This story has been hitting my FB feed all day long: Hot Mom Defends Herself Against Facebook Haters. Maria Kang, a fitness lover and mother of three, posted a Photoshopped picture of herself with her washboard abs and three kids under a caption that reads, “What’s Your Excuse?” FB readers got mad, saying that she was being arrogant and making women feel bad about themselves. The photo itself is okay, but when the words “What’s Your Excuse?” are on the top of the photo, it makes it seem like she’s bragging.
Some readers wrote in, saying that they had afflictions such as cancer and fibromyalgia that prevented them from looking like that. Kang basically offered a non-apology apology, basically giving them the finger:
“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.”
Yup, it’s their fault they have cancer and fibromyalgia.
This woman obviously doesn’t have serious problems with her genetics–some people can’t achieve that kind of body no matter what they do. It has little to do with health: some female professional athletes are larger and in fine shape, but they happen not to fit the mold of what American society deems beautiful. From her comment, it seems Kang is not dying from cancer either–she’d most likely be a little more sensitive if she were. Yet she rubs it in, how great she is, how much better she is, how superior her attitude is, and “what’s your excuse?” Her entire blog is written that way–how she overcame this or that, how she met her husband who is so inspiring, how she dealt with this or that problem. It’s all about her and how great she is. And what about issues of able-ism and race? If she had been born without legs or was only four feet tall, she wouldn’t have an image advantage. If she had bad skin, she wouldn’t have an image advantage. If she weren’t a White, Caucasian-looking Latina, or (to a certain extent) Asian female in America, she wouldn’t have an image advantage. These advantages have nothing to do with her hard work, and everything to do with a situation into which she was born.
If you have a talent or advantage, you should either:
a) Use it to help people
b) Use it to help only yourself
Either choice is fine, but you shouldn’t be flaunting it and trying to shame other people for not matching up against an ideal that fate gave you. It’s similar to the whole Jock Challenge notion–if you can do it, do it. But don’t use it to push other people down.