The “What’s Your Excuse?” Controversy

by Elizabeth on October 16, 2013

So have you fitties weighed in on the whole shitstorm surrounding this picture?

excuse

 

Maria Kang, a fit mom of 3 cutie pie babies, is taking a lot of heat for this picture. Some people are calling her a body-shamer, some are calling her a bully. Some are defending her and saying the haters need to get the hell over it. But basically, she’s pissed a lot of people off.

It’s interesting that Ms. Kang is a former beauty pageant and fitness competitor who has had problems with an eating disorder in the past. If she’s received treatment for that disorder (and I hope she has), then she surely would know how unhelpful and even dangerous images such as these can be for women. Especially when paired with the taunting message “What’s your excuse?” It conveys the message that all women should and can look like she does and, if they don’t, it’s not anyone’s fault but theirs. (Never mind that, for most women, to have abs like hers would leave that bra top slightly on the empty side).

For many women, Kang’s figure is probably something that’s nice, like a Louis Vuitton bag that costs $1,000.00. But for many women, they have things like a mortgage or an old water heater that needs replacing. And for those women, the energy that would go into counting the macros and calories to get to Ms. Kang’s level of enviable leanness is probably better spent elsewhere, just like that $1,000.

So we settle for a body that is healthy, happy, fits decently into our jeans and we move on with the rest of our lives. Because our biggest accomplishment in life should not be our percentage of body fat. (I think I need to make that the motto of this blog).

Kang has offered the classic non-apology (“I’m sorry you took this in a negative way…”) and she says her intent was simply to say, “If I can do it, you can do it too.” And I think that message is more helpful. The tone is completely different than “What’s your excuse?” It says, hey, you may not need to look like an underwear model, but no matter what your fitness goals are, if I can do this, you can accomplish your goals too. It’s not holding herself up as what women should be striving for (which her original image, in my opinion, kind of did). Frankly, my excuse for not looking like Ms. Kang is 1) I’m pregnant, so no, I cannot look like her no matter how hard I try. It’s not an excuse, it’s called REALITY. I can think positively and believe with all my heart and visualize myself flying as I jump off the roof but I won’t fly, I’ll just hit the ground. Hard.

And, most importantly, 2) I don’t wanna look like her. She looks great, but I know what she has to do to look like that, I’ve eaten the way she has to eat to look like that and it’s not a fun life. It’s a self-absorbed, OMG my husband put TWO egg yolks in my omelette instead of just one and now my whole day is ruined because I’ve had OMGSOMUCHFAT.

This is just my two cents here… I think the tone of her original picture was a bit braggy and jerky and probably counter-productive to what she wanted to accomplish. If she’d been doing pull-ups from a wheel chair under the caption “What’s your excuse?” that might have been different. But it’s just a picture of a fit, pretty girl with professional hair and makeup styling calling the rest of the female world out for not being fit, pretty and professionally styled like she is. That’s not really a great character achievement. Pull-ups from a wheel chair = character achievement. Showing off youth, fitness and beauty = yay you. You stuck to a diet.

But maybe I’m just a fat jealous hater who doesn’t think it’s worth it to live off of egg whites and broccoli just so I can pose with my babies to get attention on the internet. 

Your thoughts?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth Oconitrillo October 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Amen, sister!

Reply

Kimberly Paine October 16, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Posts like this are why I love you!

Reply

T October 17, 2013 at 9:11 am

Love <3

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