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