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Facebook Bully

Okay, I’m sure most of you have heard about this by now. This woman, Maria Kang, is a fitness model and blogger with 3 kids. She posted this picture to her Facebook page and it went viral:

mariakang

 

That’s her and her three children. She’s obviously pointing out that 3 kids is hard work yet she finds the time to bust her buns to look as good as she looks. That photo enraged some people. People responded to the photo with their gillions of excuses about why they didn’t look like her. I’m not really going to talk about the picture, but I will say, I assume she was speaking to the millions of people out there who are perfectly healthy and able bodied individuals. Was it in an obnoxious way? Maybe. I’m personally not offended by it. Three kids sounds incredibly challenging so I don’t doubt she worked hard to stay fit.

Anyway, she posted another thing recently about campaigns featuring (what she claims are) obese women in lingerie. She goes on a rant about how we should stop celebrating these body types because they’re unhealthy. Here’s what she wrote (Here are the pictures):

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 I’m starting to get annoyed and here’s why:

1. We have a health issue in America with over 2/3 overweight or obese.

2. We have a healthcare crisis. We spend over 3 trillion in healthcare yearly!

3. We have a childhood obesity issue, with many children suffering from adult diseases like diabetes.

4. We have magazines everywhere praising the celebrity (with all her resources) for being fit after months of giving birth and scorn the “real every day mom” who is able to be successful.

5. We keep blaming the culprit (school lunches, fast food, etc) when the real change starts at home – ESP those who lead, which are the parents.

There are some serious contradictions in our society. I know many people still get riled up with me and my convictions but the truth is I KNOW how it is to work your ass off and not have energy at the end of your day. I know how it feels to be overweight and not drop an ounce after years of disordered eating. I know how difficult it is to raise multiple children – all born a year apart – and make my fitness and nutrition a priority. Lastly, I know how it feels like to grow up with an unhealthy mother wondering if she will live to see your wedding day.

I know it’s hard. I know it’s not easy to break habits and build new ones. I know your environment challenges you and I know making your health a priority amongst the many priorities to stay afloat in today’s world is difficult. But I will tell you this: IT IS WORTH IT.

We need to change this strange mentality we are breeding in the U.S. and start celebrating people who are a result of hard work, dedication and discipline. I’m not bashing those who are proud and overweight, I am empowering those who are proud and healthy to come out and be the real role models in our society. (Vent done)

 

She was blocked from Facebook after posting that.

Reader’s claimed that she was “fat shaming.” I wouldn’t really consider what she wrote to be “fat shaming.” I think she’s just trying to point out how serious obesity is and at some point, people need to take responsibility for themselves. I have to say, I agree with her on that. If you love your body and you’re considered overweight, then that’s fine. But (almost) promoting obesity, is not okay. Obesity kills people in this country everyday. It would be nice to sit here and encourage obese (I mean obese…not chubby) people to love their bodies but to love their bodies, they have to take care of them. Obesity will kill you. That’s just the bottom line. I understand that it’s easier said than done, but people have to take responsibility.

Of course, I understand a million things can get in your way whether that’s underlying health issues or simply a consuming job. There may have been other ways to point out the seriousness of obesity, but this is how she chose to express herself.

I don’t know about you, but I have seen a million other Facebook posts that are actually offensive. In my opinion, this kind of seems a bit childish. Like, “I don’t like what you’re saying so I’m kicking you off.” Was that necessary?

I went to her blog and read some comments posted below her posts. After reading the comments, I’m not even close to offended by what Maria herself wrote. Here are some comments from classy readers (head’s up there is language):

you are an ugly cunt – inside AND OUT

I hope your (not cute) kids are all huge

That’s nice, bring the kids into it.

C’mon, you are a judgemental fool who thinks we are dumb enough to think your hate filled rant is meant as inspiration. Maybe your parents didnt take care of themselves because they didnt want to spoend too much time with your self centered insulting self? You are sick and mean and derve whatever negative backlash is sent your way. You embody the stereotype of cold hearted asians thinking they are superior to others. GET A LIFE LOSER!

