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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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October 15, 2013 - 6:00 pm
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I don’t really want to write about the mess that is Washington, D.C. So I’ll write about Maria Kang instead.

Maria Kang has three kids. She does not use that or her busy life as an excuse not to whip herself into shape.

Kang posted this photo on Facebook. Some took it as bragging, but but she explains that it was intended to inspire other moms.

kang

 

The three-year-old son cracks me up every time.

She could’ve dressed more modestly, but since the point was to show that she had gotten back to washboard abs after three kids, not much more modestly. It would’ve defeated the purpose of the pic.

The kids serve notice that she isn’t posing just to be a sex object, as they scream (literally, pretty often) “I’m taken!” The words at the top drive the point home.

I wanted to inspire people,” she explains, adding that the “What’s your excuse?” part was simply a borrowed, popular phrase that’s been used in various “fitspiration” campaigns. “I wanted to say, ‘I know you think you don’t have time if you have kids. But if I can do it, you can do it, too.’”

Simple enough, and pretty obvious. But haters, they hate.

The picture has gone viral, with more than 16 million views on Facebook, and has generated more than 12,000 comments. And while much of the input has been of the supportive “you go, girl” variety, plenty of it has been made up of angry, offended personal attacks on the photo subject, calling her everything from “obnoxious” and “fake” to a bad mom and a bully.

That photo doesn’t read “bully.” It reads “happy family” with a side of “Um-hmm.”

Kang responded with one of the best non-apology apologies ever.

“I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer,” she wrote, in part. “What I WILL say is this. 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. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life.”

And the haters, they done gone and hated some more.

That post brought a frenzy of negative responses, including, “Those precious little things need their mommy more than they need you to have glamour muscles,” “Not that I *NEED* an excuse for not working out, but here’s mine you self-righteous idiot … fibromyalgia,” “You are part of the body shaming problem that is going on in North America and other parts of the world,” and “You are a bully with a super inflated sense of your own self.”

All that from one picture? Seriously?

Many others, though, rallied in defense of Kang, with “Never apologize,” “Get a life and leave this woman alone,” and “Well done!” Because of the barrage, Kang has put together a FAQ page about her personal life, with responses to many of the criticisms and accusations she’s become accustomed to hearing. For example: “Do you work?” (Yes. She owns two small residential care facilities for the elderly.) “Do you have a nanny?” (No.) “Are those your kids? They all look different.” (“I have to say this is the funniest comment I’ve read. Of course, my children look like both the mother and father,” she writes. “I am half Malaysian Chinese and Filipina. My husband is a Caucasian mix of German, French, Norwegian and Spanish. They are all my kids.”)

I didn’t post this just for the eye candy. It’s not even really about being in shape, as I’m not there myself. The spirit is often willing but the feet have gotten weak lately.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I'm proud of my "six-pack". But, unlike all these idiots you see, I PROTECT mine with a well-developed layer of healthy, insulating adipose tissue. It took years of work, I can tell you, but it was worth the effort, given the protection it affords my abs from assorted environmental threats.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
My wife and I are in our mid-40's, we work out together three days a week, and we eat very sensibly. We have three children (ages 17-24) and my wife is STILL smoking hot! We have a wonderful life together, and yes, I do know just how lucky I am...when Michael Jordan said, "Just do it!" he wasn't attacked and castigated, he was admired, respected and looked up to...maybe Maria should be as well? You rock on, Maria...

Remember BENGHAZI!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Missed the fb viral; maybe will see it eventually. I have six grown kids and have made efforts to keep in shape. After hearing a million people say "you look great for six kids" or "you don't look like you had six kids" I did some soul searching about why people might say these types of things, as I never heard someone say to an overweight unkempt woman with no children "My, you don't look like a college grad" Apparently, the Margaret Sanger crowd made vast efforts to discredit the Homemaker and discourage motherhood by developing the stereotype of the ugly, fat, uneducated mother (sans teeth and barefoot in the kitchen). This stereotype continues today enhanced by Hollywood and the Nazifemnists who despise a successfully happy woman with more than two children AND a healthy body (especially if she is happily married). It isn't the be all/end all, but it demonstrates a healthy regard for the gift of the body, a determination to excel and the willingness to disregard the naysayers (and man, there are plenty of small minded, mean-spirited, nasty mouthed, envy-driven people out there). I used to be verbally accosted on the streets back in the 80's and 90's by zero-population zealots who thought they could just verbally accost me and I learned how to shut them down with my back. I use the same tactic on trolls. So, go Mariakang!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (70)
All Comments   (70)
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I am a female who used to compete as a weightlifter in the 111 lb weight class - so I know what it takes to be lean and mean - and petite to boot. My team was quite large at one point, the coach was a very inspiring guy - at one time, we had 40 women of all shapes and sizes on the team, all working HARD - including strict diets to get into the lowest weight class. Much like wrestling - power lifters try to get into the lightest class to increase the chances of placing higher. I was fortunate to train alongside women who held US records.

