What’s Your Excuse?

feb06a8d-e7ad-495d-8841-d859157ac54f_What-s-Your-Excuse

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.

54 thoughts on “What’s Your Excuse?

  1. Could we just dismiss people like this as being of no consequence and pay them absolutely no mind?

  2. Playing right into sexist status quo structure? Check.

    Playing right into racist status quo structure? Check.

    Well done. No wonder white people love Asians above all other minorities. We’re their useful idiots.

  3. Some people are just vain.

    Byron, ReCAPTCHA is running out of combinations. I got the same one today that I failed already. Okay failed again.

  4. That’s how people feel better about themselves. Fit people like to put down people who are not as fit by labeling them as lazy. These people are not at all insightful just plain vanity with a bad attitude.

  5. I’m gonna do something crazy and jeopardize my feminist cred for a sec. For the vast majority of cases, Maria Kang is not wrong.

    Not in the “let me show you hot you are”/”what’s your excuse for not being hot” thing. Because fuck the beauty ideal thing. When I first saw that image, I interpreted it as — what’s your excuse for not being in the gym right now?

    There is a HUGE swath of America that needs to be asked “What’s your excuse?” for not hitting the gym. What’s your excuse for not exercising and taking care of your body and actually owning your health issues. Because, if you divorce the fact that everyone saw this picture as shameless self-promotion of how hot Kang thinks she is, if you take the picture from the perspective of being fit, Kang is obviously more fit than the vast majority of America, which can’t run 1 mile straight.

    Genetics is a poor excuse. Most people who suffer metabolic syndrome or have pre-diabetes (which is anywhere from 30% to 60% of Americans) aren’t unhealthy because of genetics. They are unhealthy because the average American spends about two hours a week engaging in exercise — less than half of federally recommended standards. The average American walks about 1 mile in total a day, and spends the vast majority of his or her time sitting — in front of a computer or a TV of behind the wheel of a car.

    I work out about 4-5 times a week, and I’m not a skinny girl. Yes, that’s genetics. There’s a good chance that even with a dedicated cut cycle, I wouldn’t have the BF% that Kang has. And yeah, there’s part of this campaign by Kang that’s about “look how pretty I am” that chafes for someone like me who doesn’t carry her weight like that.

    But I also know that even with the “excuse” of genetics and a busy lifestyle, that there’s a lot more about my physical health that is within my control. Americans need to stop making excuses that seem to imply that nothing about our physical health is within our control, and then mocking the woman who HAS taken control.

    I don’t defend Maria Kang. I visited her website and thought it was pretty insipid. But as a former non-athlete, and a current “athlete” (with air-quotes) who looks NOTHING like Maria Kang, I think there’s a positive aspect of her message that is being ignored so that people can shame Kang for being proud of her body while ignoring their own oncoming obesity. Regardless of her genetics, or how other totally fabulous female lifters don’t look like Maria Kang, that chica worked hard to be in shape. You don’t get to washboard abs without hard work.

    All that being said, Kang doesn’t have much upper or lower body mass. I wonder how much she can lift.

    Also, I hate your CAPTCHA system.

  6. I seriously doubt that Maria Kang is as healthy as she claims to be. Everything on her website screams “Self Important Scam”.

  7. Jenn,

    I think its the tone of her message that is putting people off. Look I got two jobs, 3 kids, and so forth. Wait till you cross 40. Personally, I am not too interested in her story either way.

    Wow, I am offered the same combination again. I have to pass it this time. Nope failed again.

  8. First off, stop promoting females that promote the AFCC! j/k

    That being said, I think most of the complaints from other people are geared primarily towards the fact that it’s more of a rubbing it in type of glib comment than the fact that she is trying to promote a healthy lifestyle.

    I do also second Jenn’s comments a bit as well though, that a majority of Americans are pretty lazy about staying fit. Anecdotally, being in the NYC area, this is less of a problem because people got to walk everywhere (I walk 2 miles a day as part of my commute from the west side to the east side of Manhattan). But most Americans typically drive to get to work, and therefore may not really get a chance to walk at all (I think Jenn’s estimate of a 1 mile a day might be generous)! So definitely, I think some of the offended party to this message may just be trying to justify their unhealthy lifestyle.

    That being said, genetics definitely plays a part. I do lift fairly consistent (2-3 times a week), and make good progress. That being said, some of my body parts just develop better than others. Even if I were to copy the exact same diet and regimen of Georges St-Pierre, I likely will still look “less in shape”, even if I can keep up. Also, I have some freakishly fast metabolism, so I can afford to be fairly liberal in my diet without adding much weight. Most people would probably describe me as skinny. So definitely genetics will play a good role in how you look. That being said though, don’t use that as a crutch to justify how out of shape you are! If sometone just don’t have the desire to be fit and don’t care, so be it, but don’t take it out on those that do.

    But yea, coming back full circle, the tone does seem a bit glib to me. But maybe it also comes from the whole AFCC bias thing ingrained in us Asian males. haha!

  9. When I heard about this and saw the pic – I felt “whatever” meaning – why are ppl hating on her? I think it’s great she’s in shape after 3 kids and it makes me feel like this is something possible and doable and a woman doesn’t have to feel like just b/c she had a baby, she will retain her “baby weight” for the next forever years. Like that is an excuse.

    She prioritized her weight and figure after giving birth and achieved excellent results. Go her!

    Listen, I have a 6 month old and I reached my pre-pregnancy weight already. And all throughout my pregnancy, ppl didn’t realize I was pregnant till they saw my belly. I was one of those that didn’t look pregnant from the back, and then I turned around and whoa, I was just all belly. And I hated that I felt guilty about not being “huge” in the sense that I wasn’t blown up all over b/c women make other women feel guilty about everything. It’s ridiculous. I felt bad b/c I looked pretty good for 9 mos pregnant.
    And now I feel guilty b/c ppl can’t believe I just popped out an 8.5 lb baby 6 months ago. But the first 3 months after delivery I blew up like a whale from surgery. I didn’t realize one could swell up so much. bleh. so gross. Then at month 4 post delivery, I started exercising and results started appearing. And I don’t have a nanny and work from home and I don’t go to a gym. I just have some free weights, a resistance band, and a spin bike at home…and I do this when the baby naps, or do stuff with the baby.

    I’m so tired of women making women feel bad about everything – you’re too fat, you’re too thin, you wear too much make up, you don’t wear enough make up, etc etc…

    If America loved working out and eating right just as much as they loved watching Girls, breaking bad, reality TV, or whatever, we wouldn’t have this obesity problem.

  10. Jenn (how do you do that quote thingy?),

    I agree with you that my program probably could use some tweaking, but honestly I am happy with my current program, and overall to be able to find the time to get to the gym!

    As an example though I think my tricep develops rather quickly, and I can make quick gains in my lifts for that muscle group. I think it comes from my high school breakdancing days where lifting up your body weight was constant. As a result, I typically perform better with my “push” exercises (dips, bench press, shoulder press, etc). However, I am fairly certain that my triceps play a significant role in picking up the slack of any shortcomings the other muscles may have.

    Looping back to genetics, my chest is rather small. While some of it can be chalked up to the fact that my triceps have probably played a role assisting my bench presses, I’m fairly certain I will not be developing Arnold pecs even if I could press 315. That’s what I mean by genetics and development. If you look at Bruce Lee, as ripped as he was, he also had a fairly small chest.

    I do tweak my workouts every 6 weeks to 2 months though. I actually did try to put some more emphasis on “pull” exercises, which deal primarily with the back muscles, but don’t find them as enjoyable. Have to maintain the fine line of keeping workouts enjoyable and effective so you keep coming back! haha.

  11. Danny,

    If u want size, u have to eat the necessary calories. I would literally count calories if I was trying to gain weight. The reverse goes for fat people.

    I’m sure u know about high reps to failure for a bodybuilding routine.

  12. @ BigWowo:

    I disagree with some of your interpretations.

    Who is her apology/non-apology directed at? Is it really at people with fybromyalgia and so on? If so, that’s pretty cold, but the article seems to indicate that the fybromyalgia sufferer was actually responding to the apology.

    I guess as she says, a lot of this is really about interpretation. Is she flaunting her body to make other people feel bad about themselves? Is she showing people what is possible if they put their mind to it? How someone reacts to this says a lot about where they are coming from. A lot of people will look at her picture and be inspired, as in “Wow, if she can do it, then maybe I can too.” A lot of other people will see the same picture and think “She is celebrating superficiality and showing off just to make me feel jealous that I’m not like her.” Which of those interpretations is correct?

    I don’t know what was her thought process in putting that photo and it’s title up there… however I’m inclined to look at it this way: If you don’t want to be super-fit-looking like she is (and a lot of people don’t), I don’t think she’s saying that you have to be. If you do aspire to that sort of image (and a lot of people do), she’s saying that it’s easy to make excuses, but if you really want to do it you can.

    The line between fitness-promotion and fat-shaming is a thin and blurred one at times. Particular because most of us who do work hard to get in shape would not do so if we didn’t feel some dissatisfaction with ourselves and want something better.

  13. Maria Kang on her website shows her old “fat” pictures. she does not have perfect genes.
    http://www.mariakang.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/143.jpg
    http://www.mariakang.com/2013/09/18/maria-kangs-fitness-evolutio/

    Jennifer Nicole Lee (fitness model famous for losing 70lbs, also has a half asian half black husband) Here is some one who is not part of the “AFCC” club.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Nicole_Lee
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdl-jwv6rTs

  14. Linda said:I’m so tired of women making women feel bad about everything – you’re too fat, you’re too thin, you wear too much make up, you don’t wear enough make up, etc etc…

    Yeah, the woman using classic sexist techniques to shame women out of their fatness is the true victim here.

  15. Bruce Lee went sculpted his body for function over appearance. He bulked up and found that it slowed him down so he trimmed down again.

    Someone mentioned high reps to exhaustion. That’s wrong . You want to do low reps with high weights to exhaustion. The most important parts of bulking are eating big and sleeping big and doing heavy compound exercises.

    The body generally develops together so don’t just work on only chest or back. Deadlifts are one of the most important exercises because it increases your overall strength, which will allow you to lift heavier in even muscle specific exercises.

  16. Exercise is clearly important to take time for. The further you get into your career (and family) the less “free time” you are likely to have for a good workout routine. That being said, you can still almost always squeeze in a fairly moderate maintenance workout routine.

    But the REAL problem (in the US) is diet. Capitalism works great for selling cars and surfboards… but when applied to food, what ends up happening is that the food that tastes good sells, and quickly displaces many healthier options. Shelf space is limited, and things that don’t move don’t get reordered. So what we end up with is a store full of food that’s full of high-fructose corn syrup, fats/oils, acids and salt – because THAT’S what makes food taste good for the cheapest price!

    The result is that almost any menu casually picked up from the Supermarket will make you fat, given enough time. You don’t have to be lazy, or gluttonous, or overindulgent, you just have to eat “normal.” Then when you put on the pounds, the same companies who make the food that made you fat will try and sell you “diet foods” loaded with aspartame, olestra, saccharin, and a variety of other laboratory wonders. Most people have no idea how hard it is to actually eat a truly balanced and nutritious diet from their local supermarket.

  17. What is it with these the Asian women with white guys always trolling the world these days?

    Why take it to the public and attention seek? their like to express their delusions and seek praise but instead it ends up drawing public criticism and their ego gets burned.

    Did they not learn from Tiger mom?

  18. @king

    Great points. There’s too much processed ‘food’ in people’s diet and they don’t know how bad it actually is.

    @asianguy
    Aren’t those reps still high? I was under the impression that reps should be around 8 tops.

  19. Advertising/media. The build seen in many fitness magazines (not just weightlifting) isn’t attainable without full time dedication and a photographer/studio/dehydration/steroids/etc.

    I’m with you on the mma fighter looks. I want functional strength coupled with skill. Viktor Belfort had a real good build.

  20. Firstoff, any female who isn’t Asian won’t take her exercises seriously. They figure it’s all genetic anyways. Asian females are naturally slimmer.

  21. @Danny

    how do you do that quote thingy?

    I copy and paste a whole paragraph, and put them in italics HTML tags. It adds that URL link thing if it’s a full paragraph. Italics tags are “[stuff you want to quote]” without the spaces in between the carrot brackets.

    I think my tricep develops rather quickly, and I can make quick gains in my lifts for that muscle group. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2013/10/whats-your-excuse/#sthash.hE0fCkWb.dpuf

    My tris developed really quickly too, but my pecs caught up when I pulled out all the upper body stuff that focus on tricep work in favour of more complex movements. I think they’re generally an underused muscle group, but can take a lot of the load once you start lifting, which can be both good and bad.

    If you’re looking for bigger chest, have you tried a full chest day anchored around flat bench press at 3×5 at 80-95% 1RM, followed by supplemental incline and decline benches at 3-5×7 at 70-80% 1RM? Also, try widening your grip on bench a little, but not so much that you flare out your elbows too much and consequently risk the common shoulder rotator injury that comes with bad bench form. Basically, to focus the movement on pecs vs tris, your hands should be at -about- shoulder width. Finally, end the day off with like 3-5×10 flyes 60-70% 1RM — flyes are generally pretty useless, but good at sculpting your pecs if you’re mostly interested in aesthetics. If you just did that for one workout, and hit it 2x a week with at least 1-2 days between, you should see some improvement.

    Just a suggestion if you continue to be frustrated. 🙂

    That’s what I mean by genetics and development. If you look at Bruce Lee, as ripped as he was, he also had a fairly small chest. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2013/10/whats-your-excuse/#sthash.hE0fCkWb.dpuf

    Yeah, but Bruce wasn’t really trying to lift or bodybuild. TBH, some of the most bulky and ripped dudes I see on the floor are Asian. I’ve never noticed any specific difference in muscle mass on an Asian lifter vs. any other lifter, so that’s why I tend to dismiss the genetics argument. One of the guys who got me into lifting was Asian, was naturally a slim dude, and had a really phenomenal upper body when he was lifting consistently (it was actually his legs that he struggled with).

    @AsianGuy
    I’m sure u know about high reps to failure for a bodybuilding routine. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2013/10/whats-your-excuse/#sthash.hE0fCkWb.dpuf

    The program I suggested above is intended to get a lifter to failure multiple times from multiple angles focusing on pecs. It’s pretty much any form of failure that encourages muscle microtears and remodeling.

    @yunSomeone mentioned high reps to exhaustion. That’s wrong . You want to do low reps with high weights to exhaustion. The most important parts of bulking are eating big and sleeping big and doing heavy compound exercises.

    The body generally develops together so don’t just work on only chest or back. Deadlifts are one of the most important exercises because it increases your overall strength, which will allow you to lift heavier in even muscle specific exercises.

    – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2013/10/whats-your-excuse/#sthash.hE0fCkWb.dpuf

    This. All kinds of this. I actually generally disagree with the whole “light weights/high reps” thing, because it distracts from the goal of weightlifting which is to lift until failure. I favour mixed programs that combine high and low weights with high and low reps, because it tends to build both fast- and slow-twitch strength, as well as building size.

    On the other hand, I would argue that if you are interested in bodybuilding (vs strength training, which is what I focus on), you’ll need to tailor your workouts around specific areas you want to focus on, because your body may not develop evenly, particularly depending on your lifting technique. DL is an awesome lift, but won’t give you Arnie pecs (it MAY give you Arnie traps though).

    @king

    I dunno. I think it’s both exercise/activity level and diet. You can’t exercise your way to health, but higher muscle mass is also correlated with greater health even when controlling for total weight.

    im not particularly knowledgeable about bodybuilding. i train for strength not size. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2013/10/whats-your-excuse/#sthash.hE0fCkWb.dpuf

    Me too.

  22. Shit. It converted my HTML tags.

    italics are [i] –stuff– [/i], where the square brackets are the carrot brackets (like the ones you see below this comment box.)

  23. I’ve just re-discovered the (blockquote)(/blockquote) tool, it seems to work quite nicely

    What the hell, my captcha is “analHo Passenger”. Where does Captcha get these things from???

  24. Thanks for the help everyone. Honestly, I have also found that the lower reps at 4-6 has helped build strength and muscle. I think everybody’s body is different however, so there is no “one size fits all” workout that will suit everyone.

    I have also tried the 5/3/1 workout, and did not really make any gains from it, although it was nice because it was quick and easy and good for maintenance!

    I would probably put myself in the intermediate category, I’m sitting at about 150lbs and aim to be able to deadlift 315 by the end of the year. I just repped 295 a few days ago, so I’d think I’m on track.

    I also agree that lifting for form and functionality are different. I took BJJ/muay thai for a year, and realized that most of the people I rolled with barely lifted, but I was getting submitted left and right. That and the skinnest MT practicioners were hitting the hardest. That was kind of the reality check for me where I realized most of the lifting that I had done up to that point was mostly for cosmetic purposes.

    Yeah, but Bruce wasn’t really trying to lift or bodybuild. TBH, some of the most bulky and ripped dudes I see on the floor are Asian. I’ve never noticed any specific difference in muscle mass on an Asian lifter vs. any other lifter, so that’s why I tend to dismiss the genetics argument. One of the guys who got me into lifting was Asian, was naturally a slim dude, and had a really phenomenal upper body when he was lifting consistently (it was actually his legs that he struggled with). – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2013/10/whats-your-excuse/#comment-244972

    This is purely from an anecdotal perspective, but most Asian guys I know tend to be ectomorphs, and therefore getting ripped probably comes easier. During a down period in my life I was able to achieve six pack abs by smoking and a crappy diet (note: I am not promoting this lifestyle :D)!

  25. there’s nothing wrong with lifting for cosmetic purposes, as long as a person owns up that that’s what they’re doing. That way you can tailor a program to that, y’know?

    I mean, for reals, is there really any “functional” reason you think you’ll need to deadlift 315 lbs in your everyday life? All of us are doing it for partially aesthetic reasons. We all would rather look good naked than not. I think it’s more about what numbers you’re using to keep track of: do you care MORE about how much you can lift or how your body looks?

  26. What’s your excuse for being poor? Stop leeching off rich people, you lazy bastards! Bootstraps!

  27. not surprised. Asian women with white men tend to think they are superior to others. they tend to be more vocal,arrogant,pretentious. btw why the hell does she have her kids as props? was it really necessary to use her kids that way? come on. why? does she believe her mixed kids are more beautiful than others?

    oh look at my white husband..my mixed kids..oh i am better than YOU. pathetic.
    just be thankful that you are in a position where you have an advantage over others. because you are ALLOWED to. because the second they don’t you will be kicked to the curb like the others.

  28. There really ought to be a prize for being the first commenter to take a post that is not at all about IR, and make it all about IR and find yet another excuse to bash an Asian woman for the heinous crime of being with a white guy.

    “Be water my friend” – take a bow!

  29. I’m not even going to comment ES. I hate the USA more than I hate IR disparity. The cause is more important than the effect.

  30. Jenn,

    I think it’s possible for us to bypass the captcha for registered users. If you would like to become the very first registered user, I can give it a shot. (Which basically means that I need to learn how to add users or enable people to register…but well worth it if it saves people from annoying Captchas.)

    Danny,

    I don’t go looking for the AFCC; they come looking for me. I swear!

    Yes, I too have certain muscles that develop better than others, even when I follow routines that are pretty generic. But to be honest, I long ago gave up on trying to gain mass–it doesn’t serve much of a purpose these days. These days, it’s mostly about running and trying to prolong my life. Usually I don’t lift when I go to the gym.

  31. Eurasian:

    Who is her apology/non-apology directed at? Is it really at people with fybromyalgia and so on? If so, that’s pretty cold, but the article seems to indicate that the fybromyalgia sufferer was actually responding to the apology. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2013/10/whats-your-excuse/#comment-244481

    I didn’t read it that way. From the Jezebel article, it says, “Kang followed up by posting an apology which she admits is a non-apology; it’s also highly antagonizing” right after the cancer/fibromyalgia posts. She “followed up” to the cancer sufferer–among others, I’m sure–by posting her non-apology.

    But even then, I think my problem is that she’s challenging people based on appearance, i.e. “my appearance is better than yours.” And not many people would be able to compete on that.

    Do you remember that scene from Good Will Hunting (probably the best movie on “talent”) where Matt Damon yells at the math professor, lights the math paper on fire, and says, “You know how easy this is for me?” When I see that picture of Ms. Kang and those words, I get the feeling that she’s doing the same thing, but she’s not acknowledging that it’s easier for her than it is for other people. She’s making it seem like anyone can do it, which is not true. It’s not the message of fitness that I disagree with. We definitely could use more fitness. It’s the lack of humility and understanding that bothers me.

    I think I have more to say about this in an Asian American context. But I’ve been mind-stressed by other stuff. That’s my excuse. 🙂

  32. I think the major issue here is context, in terms of where her posts appear.

    I’m into fitness, and so I occasionally read fitness and bodybuilding mags at the gym and look at those sorts of websites. In that context, slogans like “What’s your excuse?” are par for the course, and I would think completely appropriate; readers are looking for motivation and examples of what has worked for other people. And yes, those same sites and magazines are full of men and women showing off their muscular or trim bodies as proof; otherwise, why would you take fitness advice from someone who doesn’t practice what they preach?

    Problem is, once this gets picked up in the wider circles of social media beyond the world of fitness, the context changes. People who are not overly interested in getting fit are getting exposed to something that’s not really directed at them, and they think Kang is trying to shame them or show herself off like some high school cheerleader (and yes, she was a high school cheerleader).

    For an example of what I mean, imagine that a fitness website ran an article entitled “Burn that excess fat and look great for the summer.” No one would think anything was out of the ordinary. Now if a feminist website like Jezebel or Feministing ran an article with the same title, the internet would have a meltdown from all the cries of fat-shaming, bullying, conforming to male stereotypes of beauty, and so on.

  33. Maria Kang’s website is an exercise in narcissism. There are no rules against self-expression, even for narcissists. The conceits are plain to see to me. Her physique does not suggest any ability to engage in competitive sports or activities requiring great endurance. Moreover her own history battling weight loss seems to suggest eating habits that are obsessive and one step away from a disorder. That “exercise” bit that she pastes in is just a way for herself to rationalize and re-affirm her complex.

    I don’t see a lot of fat white Americans every day. I do however see a lot of skinny Asian women who starve themselves from their pre-teen years in order to get a svelte figure. Maria Kang looks like one of those except that she gave herself the chance to be a little plump so she does not look as physically stunted and malnourished into adulthood like the women I see.

  34. @ Sengge:
    I agree about the narcissism. My question is, the whole fitness and bodybuilding industries are built on narcissism. How is she so different? Truthfully, most people who have impressive physiques are doing it primarily or at least partly because they want to boost their own ego and impress people. I don’t really see how Maria Kang is any different to your Mike Changs and hundreds of other people trying to promote themselves in that niche market.

  35. Eurasian,

    I agree the context is different. I understand the fitness stuff. I think we agree that the medium makes a big difference–when you say something in a magazine that is aimed at bodybuilders, you have a little more leeway with the tone you take.

    But even then, I’d argue that Kang’s tone is off-par. Take Tony Horton, the P90X dude, for example. He may say something like, “Just do it!” or “Bring it!” or “You need to make a commitment” or even “I think anybody can do this,” but he’ll never say something like, “I’ve got this body. Now what’s your excuse?” To do so would not only be shaming, but it would ignore his advantages–the fact that he’s of normal height, the fact that his genes produce symmetry, the fact that he’s a good public speaker and salesman, the fact that he was born in a country that isn’t overrun by violence and poverty, and the fact that he happened to meet the right people who enabled him to teach fitness for a living. I think there is a difference in tone. A small difference in tone, maybe, but a significant difference.

