A few days ago, we showed you Maria Kang. The 32-year-old, half Malaysian Chinese and Filipina mother of three was bombarded with reactions for a picture of herself in a sports bra and short shorts, surrounded by her three young sons. A caption reading “Whats your excuse?” sparked a fire of online debates questioning whether or not the image was insulting. The online debate exploded even more once Kang decided to repost her image with a “non-apology” as seen below:
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. 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.”
Just about everyone felt the need to put in their two cents on the matter. In fact, even our own readers had conflicting opinions about the issue.
One reader commented, “I do think that caption is kind of aggressively presumptuous. “Excuse” has a negative connotation. I mean, I don’t feel like anyone deserves an apology for her ad, but I see where people would feel unprecedentedly challenged in the way she presents her achievement.”
Another reader saw no problem in the photo at all. He wrote, “Why are people offended by “What’s Your Excuse?” All of the negative comments revolve around how people don’t always have the same goals, or don’t WANT to look like this, etc. Well then great, why be upset if this doesn’t apply to you? Move on. People are stupid.”
Regardless of the positive or negative comments, Kang was clearly not phased. Kang made an appearance on Today and voiced her opinion that she still has nothing to be sorry about.
Kang says that she knew it would be a powerful image despite its criticism. Kang claims that the amount of people who disagree with the image is a small 20% while the rest are inspired. When asked if she would change the caption if she could go back in time, Kang replied that even another caption would spark that same debate. “It’s really, again, that dialogue that’s happening in that persons head.” she explains. While she says she’s aware of why some people were insulted by the picture, she confidently says, “I think the majority of people saw it as inspiring.”
Watch the interview below: