY.