Maria Kang, aka the Hot Facebook Mom, posted a picture of her fitness-fabulous self, alongside her three young boys, about a year ago. When she recently noticed that the picture was getting a lot of negative comments, she posted a not so apologetic apology. What was she not apologizing for? Her caption, “What’s Your Excuse?”
Women across the country got their lycra yoga pants in a twist, feeling offended by what they felt was bullying on the part of the pint sized Hot Facebook Mom. They took her caption as an accusation that they are slacking in their own fitness duties, and therefore are somehow less-than in the mom category. People accused Maria Kang of “fat shaming”, and called her obnoxious. What do I say to all of that? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! We have got to stop measuring ourselves in other peoples’ mirrors and just worry about reflecting ourselves. Maria has a great body, cute kids, and businesses that she wants to promote. Her picture was nothing more than an “adverpost” on Facebook. She’s selling her brand folks. You don’t have to buy it — or buy into it, for that matter.
When my friend sent me this story I was shocked, but then I wasn’t really because this is what the media expects of us as women: to tear each other down, to judge, to compete, and to condemn, all for their entertainment and marketing dollar pleasure. If you don’t know Maria personally but felt she was speaking to you directly in her post, then you might be wrestling with some internal guilt. Instead of cutting Maria up, why not cut yourself some slack. I bet you are working yourself to the bone trying to raise your family. It’s not easy these days by any means. We all have crosses to bear. Heck, I’d love to have a flat stomach like Maria. I’m so envious I can almost taste it. Almost, but then I get distracted by my to-do list and go back to the post I’m writing, while screening video from my concerts, making dinner, and negotiating a cease-fire between two of my children and overseeing homework of the third.
As I said, Maria Kang’s picture is basically an advertisement, but in a way it is false advertising. It implies that without excuses, you too could birth 3 babies in 4 years and be runway ready 8 months postpartum. Yeah, not so typical. You’ve gotta have some very good genes, a predisposition for this physical form, dedicated workout time and a metabolism that is lava hot. But her picture did what an ad is supposed to do: it gets under your skin and keep you talking. I say, good for you Maria. If you can do it, live it and maintain it, bully for you. Flaunt it girl! Be the Hot Facebook Mom. And if it gets you more gigs, more clients, or more sponsorships, then even better, because that’s what we all hope for as entrepreneurs. I can’t begrudge you your right to use provocative captioning and all your assets to promote yourself. That’s what social advertising is all about. You have branded yourself, which is what any of the rest of us should be working on for ourselves.
My fellow moms, if you are always watching people in front of you, viewing them as competition, you will miss the horizon — and potentially an opportunity better tailored to your skills could pass you right by. Look, some days I do have a few excuses. Some days I have some distractions. Most days I just have a whole host of obligations. That’s my truth. It’s not always pretty, but it is always mine. Let the Hot Facebook Mom live her truth and you, you go live yours… in whatever way works for you. #Reflecturself!
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