• Wed, Nov 27 - 9:45 am ET

Facebook Isn’t Erasing Thinspo By Banning Annoying “No Excuses” Mom

maria-kang

Remember Maria Kang, the incredibly fit mom who caused an uproar about a month ago when she posted this photo to her Facebook page?

maria-kang-fit-mom

People were hopping mad. They said the photo body-shamed other moms, was a humble brag, was a total brag, was rude and unthinking, was any number of terrible, horrible, offensive things. This photo of a mom and her three boys is basically the devil’s handiwork, if you ask the mom-driven internet. And Maria’s back again with something new to stir up controversy, except this time it doesn’t center around herself and her body. It’s about her opinions on OTHER people’s bodies!

Maria says she was blocked from Facebook after posting negative comments about the Curvy Girl Lingerie ad campaign that showcases the bodies of regular women of all shapes and sizes, an ad campaign we gave tons of props to right here on The Gloss. But Maria wrote that she was annoyed by the campaign, which she claims encourages unhealthy attitudes. The post has since been deleted, but according to The Daily Mail, Maria said:

“We need to change this strange mentality we are breeding in the U.S. and start celebrating people who are a result of hard work, dedication and discipline.I’m not bashing those who are proud and overweight, I am empowering those who are proud and healthy to come out and be the real role models in our society.”

Even though her post garnered over 230,000 likes, Maria was banned from Facebook for 24 hours for “hate speech.” In a post entitled “Sorry not sorry” on her website, Maria made an effort to explain herself by sharing a story of her personal experience with her parents’ obesity-related health problems. But honestly, I think she made things even worse, writing:

“When we normalize being unhealthy we create complacency to positively change.”

I see the point that she’s trying to make, but I think the way she’s trying to make it is alienating the very people she’s trying to reach. It’s terrific that Maria works hard at her fitness and wants to help others live a healthy lifestyle. But I don’t find the judge-y way she’s chosen to tear down others in support of her own message to be at all inspirational or positive. It seems like she comes from The Biggest Loser school of health encouragement, which basically sees fat as always bad and thin as always good.

She says she wasn’t “bashing” those who are overweight, but by singling out the Curvy Girl Lingerie campaign for showcasing non-normative bodies, that’s essentially exactly what she has done. The Curvy Girl campaign was created to help boost women’s self esteem through the practice of allowing non-professional models to be front and center in ads, so it seems pretty hypocritical for a woman who does have a conventionally-attractive body to speak publicly about it, especially antagonistically. If you’re trying to inspire people to live healthy, to take control of their lives and bodies, it’s really, really not a good idea to comment on the bodies and lifestyles of other people in a negative way.

Honestly, other women’s bodies, bellies and lifestyles are none of Maria Kang’s business. I think it’s sad that she’s attempting to draw attention back to herself and her cause by tearing down something that’s been really empowering for other women.

That said, I think the fact that she was banned from Facebook for “hate speech” is patently ridiculous. Her brand of thinspo might be myopic and annoying, but all you have to do is not visit her page and you won’t see her posts! Pretty easy, right? Of course, Maria’s initial post (and the ones she’s made since) have garnered almost as much support as they have criticism, so I doubt she’ll get kicked off social media again anytime soon.

Photos: MariaMKang on Facebook

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  • M -

    She should’ve just made the distinction that “healthy” does not equal “thin” and that she, as well as the rest of the world, should exercise for health reasons, not beauty reasons. I also think it was rather flippant of you to dismiss her as having a “conventionally attractive” body, given the amount of effort it takes to maintain it.

    • http://carrie-murphy.com/ Carrie Murphy

      Thin, fit, bodies are conventionally-attractive bodies. The amount of work it takes to get them has no bearing on that.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      Yeah. I have a thin body and quite frankly I do very little. I have a fast metabolism, good genes, whatever. I am very aware of my skinny privilege. When I order ‘bad food’ (nachos, deep fried anything, whatever), I can guarantee you someone near me will say, “Good for you!”. No, it’s not good for me, that’s the point!

    • Kate B

      But the point there is that a thin body is not necessarily a fit body. As much as I dislike her, this lady’s body is not one someone could achieve without a significant amount of work. Nobody is naturally as muscular, toned and lean as she is!

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      For sure there is definitely a big difference still between her body and my body, even though with clothes on we probably look similar.

    • Kate B

      (Btw allisonjayne; totally OT but kudos on the way you handled the vile pro-lifers who infiltrated the ’10 reasons to have an abortion illustrated by cats!’ thread. I commented that I would have no problem having an abortion if necessary because I have serious mental health problems and have been struggling with my two boys as it is. I got responses from a particularly vile specimen called faye commenting ‘well why don’t you just take your son out the back and shoot him in the face then’ and, in response to my ‘i have mental health problems’ she remarked ‘clearly’. Nice people…)

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      Haha…thanks I guess! I try so hard not to get dragged in but sometimes…well, you know how it is.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I think she was right in her description. Conventional=/=Easy to achieve or maintain. Women get tons of plastic surgery to become conventionally attractive too.

  • Cassieleigh

    My question is why can’t we just applaud her? She’s clearly proud of her body and she should be. Instead of just looking at the picture and seeing it for what it is, a “fitspiration” photo of a proud mom of 3, people make the stretch that she’s “fat-shaming.” That says more about the people jumping to that conclusion than it does about her. If we’re all truly believing that it’s okay to be whatever you (fat, thin, skeletal) and still proud, then we should be able to support any/all of the above. Clearly, we don’t all think that way.

    • http://carrie-murphy.com/ Carrie Murphy

      Yeah, I didn’t think there was really anything wrong with her original photo per se, but I do think her post denouncing the Curvy Girl Lingerie is below the belt. It’s fine to be proud, but not to tear others down in the process.

    • anna

      “It’s fine to be proud, but not to tear others down in the process.”
      This could have been the headline. Hell, the whole article. This should be our golden rule for life

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Did you read the entire post though? This is about her comments on the “curvy Girl” campaign.

    • iamtheshoshie

      I think the issue was the “What’s your excuse?” part. Like, fine, be proud of your body. That’s great. But the whole “What’s your excuse” thing is kind of bullshit. I don’t need an excuse to not look Maria Kang. It’s called having different priorities/a different body type.

    • JadePanda

      This. And while many argued that including the line about excuses was supposed to be somehow encouraging rather than judgy, her decision to then target a product for plus size women kind of negates that argument. Her mission isn’t about inspiring those who want to look like her, it’s seeking out those who don’t and judging them for not meeting her expectations.

    • Nerdy Lucy

      You must’ve missed her degradation of Curvy Girl Lingerie I which she DID fat-shame.

    • brebay

      This isn’t about the photo, it’s about something she wrote.

  • K Landoni

    “We need to change this strange mentality we are breeding in the U.S. and
    start celebrating people who are a result of hard work, dedication and
    discipline.”

    THIS WOMAN IS A HERO. Empowering all the conventionally attractive people out there to stand and be applauded! No more will the beautiful people of this world be relegated to the shadows! I for one am so sick of going to the movies and turning on the TV only to be confronted by a barrage of ugly fatties! NO MORE! Thank you, Maria! Is there a Nobel Prize for keepin’ it tight? AWARD IT TO HER IMMEDIATELY.

    • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

      “Nobel Prize for keepin’ it tight”

      You’re my favorite person ever.

    • Sergio

      It’s her damn job to work out. How is she a hero.

      If, and it’s a big “if”, she was home all day, changing diapers, and had this shape. I’d congratulate her all day long. Get off her jock, or whatever it is she wears.

    • K Landoni

      Uh, I was being sarcastic?

    • LouLou

      wait… so does that mean that there isn’t actually a Nobel prize for keepin’ it tight?…. DAMMIT!!

    • K Landoni

      Not YET.

    • brebay

      Oh, Sergio….smh…..

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      You win ALL the internets for the day. Stand and take a bow!

  • LouLou

    I don’t think that this woman understands how peoples bodies work. If she can bounce back and have abs after having 3 kids, then great for her. But after making and pushing a freaking human through your body, your hormones and body are going to go through some intense changes. Especially (warning… please don’t attack me) depending on your cultural heritage, or even just the biological make up you got handed in the way your body burns fat. My sister and I even have always been 6 pant sizes different. Grew up eating the same foods, getting the same exercise, but just are different. This woman got lucky. Very lucky. I’m sure Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera with all their money and personal trainers and being on magazines aren’t excited about carrying around the extra weight after giving birth, but you know what, it happens. Yes, we need to be healthy and a good amount of people do need a kick in the pants to lose weight and encouragement to get moving, but making a little sign that says “whats your excuse” is just snotty

  • Sergio

    Look, I don’t want to be a hater, but her job is a trainer.