    I don’t know, it strikes me almost like poor sportsmanship to say something like, “What’s your excuse?” It’s narcissism, but it’s narcissism that she’s rubbing in the faces of women around the world.

    I will admit that I’ve only clicked on Mike Chang’s videos once, though I always see him in my sponsored YouTube vids. I thought that the original Michael Chang was inspiring, until he turned his tennis athleticism into a Bible advertisement.

  36. Not sure if it helps any discussion here. But I did send an email once to Mike Chang if he’s planning to expand his workout programs to China like Sixpacksshortcut. Jackie Chang has his Fitness center in Asia called “California Fitness”.

    I was toying with the idea of posting a comment a while ago when this thread started but then I stopped because retrospectively, I thought of the context. Maria Kang poster in AA activism site is gonna bring a lot of heat any time soon.

    I’d say her response was way off base. But then her intention might have been good in the first place. It all started with the choice of word “Your”. What my $0.02 thought tells me is “There is NO excuse!” title would better reach out to people rather than pointing at “YOU”. And her response further accentuated her self-righteous title of “What is YOUR excuse?”.

  37. In light of reading mainly the comments since Maria doesn’t cut it for me I purchased a digital scale and weighted every one in my family. At 130 lbs I’m the lightest and at 230 lbs my mom is the heaviest.

    So what is the excuse for everyone in the family (yes me, too)? Well we could go through a list of usual explanations: fat food is cheaper, no time, “it’s okay to be a little thick” etc. but that wouldn’t be interesting. Henceforth I will be divulging a plan to force everyone to lose 10 lbs by this time next year.

    Oh the amount of ‘love’ they will have for me. 🙂

    And yes, I did a public weigh in (my sister the only exception) and there were lies (my clothes are easily 2-5 lbs) and of course the “O M G” moment.

  38. So what is the excuse for everyone in the family (yes me, too)? Well we could go through a list of usual explanations: fat food is cheaper, no time, “it’s okay to be a little thick” etc. but that wouldn’t be interesting. Henceforth I will be divulging a plan to force everyone to lose 10 lbs by this time next year.

    I applaud your attitude and your efforts, but it’s rather as if your family is on an escalator that keeps taking you higher and higher, far beyond where you want or need to go. You say to them all, “This is ridiculous! We all need to come climb down 10 steps at least before this time next year!”

    But the problem is that you’re still on the elevator! And as long as you are the problem can never be permanently solved.

  39. ^The escalator, in this case, is the way that most foods are produced, prepared, packaged, and sold to the public in the U.S.

  40. at least Maria Kang isnt one of those women who are into the fat acceptance movement. Those people, mostly women, are pretty awful and promote an unhealthy diet/lifestyle.

    Shame really isnt the way to go though asians do seem to be good at it. Maybe thats all she knows. Still, what an asshole narcissist.

  41. btw, I do notice that fob asian women’s approach to fitness and weight seems to revolve around simply not eating and limiting their caloric intake. This just ends up with a bunch of skinny chicks with no muscle tone. This is where their 1.5+ AA counterparts have them beat, even though your going to encounter meatier plus size women.

  42. I HATE that six pack shortcuts guy. He’s everywhere in my base, eating my cheeseburgers!

  43. I’m all for fitness, but that lady annoys the crap out of me. Let’s get some fit Asian Dads to pose up shirtless with their kids!

  44. @Kushimbo

    I’m all for fitness, but that lady annoys the crap out of me. Let’s get some fit Asian Dads to pose up shirtless with their kids!

    LOL…if a handsome and ripped Asian man posted that on Facebook with the same title “What’s Your Excuse?” i can’t imagine the racist comments that will pop up everywhere. and they know it too. it has to take some guts to post that if you are an Asian dude. but an Asian woman with the white privilege backing her up that’s a different story………

  45. I think she has a very selfish, bold, and limited way to encourage people to work out, in fact there is no excuse, because nobody should be forced to look like her

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