This is Maria Kang.
Maria is a mum of three and she’s recently been shamed online and criticized for “fat-shaming women” after she posted this image of her post-baby body on her Faceboook page with the caption “What’s your excuse?”
The picture has gone viral, generating more than 16 million views on Facebook and over 12,000 comments – the majority from women answering the question with reasons they don’t look quite as hot post-baby.
Today, we’ve asked Mamamia body image contributor Taryn Brumfitt to answer that same question.
Dear Maria – what’s my excuse for not having a body like yours?
“OMG, It’s book week celebrations at school tomorrow and I’ve not made a costume for Oliver and Cruz. Hun, could you go & grab a yiros for dinner?” and “Just can’t be bothered going to the gym tonight, think I might stay in and watch The Bachelor” are just two excuses that spring to mind.
I’ve got a long list of the excuses that I could give Maria Kang for not looking like she does but really I don’t want to be accountable to her judgements (I don’t answer to her, I only answer to me) so instead of rambling off all my excuses I’d rather take the opportunity to set the record straight on a few things.
I’ve had the (near) perfect body and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
Last May I competed in a sports figure competition, it was a big part of my body image (wait for it, the word that makes me want vomit in my own mouth) “journey”. It was a challenge that I set for myself to see how far I could push my body; it was my own personal experiment.
How would I feel about my body if I lost a lot of weight and toned up? What does it feel like to wear a bikini? It took 15 weeks of very hard training (much like an athlete) and 100% discipline with my diet, but I did it, I lost a lot of weight, I got up on that stage and strutted around in my glittery bikini and porno shoes.
I went from this …
And of course people just focused on how good I looked, and how inspirational I was and completely glossed over the fact that there was a heap of blood, sweat and tears (and not just my own tears) to get to that position. It became apparent that no one truly understood the level of commitment it takes to look like I did (or Maria does for that matter).
And that is why I take great exception to Maria’s comments.