(Closed) Since it's all about our bodies today let's discuss Maria Kang

posted 6 years ago in Fitness
Post # 197
4474 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I think it’s a pretty douchey ad, for the reasons posted in the article Atalanta Linked.  I also agree with what someone said earlier about it being more about aesthetics than health.  This isn’t about jealousy – saying “What’s your excuse?” Just oozes a sense of superiority and is putting down other people who don’t have the same circumstances she does.  if she wanted to be insprational, she could have used a more positive message.  

Post # 198
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Post # 199
746 posts
Busy bee

@sabby55:  Yeah have to agree – you’re pretty delusional if you believe that people need to be shamed into changing their behavior.  Either delusional or just plain ignorant.  

 @Atalanta:  +1

 @Rachel631:  I must say, you’ve put forward some very thoughtful, well-written responses in this thread.  I agree with basically all your posts that I’ve read thus far.  

What saddens me the most is that it’s not just men and Hollywood/TV/media who continue to shame women but women who do it as well.  We’ve collectively bought into the notion of an acceptable vs unacceptable body, and what’s worse, that we must shame those who don’t/can’t achieve the same results.  

As evidenced in the many, many responses in this thread who back up Kang’s slogan.  Again, it’s not her body, or even perhaps her picture (although it does seem a bit humble-bragging to post it, I agree with pps), but the slogan that is at best ill-advised and at worst shameful.  

Post # 200
9759 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

@sabby55: I am attempting to fix my issues, I see a psychiatrist regularly. But as you said yourself ‘excuse is trying to put the blame on other people/things’ which is negative. So the message ‘What’s your excuse?’ is also negative. It implies that everybody should be doing what they can to get as close to looking like her as they can, which for some they are unable to even begin. So it makes those of us who are overweight feel bad, and especially those of us with legitimate reasons for not being able to even begin looking like that. I used to be that slim, but I don’t think I ever will be again.

Post # 202
839 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@Atalanta:  I’m sorry but I don’t feel like I need an excuse not to be thin. It’s my business and noboy else’s. I don’t have to justify the way I look to anybody, certainly not someone who is trying to diminish my self-esteem in order to sell me a lifestyle I will probably never have the time, resources or money to sustain. What the fuck is your excuse to judge me, Maria? 

Oh, and I find the idea of skinny shaming being on the same level as fat shaming today laughabele. Yeah, being told ‘go eat a burger’ or something is not a nice thin to be told and I’m sure it does make you feel bad for a little while. But being told that you are not beautiful, or good enough, or that there is something fundamentally wrong with you because you are fat is so, so much worse. 

Post # 203
746 posts
Busy bee

I will also add – I myself used to be very, very thin, very muscular with defined abs…not as much as Kang’s but similar.  I was also miserable and anorexic.  I worked out 8 days a week and counted every. damn. calorie that went into my mouth.  I myself could have posted a picture to facebook with some similarly snarky, passive-aggressive slogan.  But why would I do that?  To make others feel ashamed that they can’t be as obsessed with their body fat as I was?   

I looked basically like a celebrity…and family and friends went from congratulating my appearance to being concerned.  

Now at a good 20 pounds heavier I eat healthy and exercise much more mindfully, and healthfully.  And having gone through such up and downs with my own weight, I would never, ever say those words to anyone.  “What’s your excuse” is bullying, plain and simple.    

Post # 204
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

@DaisyBelle:  You know… there is an aspect to this that nobody has mentioned so far. Fat is a feminist issue because it is always women’s bodies which are the battleground… but it is also a socialist issue, because thin people tend to be rich and poor people tend to be fat.

Our body ideals have always been a way of displaying our wealth. I was discussing this with a friend a while back, and we were considering tanning. Before about 1940, women’s skin, ideally, was whiter than white… so much so that they would risk their health to whiten it. But by the 1950s then this started to change. Why?

My argument was that this had a lot to do with the advent of affordable, commercial air travel. For the first time, people could travel to hot countries, and a tan was a way of displaying the fact that you could afford to go on that sort of holiday. Before then, tans showed that you were a peasant who worked in the fields, and white skin was the mark of a wealthy lady. But as the signifier of wealth changed, the desirability of skin colour also changed.

