Do you still remember the Fit Mom / Maria Kang furor?
For those who aren’t in the know – Fit Mom/Maria Kang is a fitness blogger who presumably posted her image on her Facebook page to shame other moms for not looking like her just months after giving birth.
Later on, I read another blogger’s – Taryn Brumfitt’s – post on the topic: Fit mom: this is my excuse. Taryn Brumfitt posted a series of unorthodox before and after photos where she goes from a bikini fitness body to “a normal weight, average mom” body (my words).
If you want to see the images, click here to read an article in Daily mail.
What is really interesting about the furor, are the conclusions we are quick to draw based on a few images.
But to answer the burning question, is Maria Kang a fat-shaming mom who wants to create unrealistic expectations for mothers? I went to Maria Kang’s blog, read a bit about her and when I visited her about page, I found the following commentary.
Every woman is different and my intention was not to ask, “What’s your Excuse for not looking like me?” My intention was to imply, “What’s your Excuse for not exercising?” However you interpret the message is dependent on your emotional state when you read the caption (emphasis mine: source)
Another quote from the About page:
“What’s your Excuse?” was created for readers of my Facebook fanpage. I’ve had an online following since 2005, so I was very used to ‘putting myself out there’. I thought the caption was fitting since I often saw posters of grandmothers running in marathons, paraplegics competing in the Olympics and even a father performing a pull up with three kids in tow – all with the same caption: “What’s your Excuse?”
I felt that if others can overcome incredible challenges to be in shape, why would my story be any different? (emphasis mine: source).
Later on, she also writes that she doesn’t exercise hours to stay in shape, only 30-60 minutes a day.
To me it doesn’t appear like she’s trying hard to shame other mom to get a body like her.
What is interesting is that I think her message might’ve been better received if she hadn’t such a pretty body and face. It might’ve been better is she looked more like Brienne of Tarth from the Game of Thrones would presumably look. (I don’t know how she looks but she’s supposed to be ugly but strong).
If you have a pretty body and a pretty face, that’s all we see.
What comes to Taryn Brumfitt, I really liked her post because it makes it clear what kinds of compromises people have to make in their lives. Maintaining a body that looks perfect may not be worth the time and effort you have to put into it.
Do you really want to sacrifice everything else in your life just to appear like a bikini fitness model? Why would you?
I read Taryn’s blog a bit further and chanced on a post named You’re promoting obesity….. The funny part is at the end where she mentions posting a photo of her and her family hiking and being praised for being a healthy role model and in good shape.
Week later she posed another photo where you can see her tummy with some extra fat (still the same weight and physical shape), she was called fat and lazy and told she promotes obesity.
What a change, just because you can see a bit of her wobbly belly! 🙂
What to make of all this?
One (obvious) conclusion to make that we quickly make all kinds of interpretations based on seeing images (of women’s bodies) and that our interpretations have been strongly influenced by media.
Fitness models with their low fat body percentage and sculpted muscles now equal health.
Also, I would like to suggest myself and others that it’s a very good idea to learn to love your body as it is right now and focus on doing things that make you feel better rather than your looks (good looks are just a bonus). If you don’t learn to accept yourself, are you really going to spend the rest of your life hating your body?
However hard you train, your body will inevitably deteriorate.