    She isn’t very bright, most women probably got jealous seeing her body. This trainer should have been smarter and posted a “random” photo of her at the beach with her bikini on. I guarantee all her Facebook friends would have noticed and asked her in private message what she was doing to be in such great shape. It’s subtle marketing. There’s big fit guys that either sell supplements or are personal trainers at the gym I go to that think they’re bad ass, it’s intimidation and makes people uncomfortable to speak to them because they come across as unapproachable. If my job was to work out (pretty much all day, I probably would be in pretty great shape as well).

    This dummy (Kang) should have never came out with the comment of “what’s your excuse”…actions (and pictures) speak louder than words.

  • http://sarahhollowell.com/ Sarah Hollowell

    I think she’s annoying, but I don’t get the banning for hate speech thing at all. Like, seriously, Facebook? You won’t ban all of the awful sexist (and truly hateful) pages, but you’ll ban her for being dumb?

  • http://www.got2wearshades.typepad.com/blog bree hatfield

    I don’t agree with your side or your opinions , Gloss staff. I think she nailed the truth…and the truth hurts. When you really have to change , you need to face the truth because as the truth sets in, if you’re a normal individual, that’s the only way you can alter your priorities to change. She said it like it should be said. The problem with American society—it has come to a point that even those unacceptable have become acceptable because of political correctness. American society has become too open-minded that their brains fall out—-not able to discern what is wrong or what is right anyore…when does obesity become right? We tend to coddle those things and treat them as normal when they are not ..and eventually, they become the problems of our society. I understand there are people who have weight problems due to sickness, but I don’t think those are the people Kang intended to convey. Obesity is the most “risky” risk factor of so many fatal diseases…and we coddle them…oh come on? When we trivialize such problem like obesity, then I don’t think anything will come out right with that problem. Also, If you cannot face the truth, how else will we be able to improve ourselves? And I don;t think you guys know that the America is the fattest nation on earth…and I think you have a problem understanding that.

    • EX

      But shaming people (making them feel bad about being overweight) has clearly been shown to be ineffective. It does not motivate people. If she wants to make a difference and combat the obesity epidemic she should stop using a strategy that has been repeatedly shown to be ineffective.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      First of all, the US has been de-throned at the “fattest” nation in the world, as of this year. That’s not saying that obesity isn’t an issue here, or that we aren’t still number two. But if you’re gonna try to make people understand “the truth” then it’s important to have the facts straight.

      http://huff.to/186szCI

      Here’s the thing. People do a lot of unhealthy things. Shaming them into stopping just doesn’t work. Not with any consistency. Take it from someone who was often on the other side of the spectrum. I’ve dealt with an eating disorder (bulimia) for more than half my life.

      People like you and Kang should stop focusing on these people you think you’re so much better than and instead focus on the real issues: imbalanced levels of prosperity and poverty, too many food deserts in the US where people can’t access healthy food, a reliance on corn caused by subsidies from the government that make bad food cheaper and a sedentary lifestyle not only brought on by things like television and other pursuits, but also by office culture and people being over-worked at these jobs. Not to mention ridiculous US dietary guidelines that are set up to make up fail unintentionally by encouraging carbs and not enough vegetables or protein. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

      http://www.policymic.com/articles/3051/how-the-government-has-caused-america-s-obesity-problem

      http://www.businessinsider.com/carbohydrates-insulin-and-obesity-2013-4

      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/the-real-cause-of-the-global-obesity-epidemic.html

      But why actually do any research when there are ugly, lazy, fatty McFat-fats to blame, amirite?

    • Nerdy Lucy

      “I understand there are people who have weight problems due to sickness, but I don’t think those are the people Kang intended to convey”

      I disagree. I don’t think she was making the distinction, especially not with her degradation of Curvy Girl Lingerie.

    • K Landoni

      Get serious. Where is this coddling of obese people you’re talking about? Like, when has that ever happened? The closest I’ve ever seen is the same type of patronizing concern-trolling you’re doing here, always accompanied by a thick layer of entitlement. Another person’s weight is none of your business, first, and second, you should try learning a little empathy before you go around spewing garbage about how we must “improve ourselves.” Putting an end to being condescending and critical toward people whose situations we know nothing about is a good place to start “improving,” I would say.