So…she was fat bashing but I’m pretty sure you’re Asian-bashing?

I like this comment:

If you (the generic you) find Maria’s writing so offensive, how about just not reading it? Is someone holding a gun to your head forcing you to read her Facebook page? If so, blink twice and we’ll send help. If not, STFU about how she’s oppressing you (cue Life of Brian clip in head).

And unsourced statistics about random disease X causing you and everyone else in America to be fat (except, apparently, Maria) don’t do anything except make everyone else think you are just making shit up to feel better about your pathetic life.

Kind of harsh, but so are the other comments.

 

What do you think about her picture and Facebook post? Offensive? 

Here is a link to her blog.

 

 

8 comments to Facebook Bully

  • katy

    I agree with her message. Of course she did it in a way that asked for criticism. But, she’s right. People get so upset about the cost of health care in the country, not even realizing that being overweight is a huge component of the high costs. (I work at Blue Cross and the analytics on this are astounding). My company is even paying us bonuses next year to lower our BMI! Crazy.

    I have an 18 month old and I find the time every day to work out. I just had to learn to put me first. Work can wait, laundry can wait, watching Homeland can wait. Just get on the treadmill and work it for 30 minutes each day. Not that hard. And you feel so much better when you do!

  • Jennifer

    I saw her on several talk shows and am now of the opinion that she is being intentionally controversial for the notoriety. I agree as fitness enthusiast and a RN that obesity can significantly increase morbidity and premature mortality rates but am not so naive to think that the public does not already know this. We all make choices.

  • As someone who was overweight in the past I really know how hard it is to make that mental shift, to take responsibility, to – in my case – stop making excuses and to take charge of your fitness. I changed my ways through positive encouragement, through people making me feel able to change – not by being made to feel ashamed of how I was handling my weight issues. The whole “what’s your excuse” line, to me, smacks of infinite smugness. People’s “excuses” might be very valid, very big time. They might also just be struggling and would be far more grateful for a helping hand rather than someone basically saying “I can do it, so you’re failure because you can’t”. Equating moral value to weight is a common thread in much of this kind of debate and bit bothers me. Slimmer, fitter people are not “better” people.

    10 years on from changing my life and habits my life has changed incredibly for the better. Becoming fit and strong and setting and achieving goals has changed my outlook on life and how I interact with myself and others. I now help others achieve their goals but NEVER by making them feel any shame or embarrassment about how they look or how much they’re costing “the system”. Believe me, they know. The guilt about not changing your lifestyle is often another reason people feel crippled about making changes.

    Finally – I’ve run 10 marathons, lost a lot of weight and am training for my first Ironman. Sure my body looks better, but it’s not about looking hot in a bikini for me. I wish her all the best on her personal journey in fitness and I think the racist and offensive emails and comments she is getting are uncalled for. I don’t think she should be banned from Facebook – hers is a point of view and could start a real genuine debate. But I don’t agree with her approach, at all, and I don’t think it will help a single obese or even overweight person change their lifestyle.

    • I think you bring up a good point about embarrassing people. I don’t know if she meant to shame or embarrass anyone but I personally would feel so terrible if I ever embarrassed or humiliated someone because of their weight. It’s basically kicking someone when they’re down. It’s for sure a touchy subject. I do think this girl in particular is purposely trying to create buzz in order to further her career (or whatever she’s doing. I’m sure it’ll be short lived). Thank you for your comment!

  • Incidentally – I think yours is the most thoughtful and thoughtprovoking post I’ve seen on this topic so far. I’ve been following this story and your comments made me crystallise my thoughts. I’ll be following what others think.

  • Jennifer

    Petra I think your post speaks volumes…words we can all learn by. I struggle all the time in knowing how to appropriately help those who ASK. Usually I come off as way too enthusiastic and overwhelm them …lol. Fit people ( or gym rats as I like to call us ) are NOT better people, we just have different priorities and perhaps are actually more selfish ( but in a good way ). We (speaking for myself ) are trying to learn how to find balance for self, family and faith.

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