|photo property of Maria Kang at MariaKang.com|
so there is a lot of controversy over this woman's photo, which reads
"What's Your Excuse?" Some are upset and offended and some think those who are
upset or offended are "just jealous."
My take is this: There
are millions of "fitspiration" photos all over the web. I've even shared
some here. They all show women with model bodies. I'd rather see a
photo of an overweight mother who is jogging in the park while pushing
one kid in a stroller and having the other riding a bike beside her with
the words "No excuses" than yet another photo implying "If you only
worked harder, you too could look like this!"
According to the
woman in the middle of the controversy, I not only have more kids than
her, I workout more than she does. And guess what? My body will never
look like hers. Every body is different. Every mind is different.
Healthy on one person will not look the same as healthy on another
Yes, we shouldn't be making excuses not to be as
healthy as we are capable of being. But that doesn't mean we will ever
look like her. And that's a good thing. She suffers from anorexia (or as
she says, she used to suffer from it). Her body should NOT be the
ideal. No one shape should be the ideal.
The problem with these
"fitspiration" photos is that they propagate this unrealistic ideal
body, the same unrealistic ideal body that we women have had thrown in
our faces for decades now by the media. I just want to tell the media,
"Enough! Show me real women of ALL sizes!"
I don't want my
daughters to grow up thinking that their bodies aren't good enough
because photos like these keep circulating around, implying that they
should look more like the photos.
I do, however, understand
what Maria Kang was trying to do with her photo. She was trying to be
motivational. Her intentions were good. And yes, she looks fabulous. So
all of the people being mean to her are misguided. Her intention was
only to say, "Leave your excuses behind and do something." She's trying
to show that, although she could have used her children as excuses not
to work out, she didn't. It's not entirely her fault that her body fits
perfectly into the media ideal that we are all so tired of being
compared to. So stop hating her.
I have, in the past, made the statement that, "If I can do it, anyone can." I am told now, by others and through comments they have made on similar statements made by someone other than me, that this is not helpful and some are offended by these kinds of statements. So I guess I know where Maria Kang was coming from in a way. I was trying to be inspirational, and for some, that statement made by me WAS inspirational, but for others, it was offensive. I only meant, when I said the phrase, to show how I had overcome many obstacles to achieve what I achieved and that I felt that, as someone who had never really achieved anything beforehand and as someone raising a larger-than-most family, if others could see what I had achieved maybe they could believe in their ability to achieve success too. I did NOT mean to say that there was anything wrong with someone who hadn't achieved the weight loss. I did NOT mean to say that everyone's journey would be anything like my own, and I did NOT mean to say that anyone should be striving to look like me. (Most of you wouldn't want my stretch marks, loose skin or freckles anyway.)