In this Internet-centric world, it is easy for anyone to input their opinion on practically anything. For one Sacramento mother of three, this phenomenon turned ugly after she posted a picture of herself showing off her toned body in workout gear with her three young children sitting nearby. “What’s your excuse?” is written in large font across the top of the picture.
The mom in the picture, Maria Kang, 32, posted the shot to her Facebook page to try to inspire others to be as healthy and as physically fit as they can be. Although many people saw the inspiration in the picture, there were plenty of others who did not.
“You are part of the body shaming problem that is going on in North American and other parts of the world,” one angry viewer wrote. “You are a bully with a super inflated sense of your own self,” another said. Many have accused her of being a bad mom.
Kang recently reposted the year-old photo to her own Facebook page to apologize if people took offense when she was merely intending to motivate others to find a way to make fitness a part of their everyday lives, no matter how much they have going on. “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,” she wrote.
In an interview with Yahoo Shine, Kang also said that she understands why people are immediately so defensive when it comes to body image issues. “I think people struggle with their weight…when you add on being a mother—and the pressure we face to have it all and be everything, including fit—the expectations are so high.”
Why is it so wrong for Kang to celebrate her accomplishments? She owns two businesses, has overcome a battle with bulimia, raises three children without the help of a nanny, and fights against genetics to look as good as she looks. She and her husband have also struggled with a traumatic brain injury he got in Iraq that prevents him from working. Is it any better for these critics to judge her because of her fit body than it is for them to accuse her of judging them for not being fit?
Weight is a sensitive topic for practically anyone and it is easy to place the blame on others when we do not feel good about ourselves. Maria Kang is doing her part to encourage people to maintain a healthy lifestyle even when the haters try to hate on all of her hard work and dedication.