Obesity is a hot topic in American news. Whether it is shocking facts of the dangerous obesity epidemic or yet another diet fad, media is riddled with people talking about weight and fitness. With the discussions of how to better one’s health, internet users have created concepts such as ‘fat shaming’ and ‘skinny shaming.’ Very fit people have tried to spur overweight people into action through fat shaming, and others have responded by skinny shaming those who they deem to be unhealthily thin. The back-and-forth has spiked arguments throughout the virtual world, some getting more attention than others.
Maria Kang has three boys all under the age of five. Anybody who has spent time with young children knows that they are time consuming. It is often difficult for new parents to take care of themselves because they have little time to do anything other than take care of their kids. Maria Kang has defied this stereotype.
Kang posted a picture of herself online with the caption “What’s your excuse?” It is clear from the photo that she is in very good shape, especially when considering her status as a mother. The picture shows her in little clothing to show off her high level of fitness. As anything online, this photo is not private, and many people have seen it. Kang’s picture has over 16,000 comments and more than 12,000 shares, which puts the picture at a viral level.
Because of the large audience, one would expect a variance in opinions about the photo. The controversy between positive and negative reactions was the driving force behind the popularity of this Kang’s picture. Some felt very offended by the implied criticism of the caption “What’s your excuse?” The backlash was comments that accused Kang of having a narrow mind of what people should looks like. Commenters said that she had no right to shame other for not being as fit as she was, and that her posting of the picture was unacceptable and rude. Others jumped to Kang’s defense; many said that she was just trying to inspire people towards a healthier life. Kang’s supporters claim that her post motivated them to get in shape and make better decisions for their health.
Kang came out with an apology that reads more like a follow up. She says that it was the viewers’ choice to be offended by the picture and that she “didn’t create” the offensive ideals, but that those who criticized her did. Is it fair to criticize a woman trying to inspire healthier choices? Or was it offensive of Kang to call out anyone who doesn’t look like her?
Mom Photo Causes Social Media Controversy. (2013, October 15). Fox News Philadelphia. Retrieved from http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/23695193/mothers-photo-causes-social-media-controversy