Trust me when I say: there are women out there - usually rather well endowed in the boob department - that can't get lean no matter what. They are usually in the 140-150 weight class: tall, big boned, wide shouldered - big boobs. I trained alongside women like this for years. They were dedicated women who lived on skinless chicken breasts and broccoli for months on end...hours of cardio on top of the weightlifting - and STILL had a layer of fat that just wouldn't go away.

I'd love for some of these posters here, who seem convinced that any woman over 10% body fat is an out of shape slob, to approach some of these women - and tell them TO THEIR FACES they are "not fit"!!!!! You'd soon find out how "fit" that slightly overweight woman, who could probably break your arm, really is.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Damn good job maria kang. be proud.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good for her.

Unfortunately my six pack turned into a keg.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
No matter how shaped or sized
women are always to be prized.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't understand the negative comments...and for the person who says she can't work out because of fibromyalgia....BS... working out and eating healthy foods is the only way to conquer it and rid yourself of the daily pain. I spent 2 1/2 months barely able to get out of bed until a friend recommended trying a natural method... I work out 3 days per week and eat non-inflammatory foods now.... and have little to no pain. It's also nice to feel good in your clothes when you kick off sedentary lifestyle weight.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow! Even some people here are whining. It doesn't take much for an American to feel threatened nowadays. Look at high school yearbook activities photos from circa 1970 to see why so many people are eligible to feel put out - no fat people. Then add in the blame, complaint and self-pity of political correctness plaguing our society to see why they act on it.

I was just researching some old pulp illustrator named Norm Saunders. He hitchhiked to Minneapolis from far northern MN and got a job at Fawcett as a young man. Then he saved money and went to New York where the publishing action was and made a career. No connections, no money, just sheer will power.

That story is typical of biographies you read of successful people. Today it's all racism and sexism and body-shaming and oppression and blah-blah-blah and I don't have privilege.

Political correctness appeals to people with mental health issues and no brains because the central core of PC is paranoia, and obsession with moral high ground and the idea that only you and your small cadre of fat, naive friends know what social justice is.

The idea this woman did anything to anybody in even the smallest measure is laughable.

Wrap your knees in Ace bandages, get a tattoo and hope no one ever confers the death sentence of having you play a softball double-header. This woman is proud and successful, and today, that alone makes her some kind of oppressor, empire-builder, genocide-enabler, and if she was white and a man, a racist and a sexist too.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
People look at a picture and see themselves. Often they think, 'I'm fat, ugly and no one will love me'. I hate my life, I hate my life, I hate my life........

First order of business is acknowledge who you are, where you are, and how you feel about it. Whining is equal parts self-delusion and self-pitying resentment. Honesty is accepting deficiencies of self AS TRUE deficiencies and the source of one's resentment. Character is resolving to do something constructive about it.......
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Life is better when you don't take offense where none was intended.

There is a meme/series of photos with the same theme. They show folks with various vary good reasons for not working out that do. An incredibly fit 75 years old, an Iraq war veteran with missing limbs, a cancer victim in the midst of treatment, all with the tag line --- What's your excuse?

All meant to motivate folks who have that desire to get in better shape but have been putting it off.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
So you're attempting to make a correlation of an Iraqi war vet amputee and a fit mother?

Wow.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't see why people have to post the hatred. OK, maybe some people feel bad that they aren't as successful as she is, but the haters are probably the very people who need a kick in the butt. Some people will look at her and feel inspired and encouraged, particularly if she is posting HOW she did it, which might help some to break through their plateaus. For those who are doing the best they can and still have reasons that they struggle (and I've known people who really do have medical reasons - a friend of mine is taking steroids for a medical condition and she's ballooned since starting them despite continuing to exercise and eat moderately) - then simply ignore her. Wasting energy spewing hatred is unproductive.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't see why people, well, adults anyway, have to equate disagreement with hatred.

Note to Shefali - adulthood called, and it's looking for you.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've got 0 issue with her picture or what she's doing. She has a website - and what does better for your traffic than generating a conversation? - and she wants clicks and I bet she's got what she's wanted on that front. Also her post was probably directed at people who want to get healthy but make excuses at every turn. In the end though Haters gonna Hate.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I take Maria Kang's message as generally positive. She shows that having children, 3 of them, doesn't necessarily destroy the shape of a woman's body. I'm convinced that the more typical loss of physical appearance with pregnancy and childbirth plays a part in birthrates below replacement in the West.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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