Earlier this year Maria Kang took her share of verbal abuse after posting the "What’s Your Excuse?" promotional photo on her website. Now she’s back for more attention — and possible name-calling — with her new 2014 Fit Mom Swimsuit Calendar. The proceeds will go to her nonprofit, Fitness Without Borders, which focuses on fitness education for children, as well as her No Excuse Mom initiative, which offers 300 group-workout locations for mothers across the country.
Reportedly, Kang created the calendar after a Facebook commenter posted the comment: "Watch out Sports Illustrated, the No Excuse Fit Moms are going to take over!" Kang thought it would inspire mothers shaping up during the autumn months if they knew they would be photographed for the calendar as a reward. "I thought it would be a great motivator for many of them before the holidays," she told Yahoo Shine.
Clearly, this former fitness enthusiast puts a great deal of effort into achieving her own fit and toned condition. Granted, she's self-promoting and enjoys posting selfies, but she also makes some very valid points that need to be heard. In a recent Time Magazine article, she says, “Overweight women are now standing up (often half-naked) in defiance, exclaiming: ‘I have a beautiful curvy body’ and ‘This is what a real woman looks like.’ These campaigns send a message that being overweight is normal. ... Constant campaigns promoting self-acceptance and embracing one’s curves are placing the psychological need for a positive body image ahead of health.”
Meanwhile, “Fit Mom” inspires absolute venom from her detractors. On her Facebook page Kang describes herself rather simply as a “dreamer, a wife, a business owner, and a mother who gave birth to sons in 2009, 2010, and 2011. I believe you will get what you put into this life.” Hardly the most incendiary of messages, yet each time she makes a public gesture, a firestorm results. Comments on her new calendar have already begun to seesaw between hatred and love. Among the more articulate comments in the ongoing debate are these:
Only in America do attractive, intelligent, disciplined, and hard working people receive criticism like this woman did. She threatens lazy unhealthy people by showing them that there are no excuses and that the thing holding us all back from health, happiness, and our goals is US! Most people can't handle this kind of frank honesty so they criticize and crawl back under their victim rock. Here is a hint, don't criticize and envy those that have what you want, learn what they did to get it and emulate their success... OH wait, that sounds like WORK! Its almost a New Year! Change starts from within!
I guess I didn't feel the need to put myself on FB or make a calendar after I lost the baby weight. Perhaps because I was focusing on my baby. Imagine that! Why is this news? Can we live our lives and stop pretending we're all on our own little un-reality tv show? Social media is driving self-centeredness thru the roof.
Social media is also driving some weird new-age witch hunts worthy of Salem as occurred after she posted this relatively innocuous comment: "I woke up this morning to news stories about how overweight nearly obese women should be proud of their bodies (as they posed in lingerie). I think we should all accept how any healthy body through good nutrition and exercise manifests but …we need to start celebrating people who are a result of hard work, dedication, and discipline." Nearly immediately, some detractors flagged her post as hate speech, so Facebook blocked her account for three days. Later, the social media site reinstated her account while issuing an apology, but the sequence of events speak for themselves: some anonymous, online person decides another is "politically incorrect" and social media instantly censors her by removing all possibility of self-defense. Is Maria Kang really the threat here?