    • JadePanda

      I’d be curious to hear what else you think Americans are too open-minded about…sounds like you think everyone should look and behave the same. How dull.

  • LouLou

    made me think of this picture of the Olympic athletes. They’re not all tiny, but are all champions. Not too shabby. Not too shabby at all

    • Justme

      I love this picture…that’s me (well, my size) down there on the end – the basketball player. Love it.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      That is such a great photo. Those are some strong looking bodies!

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    If the point is to be healthy and strong, then it’s not about the way you look. That’s my issue…I have no problem with promoting fitness and health. Those are good things for sure. But fitness and health are not synonymous with being thin. If it’s about being healthy and strong, show me a picture of you lifting something heavy, not a photo of how hot you are. And she is trying to shame people….”what’s your excuse?”….come on, that is absolutely a phrase people use when they want to start shit.

    And she doesn’t think this culture celebrates people who work out a lot???? Ohhhh-kay then. Clearly I’m not consuming the same pop culture as her.

    As I said below, I’m a skinny girl who doesn’t work at it. Fast metabolism, good genes, whatever it is…I’ve been skinny my whole life. I’ve gone through phases where I’d hit the gym every day and I’ve gone through phases where I drink beer and eat nachos every night, and my weight never really fluctuates, but I still benefit from all kinds of fucked up privilege. Skinny doesn’t equal healthy and it’s fucked that we’ve somehow equated them.

    • iamtheshoshie

      “If the point is to be healthy and strong, then it’s not about the way you look.”

      Word. I’m fat. Like, not Hollywood fat, but just shy of “morbidly obese,” 5’2 and 220 lbs type fat. I’m also really active, love lifting weights (and I’m good at it), eat mostly healthful foods, etc. Ironically, I realized my love for various fitness endeavors after I accepted my body for what it is and stopped putting so much effort into (unsuccessfully) making it smaller.

    • sri

      Same here. I spent so much of my life trying to somehow get smaller. I rode a bike for at least 30 miles a day every day, did some moderate weight training, and ate right, and I was always the same size. When I refocused on the fact that I can ride my bike for 30 miles and still feel great after, I personally became a lot happier. I still eat right, and I still exercise, but I look at it from a health perspective instead of a “get hot” focus. However, people still look at me and think I’m a fattie, because, well, I am fat.

      Because I’m fat, people think that they can say things to me that are judgmental, incorrect, and hurtful. Some lady came up to me in the grocery store not too long ago and congratulated me on “turning my life around” because I was buying vegetables. Because, clearly, since I’m fat I’ve never purchased a vegetable before, and I would have promptly put the kale back had someone not recognized my efforts. I was buying flavored water for my mother, because she refused to drink regular water while going through chemo and she was hospitalized for dehydration. I know it’s not the best thing for her, but it was all she would drink. Some old man came up to me while I was checking out at the grocery store to make sure that I knew that crap like that was why I was fat and that it’s why he hates Obamacare, because he’s going to have to pay money to watch myself eat my way into an early grave. Everyone should just mind their own business, because I am seriously sick of this kind of shit.

    • brebay

      Agreed. If I work out every day, eat healthy, and stay active, I weigh in at 120. (I’m 5’7″). When I don’t work out, live on fast food, and watch a lot of TV while snacking on Doritos, I weigh about 122….It’s 90% genetic and anyone who wants you to believe otherwise is just an ass with low self-esteem. My dad was thin as a rail, dropped dead of heart disease at 50. We have some control, but once you’re at your set-point, you’re fighting nature, and nature generally wins. The good thing is, we all get old, and those who have a high portion of their self-worth wrapped up in their looks tend to have a much harder time with the aging process. I’ve seen many a beautiful woman lose her shit after 45 when she realizes some things are without your control.

  • Andrea

    I agree with what she’s saying, but she lost all credibility with me when she posted that bitch ass picture.
    STFU lady. No one (except the man you fuck) gives a fuck about how you luck.

    • brebay

      And he’s probably fucking his less workout-obsessed, less hungry, less bitchy secretary….bet they go out for steak.

