This is why I love Facebook

by Jessie K on October 18, 2013

Maria-KangHave you  seen this photo making the rounds across the Internet? It’s a Facebook photo from exercise buff and mom Maria Kang. Apparently, the photo, intended as a marketing tool for Kang’s Elk Grove, CA-based fitness classes, has sparked outrage for what some say is the ad’s “fat shaming” message, which is: “I look this hawt and have three kids, what’s your excuse, slob?”

The photo has since gone viral — even though she originally posted it more than a year ago, but whatever — which landed her a slot on a Sacramento morning talk show where she issued what some are a calling a tepid apology.

Controversy like this always baffles me because I can’t be the only one out there whose Facebook feed is littered with similar doofy, tone deaf and baiting fluff like this picture. I see so many Spencer’s Gift quality “branding” pics like this that I all but glaze over them. Though a few gems stand out. Like the time  one of my former classmates  posted a picture of herself in a bikini next to a Z-28 with the taunting tagline, “How U Like Me Now? Meow!” Or the pic of some mom I don’t even know who posted a selfie in which she wore Daisy Dukes and heels astride a ten speed bike with the message, “Jus’ sayin.'”  Saying what? That you’re a big dork who rides a  bicycle in heels down to the Trailer Bar? In fact, now that I think about it, what would Facebook BE without such elegant and tasteful imagery? They’re the only reason I check my feed. We need more pics like this, not less. Jus’ sayin’!

Now I’m off to do some butt thrusts.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob F October 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm

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Jessie, you are absolutely correct!

“littered with similar doofy, tone deaf and baiting fluff like this picture”

Another reason why I refuse to have a Facebook account. And I don’t think I have missed a thing.

Olga October 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm

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Wow! I have a FB and I missed it. Fat shaming or not but she is famous now and that much richer than she was before. Controversial marketing works every time.

C October 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm

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I dont understand the controversy or the hate- she is just selling herself and her services. I dont even think she is fat shaming, we as a society have become really easily offended at every little thing. Every skinny/fit person is suddenly fat shaming by just taking a photo, crap goes around facebook stating “real women have curves.” Everybody just needs to shut up and worry about themselves. If they want to be fit-more power to them. If they want to be fat, well then thats your thing.

Brad K. October 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

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Um, she is not skinny in this photo. She might be a bit lighter, and a shaped a lot more as if she moves, and works, a lot, and she might look like she exercises a whole lot.

This might be a goal for some, but anyone thinking, “Hah! This lady wants me to feel bad!” just doesn’t understand the joy in family of her posing with the youngsters. As for claiming to be the appearance that others *could* achieve, maybe. But for making the claim that anyone that *doesn’t* look like this (female, brunette, three kids, designer scanties) is somehow wrong — we don’t denigrate the dollar bill because some few of us don’t look like Ben Franklin. It might just as well be non-parents, or blondes, redheads, or black-haired people that are offended. Or those that cannot afford (or don’t choose to waste money on) designer scanties.

The only thing I find even a bit lacking, is that it doesn’t include any other parent(s). That would turn this far-from-extreme exercise promotion shot to an actual, you know, like, family photo.

Blessed be.

maria October 20, 2013 at 10:26 am

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Why people get their panties in a knot over this stuff is beyond me.

Emma October 22, 2013 at 9:10 am

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Sometimes it baffles me that people really hate being told that they can achieve the things they set their minds to, if they would just dream a little bigger. It’s great to accept our bodies the way they are and there certainly are some things we just can’t change naturally. But otherwise, why not try? The worst that happens is that you get off the sofa and find some energy waiting for you outside or at the gym. I look at those three kids and see three really great excuses for being tired and not wanting to take the time after work and taking care of them to work out as well. Getting in shape and getting the motivation to kick your own butt is not all cuddly, nice, and friendly. You have to be hard on yourself to keep motivated and get going.

Then again, maybe I’m desensitized from being screamed at by Marine Drill Instructors after joining the Navy. And you know what? My butt looked amazing. I often wish he was around just to keep me on my toes.

Accacia October 22, 2013 at 10:51 am

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An acquaintance of mine has this response to the Mariagate: http://www.snarkjog.com/the-real-fit-moms-project/

Brad K. October 22, 2013 at 11:59 am

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One other observation — This photo, the entire “fitness” thing, including jogging, seems to be an expression of conspicuous consumption.

http://www.draftresource.com/mytake/2013/10/22/recreational-exercise/

You might as well say the Kang photo ridicules people that don’t have time or money for workout clothes and shoes, to make the choices she makes. Or she makes fun of men, or working moms, etc. And what about women that don’t choose the close-worn, skin-tight look in public, or that have visible defects, scars, injuries, etc.? Is she deliberately maligning people that have lost a hand, arm, or leg? That bear physical changes from surgery, or cancer treatment? Should nudists be outraged she has clothes on?

Just figure she is one more marketing shill, looking to sell something, and go on.

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