Two years ago you might have heard about Maria Kang…well, that’s if you had been diligent in your social media news coverage. Maria faced some severe backlash for a picture she posted on facebook showing off her toned torso with her three young children standing beside her with the caption: “What’s Your Excuse?”
Fast forward to today and you have more than likely seen so many of these types of picture that it would not even have registered as being “offensive.” —I suppose in 2013 we were not ready for the onslaught of Instagram “Fit to Inspire” and “Gym Motivation” picture quotes.
Well back to Maria, the post generated more than 16 million views and over 30k comments, and believe me, not all of those comments were to congratulate her for having such a great body or beautiful kids. In fact, criticism ranged from claims of photoshopping to being a bad parent to accusations that she was actually fat shaming others with her no excuse quote.
Since then other moms have undeservingly taken heat for their own photos showing pride in their lifestyle as a fit mom who will not hide because you don’t like seeing it. Lea-ann Ellison a pregnant crossfit mom, posted a picture of herself lifting heavy weights two weeks before her due date.
Many people raged at this photo and accused her of being irresponsible and putting her baby at risk in order to be seen as a “hot mom.” Needless to say, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy and said on her Facebook page "I hope to inspire other ladies to be healthy and fit while pregnant and after. If you don't like it, sit your ass on a couch and eat a donut."
British mom, Abby Pell, was the next high profile victim of the shame game after she posted a picture of herself and 6-year-old daughter on Instagram captioned “I have a kid, a six pack, and no excuses.” She was called shameless and was said to be “exploiting her motherhood to show off.” Her response to the criticism was that her objective was not to belittle but rather encourage.
And just four weeks ago another tragic attack of the shamers was aimed at Sarah Stage, a 30 year old model in Los Angeles. For what you ask??? For being too skinny to be pregnant. Accused of putting herself above the needs of her unborn child in order to continue her career.
So what are my thoughts on this subject? This is ridiculous nonsense! Since when has it been ok to fat shame someone on social media who is posting a picture of themselves gorging on a giant, New-York-sized pizza and a large diet Pepsi when clearly they need not be? It’s not! You just keep scrolling, go about your way as to not look like a total douche for saying something we all wish we could. Unfortunately “Fit shaming” is seen by those of the “not-so-fit” population as ok to partake in. The thought process is “well these people are only doing it to be seen and noticed anyhow so I’m just fulfilling their wishes. You have been duly noticed and duly shamed.” Really guys?
Urban Dictionary describes Fit Shaming as
“claiming that people who are active, healthy and God forbid have the slightest care about their physical appearance are terrible, shallow people. This makes it more acceptable to eat cake all day and never see the light of day or walk anywhere. This practice of shaming was made up by the larger members of society who have less self-esteem and try to make it look out of the norm to be fit and healthy. This kind of practice makes it seem more normal for someone to be on a scooter at age 30 with no joint problems compared to someone who regularly goes to the gym.”
Interesting observation Urban Dictionary.
So now why would I say to “Keep Fit Shaming, You’re Making Me Famous?” Take a little peek at the social media pages of any one of these ladies I just told you about. Miss Maria with the three kids and fantastic abs, well she just released her new book “The No Excuses Diet” and has mobilized 37k women in 300 locations in 25 countries into “No Excuse” mom groups.
Oh and did I mention she has over 315k Facebook followers and over 46k Instagram followers. Maria was just on NBC’s Today show this past week to talk about her new found fame, book, and groups and told TODAY that “I am absolutely glad I put that picture up there.”
Remember Lea-Ann Ellison, the 8 month pregnant crossfitter? Well, she is now working on baby number four and guess what? Yep, still in the gym and posting pictures of it. Shocker now isn’t it?
Abby Pell the British mum now goes by “superabs” and has an Instagram following of over 40k. And despite the hate mail, she said she has no regrets about posting the picture. “On reflection, I can see why it caused a little controversy,” she told People. “I could have picked a different caption, true, but would I have reached as many people if I did?”
And finally, mother-to-be Sarah Stage has already in just a few weeks grown her Instagram following to over 1.4 million! I’m sure landing any modeling work will be no issue in the future thanks to all the haters.