So… why are poor people fat? Let’s start with the obvious. In my local Tesco, a 1kg bag of oven chips is £1, and an own brand curry with rice, coming in at almost 700 calories, is 67p. In contrast, a single portion of salad is £1.50, and 150g of raspberries is £2.50. Now, that difference may not sound like much, but let’s break it down.

I spent a period on minimum wage a few years back, and earned a whopping £5.80 an hour. When you’re on min wage, you work all the shifts you can just to survive. I would estimate that I worked a 60 hour week. 60 times 5.8 is £348 a week. I forget how much tax I paid on that, but I would estimate that it was around 10-15% at the time (the tax system has since changed). Let’s say 10%. That gives me a take home pay of £313.20. The average weekly rent in my area was £160 a week, leaving me with £153.20. Of that, I would have to pay council tax, water, electricity and gas, plus a service charge, if I lived in a flat. Let’s say that comes to £70 a week. I am therefore left with £83.20. Out of that, I have to pay for travel costs, food, clothes, and other expenses.

People live on that. They raise kids on that. But they can’t raise them on organic salad… they raise them on the cheap, stodgy, mass produced food that they can afford.

Now, let’s move onto exercise. Poor people obviously can’t afford a gym membership, but the argument is that you can exercise for free, right? What about exercise DVDs? Well, the problem with DVDs is that, in order to use them, you need:

– A television. I didn’t have one at all for most of my adult life… I couldn’t afford one.

– A television license

– A DVD player

– Space in your house to be able to physically exercise. Important, this one. I know that US houses tend to be larger, but since I left home at 18, I have only lived in one place where I could have actually physically had the space to exercise at home; even then, I had to move a dining table, six chairs, and a sofa out of the room every time I wanted to exercise, and move it all back when I had finished. Poor people have even smaller houses than my current one.

OK, so what about running? The problem is that running is:

– Dangerous, if you do it in the mornings and the evenings and you live anywhere near the poles, because you are running alone, in the dark.

– Cold and unpleasant, if you live near the poles.

– Very liable to cause you injuries, if it is not done right. I can attest to this. And, as a poor person, you can’t afford to go off sick, you can’t afford a sports physio, and you can’t afford decent trainers, which could help to prevent injury.

Also, when do you find the time to exercise? Minimum wagers work up to 10 hours a day just to get by. If they sleep for 8 hours a day, this leaves them 6 hours a day in which to get to and from work, shower, do the housework, cook food, deal with paperwork and bills… that 15 minutes isn’t looking so doable now, is it?

When people flaunt their toned bodies, they aren’t just saying “I have great self-control”, they’re also saying “I am wealthy and priviliged” in a way which is socially acceptable. They’re showing that they can afford gym memberships, ergonomic trainers, sports physios, childcare, and to be able to work a 40 hour week. And if they recognise that, that’s fantastic. But I hate the way that class privilige is forced down our throats, and people lie and call it self-control.

Post # 205
1004 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@Rachel631:  +1 


Yep, being in good health and fit is definitely a privilege. You have to have a certain amount of resources (time, money, space, access to good food, physical safety, a safety net, knowledge of how to work out effectively and safely, etc. ) beyond the absolute basics for the pursuit of fitness goals. It is not fair that not being in shape is seen as such a distasteful failing, especially for women, especially after having children (which is highly likely to forever change their bodies – not all women, but many experience changes they don’t like). It is not easily attainable, nor a priority, for many people. Their reasons are legitimate, not excuses to be mocked.


Your point about injury being a reason not to work out is true as well. I work a min. wage job on the side right now, and the “lifers” there routinely come in sick or injured because they can’t afford to miss work. A guy came in with a back injury, wearing a brace, hardly able to move, but he had been gone for a week and couldn’t afford to stay  out longer.

Post # 206
746 posts
Busy bee

@Rachel631:  I absolutely agree with this, on all points.  

I think this is why you used to see in psychiatric literature the stereotype of the typical anorexic person as an affluent young woman.  Because they are the ones who are raised to have the ability to even have the choice to reject food systematically and/or exercise at gyms, etc.  Minimum wagers or children raised in poverty don’t have this “luxury” or “privilege”, if you want to call it as such.    

The psych community has realized that eating disorders are far more widespread than previously thought but I think the stereotype definitely has its roots in some of the uncomfortable realities in your last post.    


Post # 209
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Atalanta:  +1000. Well said.

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