Maria Kang, an exercise-loving mother of three, was banned from Facebook recently after posting a rant on her page against a lingerie campaign intended to promote and celebrate “real beauty” through plus-sized women. Kang said that the photos were promoting unhealthy living and sending the message that being “borderline obese” is okay. In response, Facebook deemed her message “hate speech,” and took her page down for 48 hours.
“The popular and unrelenting support received to those who are borderline obese (not just 30-40 lbs. overweight) frustrates me as a fitness advocate who intimately understands how poor health negatively affects a family, a community, and a nation," Kang said, according to News 10 in California. "While I think it's important to love and accept your body, I was a little peeved because I think that we're normalizing obesity in our society.”
Kang, who says she was previously a personal trainer, is a fitness enthusiast. She says she works out about 30 to 60 minutes a day to stay healthy for herself and her family. Kang recently gained notoriety after her now-infamous “What’s your excuse?” photo, which depicted her kneeling over in a sports bra and shorts with her children, went viral. Her photo drew criticism from moms who thought that the caption was an attack on less-fit moms.
“People like you who post pictures like this make people like me cry because I know that without surgery to lose the extra skin I will never look like you,” one commenter wrote under the photo. “So what’s my excuse? I do not have the same great genetics you do.”
But after a few moms criticized the photo, which Kang said she intended to be inspirational and not hurtful, she issued an intentional non-apology to what she described as “haters.” “What you interpret is not MY fault. It's yours,” she wrote. “The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn't create them. You created them.”
And now, just two months later, Kang is at the center of another controversy. According to the NY Daily News, the fit mom was referencing a campaign by Curvy Girl Lingerie that asked “unphotoshopped and regular women” to post selfies of themselves in sexy lingerie. Kang saw the campaign and immediately took to Facebook to vent her disapproval. After a user reported the rant as “hate speech,” Facebook temporarily took the page down. Later, the social networking site apologized for its actions.
"A user reported content on her page, and it was mistakenly removed by Facebook,” the site said in a statement, according to News 10. “When we realized the error we corrected it immediately, and restored full access to Ms. Kang. We apologize for the inconvenience."
Kang’s comments were removed, but Facebook welcomed her to re-post them if she chose. Kang says that she would prefer for Facebook to put the comments back up since they are the ones who took it down.