Remember the "Hot Facebook Mom" that made headlines a few months ago? How could you forget her, right? She was the mom with three under three who incited an Internet frenzy when she posted a picture baring it all (and her flat abs) underneath a statement that asked, "What's your excuse?". Now that there's been both space and time since the photo hit the Interwebs, Maria Kang, the fit mom responsible for the photo, says the post and the message were meant to be inspirational. And now, she's back for more.
Kang and an army of 700 local mommy groups have launched a " No Excuse Moms Movement" to encourage moms to gather for regular, free workouts in public places. She told Yahoo! Shine, "I feel like all the backlash was worth it. I feel like my original image and message sparked an international dialogue that woke people up and made them question their excuses. ... I strongly believe that health starts at home and that in order to raise a healthy child, you need to be a healthy parent." And while her message this time around is definitely aspirational and attainable for both moms-to-be and new mothers alike, it's Kang's messaging that seems to have placed women firmly on the fence.
Her latest picture, shared on Instagram and Facebook, shows the mother of three in her natural element, lacking on sleep, without time for makeup and working a long day. I think it was meant to show that the fit mama really is just like the rest of us. Unfortunately, many took the photo in the opposite manner, questioning if the image had been digitally edited and wondering if the problem itself wasn't with the photo but the way Kang seemed to be "attacking" mothers. And though she did admit that the photo had been airbrushed, she insisted that the photo was not Photoshopped, saying, "I think it's a beautiful image. The fact is that photo is not Photoshopped. It is absolutely the real me... When you look at the before and after, you're going to see that there's a little bit of lighting manipulation, if there's anything, it's lighting. But you're not going to see my waist getting thinner or my legs getting thinner."
And when it came to her "haters," Kang didn't hold back. She shared, "I don't get it. #DrPhil and #jillianmichaels always say "what's your excuse?" In fact #thebiggestloser had a whole season based on "no excuses" so why does a 'nobody' like myself get underneath people's skin? Is it because I'm not sponsored by #weightwatchers or #jennycraig ? Does my CAN DO ATTITUDE break people's personal reality that being healthy can't be done? I posted this image on my FB page and people were offended (again). I'm not even selling ANYTHING. I'm promoting a #noexcusemom movement. I want moms to feel empowered, supported and motivated. I'm not trying to get rich, get sponsored and have people just gawk at my toned physique. I'm trying to make a difference and utilize my public platform for positive change. We have over 700 groups in 23 countries. Join the revolution at noexcusemom.com."
The idea that Kang is getting at — the notion that all moms can have what they want body-wise if they were hard enough for it — is honest and understandable. It's real. The issue isn't what she wants for women, but how she goes about inspiring them to want it too.
Are you inspired or insulted by this fit mama's message?