    • Andrea

      Ha ha ha ha ha!!! That would totally be poetic justice.
      Kidding though, no one deserves a cheating spouse. *snort*

  • MammaSweetpea

    Ok ummm…this is my problem with people like her. Fine we dont want to encourage people to be overweight, don’t want to make it seem like its ok, from a health perspective. But even if someone is trying to lose weight it doesn’t happen overnight. What are larger women SUPPOSED TO WEAR while trying to lose weight? Muu muus? Extra large garbage bags? What is so wrong with making and advertising clothes that make women of all sizes feel good about themselves? What …only women of a particular size get to dress nicely and feel sexy? Bitch.

  • sri

    I’m apparently the type of person who wants to have a rage stroke, so I went and read the post. It was basically, sorry not sorry, and then about how she’s pissed off at her parents because her mom was in the ICU the day of her wedding and blah blah blah, obesity is bad for an entire family. She says that people might think she’s selfish for thinking about how her mother’s illness ruined her wedding. Well, she’s at least right about that.

    Both of my parents died of illnesses that were probably related to their health habits (including not eating right or exercising) months (my dad 9, my mom 2) before my wedding. You know what I did about it? I moved the f on. I had a reminder of them, I had what would have been their flowers put on a chair. and enjoyed my day. What good does it do for me to be angry at them for missing my wedding? Why would I want to hold on to that spite so much that I can’t even think about my wedding without getting upset?

    Normally, I just want everyone to mind their own business, but the fact that she took her mother’s illness and made it about her is just ugh. I don’t have the words. That’s why I don’t think that she really cares about people and wants people to be better. She can’t even think about her own mother except through a lens of how her mother’s obesity caused her some sort of pain. Who is she trying to kid?

  • brebay

    If she were happy, she wouldn’t be this bitchy. I don’t entirely disagree with some of her premises, but she’s not going to inspire anybody, and I don’t think it’s her goal to. I think her goal is attention, and she’s getting it. Wouldn’t be surprised if she was the one who “reported” herself. That being said, give me a break, this is not hate speech, size is not a protected class. This is an opinion, a bitchy one, but not hate speech.

  • http://www.CurvyGirlInc.com/ Chrystal Bougon

    My goal is to help women to feel beautiful and sexy. I think Maria may be upset that some of us are fat AND happy. All women deserve to feel sexy and beautiful.

  • livfreeordi

    I’m fat. I don’t hate myself for it.. but I don’t go to the delusional other extreme of thinking it’s healthy or in any way beautiful. it’s not! this woman should be applauded for her honesty and for pointing out the truth. Some people can handle tough love. Apparently some oversensitive babies can’t.

  • fredh fuchs

    Kang. Must have roots in the southerly Korea/that part of the world.

    Why does it seem like they take fertility drugs in the US but stop at 0 in their own country?

  • anna

    My excuse is I don’t like exercising too much and am happy with my body the way it is.
    No, I’m not super toned, but I’m still happy with my size and weight.

  • lynn

    Curves are here to STAY! It is not normal to have a body of a 13 year old boy like this woman has!
    Also I am not plus size but a perfect 12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sassy3000

    That piece of hateful garbage is NO ROLE MODEL! Who the heck is going to listen to a puke who is such a nasty little A-Hole?! Uh, No one except for self-righteous smug jerks who love to condescend to others so that they can feel better about themselves.

    Why don’t you big-mouthed losers learn to mind your OWN business? I don’t see anyone sticking their noses into people doing other unhealthy things. Like smoking? Doing drugs? Excessive Drinking? Driving too fast? And yet! People eat too much and suddenly everyone turns into a bunch of nasty busy bodies.

    And don’t even start with the BS of “OH it’s affecting my health insurance”. BULLCRAP! Only if they have the same insurance and what was the excuse hundreds of years ago for people being so nasty and abusive towards heavy people? THERE WAS NO HEALTH INSURANCE HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO! And what’s more I do NOT have high cholesterol, I DO NOT have high blood pressure. I am the sort of heavy person most skinny busy bodies hate. I don’t fall into your childish little stereotype.
    (Note I said skinny busy bodies. Not ALL skinny people. For SOME reason, one must EXPLAIN things S-L-O-W-L-Y for S-O-M-E people. lol)

    And what about kids? Is anyone so stupid to think any kid gives a crap about Health Insurance? They don’t! they see their A-Hole Moms and Dads being jerks at home and they emulate their worthless selves at school! PATHETIC!