TARYN: 'I will not be a slave to a number on a scale.'

Maria Kang is a mother of three and founder of No Excuse Mom.

Last year, she posted a photograph of herself with the caption “What’s your excuse?” and the image went viral across the world’s social media.

More recently, Maria followed up on her first campaign, and posted this photo:

I am the founder of an organisation called the Body Image Movement. And what that’s about is ensuring the world sees a more balanced view of health, women’s bodies and body diversity.

Too often we only see one type of body being celebrated because, heaven forbid, a woman can fall outside of society’s ideals and still be confident, healthy, happy and proud.

So? I decided to post my own version of Maria’s photo online. Here I am in all my glory:

My response photo is not about ‘hating on’ Maria Kang or other super-fit mothers like her; not in the slightest. Maria fights her corner and I’ll fight mine, and at the end of the day, two women can have opposing views of what’s healthy and what’s beautiful and that’s perfectly okay.

But you see, I didn’t like the poster “What’s your excuse”. I didn’t like what it implied. And more importantly I didn’t like how it made a lot of women feel. Someone has to stand up and say, “Hey, there is another side to this, you can have a body that doesn’t conform to the standard benchmark of what is deemed beautiful/sexy/healthy, etc and THAT IS OK… in fact it’s more than ok, it’s freaking FABULOUS!”

We are constantly being fed these messed up images of perfection, with the intention of making us feel crappy, so we line the pockets of companies that are preying on women’s insecurities. And you know what? Enough is enough.

Women are capable of so much more than they allow themselves to be. But we are being held back by low self-esteem and poor-body image. It’s time for women to see more imagery like the one I posted. Cos’ cellulite is ok, stretch marks are fine, arms that flap about when you wave to someone is perfectly normal.

And as for Maria Kang, I look forward to catching up with her in person soon and being able to demonstrate to women and young girls everywhere that two women can healthily and without any hair pulling speak ‘different languages’ and fight in different corners amicably and respectfully.

For a little bit of context, here are some other photos of post baby bellies, collected as part of Mamamia’s Body Positive Project.

Please share this post to help celebrate body diversity.