Mother of three and fitness enthusiast Maria Kang posted a picture of herself and her children on facebook last year. The 32-year-old, half Malaysian Chinese and Filipina mother brought attention to her body in the picture. The inclusion of her sons emphasized that even after giving birth, this mom is fit. Wearing only a sports bra, she revealed her incredibly toned abs and trimmed figure.
The former pageant queen, fitness competitor and founder of the nonprofit Fitness Without Borders, achieved her look by working out five to six days a week. She structured her time to allow for consistent work-outs between raising three kids and keeping her job. Clearly, this hard work deserves some applause, but her controversial photo made the public view her in a different light.
It wasn’t the children or the abs which caused the public controversy. It was the caption above her head which said “What’s your excuse?” that caused the downpour of both positive and negative comments.
Some people considered her an inspiration and applauded her for being proud of what she worked hard to achieve. Others felt that the comment rudely assumed that people make excuses for weight gain. They argued that there are various reasons for weight gain and by not being sensitive to those issues, Kang was being obnoxious and pretentious.
A year after posting her controversial photo, Kang noticed that it was going viral once again and this time, many more negative comments were being thrown her way. She decided to re-post the picture with an “apology,” but admits that it’s actually a “non-apology.”
“I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way,” she wrote. “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.”
As expected, she was showered with even more negative comments than before. The picture, which has been shared over 13,000 times and has nearly 18,000 comments, was swarmed with angry comments for her “non-apology.”
Yahoo reports, “That post brought a frenzy of negative responses, including, “Those precious little things need their mommy more than they need you to have glamour muscles,” “Not that I *NEED* an excuse for not working out, but here’s mine you self-righteous idiot … fibromyalgia,” “You are part of the body shaming problem that is going on in North America and other parts of the world,” and “You are a bully with a super inflated sense of your own self.”
Others have been rising to her defense and claim that she has no reason to say sorry anyway.
Kang doesn’t seem to be phased by any of this. “I wanted to inspire people,” she explains, “I wanted to say, ‘I know you think you don’t have time if you have kids. But if I can do it, you can do it, too.’”