Is ‘body shaming’ really a thing? If it is, is it bad?

There’s been a controversy brewing lately that I guess I’ve been missing.  You see, apparently, a fitness personality on Facebook by the name of Maria Kang posted a new profile picture of herself - in all her fit awesomeness - with her three children ranging in age from three years to eight months.  The picture includes the text “What’s your excuse”?

On a fitness personality’s page, this is nothing new.  The routinely post photos of themselves with phrases meant to be inspirational.  Kang is, in my opinion, especially so because of the fact that she has three young children and also apparently runs two businesses while also managing to look incredible.  It’s not easy, and her point that she has as busy a lifestyle as a human being can have and is still able to remain fit is certainly laudable.  For the record, she and her husband both claim that they do not use a nanny.

The controversy kicks in because some women are accusing Kang of “body shaming”.  From Libertarian Republic where I first picked up the story.

Alongside those encouraging posts however, Kang’s character, parenting and appearance were attacked by fellow women. Once word spread, the self-righteous sensitivity police labeled Kang the dreaded title of “bully” because she was “fat shaming” women, particularly fellow mothers.

“Like we aren’t shamed enough by advertisers setting impossible standards. My “excuses” are none of your business. You should take this down,” wrote one woman.

“You’re (sic) children need a mother more then you need washboard abs,” wrote one commenter. “You should be ashamed of yourself, fat-nazi,” another wrote. “I’m sick of all this fat-shaming. Real men love curves.”

The backlash was so intensive, she had to release a FAQ on her site to explain her life story. The presumption of her critics is shocking. Maria owes the world an explanation for her fitness.

So, What’s My Excuse?, Maria Kang?” wrote one blogger. “I am a real woman, that’s my excuse. With that said, I beg to ask you Maria, the same question. If my excuse is that I’m a REAL woman, then What’s Your Excuse?”

Wow, really?

I went over to Kang’s Facebook page where the picture was posted to see the hate for myself.  Wow.

Maria Kang's hate

And then there was this one as well.

More hate

First, I don’t see how Kang’s photo even remotely equates to “body shaming” as some of these women claim.  People often come up with elaborate excuses for why they are over weight, but usually those excuse are just that: excuses.  Kang knows this, and wanted to show that her busy lifestyle hasn’t held her back.

That’s not enough for some folks.

Second, even if it is body shaming, so what?  We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic, aren’t we?  If that’s the case, where is the harm in telling people who are fat that they’re fat?  I’m fat.  I know I’m fat, and I know why I’m fat.  I don’t have a thyroid condition, I have a cheeseburger condition for crying out loud.  The vast majority of fat folks are just like me in that regard.

Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t a dark side.  I understand that eating disorders are a concern and, if one isn’t careful, you can send a girl over the edge. However, that’s been around far, far longer than our obesity epidemic has.

As a man, some women will probably get pissed at me for even weighing in on this subject.  After all, Kang is a woman and so are her “haters”.  However, I’m going to do it anyway and damn the consequences.

To the women that think Kang was “body shaming”, let me tell you something.  Someone needs to body shame people in this country.  Someone needs to start telling people that being a fat cow isn’t alright.  Someone needs to quit telling people it’s fine to be obese as long as you’re “comfortable in your own skin”.  We need to start telling people they’re fatasses.  Start with me if you want, I already know I’m a fatass and am trying to work on it.  No, it isn’t easy, but it doesn’t get any easier if everyone tells you that you’re fine just the way you are.

Oh, and there’s another little tidbit I wanted to address.  In the Libertarian Republic’s piece, the author quoted one woman I really want to address.

“You’re (sic) children need a mother more then you need washboard abs,” wrote one commenter. “You should be ashamed of yourself, fat-nazi,” another wrote. “I’m sick of all this fat-shaming. Real men love curves.”

Where the hell does this woman get off telling me what I’m supposed to love?  For the record, I’ve loved women of varying shapes and sizes in my life, but that’s not anyone else’s business.

To make matters worse, some of these same people will share shirtless pictures of actors like Brad Pitt, Vin Diesel, and Paul Walker.  These are buff guys, who I have no doubt these women find attractive.  So, you see, real men love “curves”, but real women love rock hard abs?

Folks, there are beautiful women of most any size.  There are some absolutely stunning plus sized models, for example, that most men I know would be thrilled to land regardless of the fact that their dress size contains more than one digit.  However, to tell me what I should find attractive is none of your business, especially when one considers that science has shown us that many of these women with “curves” are in an unhealthy area weight-wise.

Frankly, we probably need a little body shaming.  It’s not a bad thing if it inspires healthy changes in someone’s life.  Not only that, but body shaming doesn’t necessarily have to end when someone is no longer on the heavy side.  It might just be a hell of a tool to fight things like anorexia and bulemia.  An unhealthy body is an unhealthy body, whether it’s too fat or too thin.

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