Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why ‘Fit Mom’ Maria Kang was banned from Facebook

Tough love fitness guru, Maria Kang, is back in the headlines after Facebook banned her for 'hate speech'. Pip Lincolne investigates why the 'Fit Mom' fitness campaigner feels compelled to continue her fat-shaming ways.

Maria Kang (she of the controversial ‘What’s your excuse?’, mummy fitness photo that went viral and swept the web a month ago) is back in the headlines, this time being temporarily banned from Facebook for alleged ‘fat shaming’ comments.

Commenting on a Daily Mail piece about the plus-size  Curvy Girl Lingerie campaign Kang told her Facebook followers:  ”The popular and unrelenting support received to those who are borderline obese (not just 30-40lbs overweight) frustrates me as a fitness advocate who intimately understands how poor health negatively effects a family, a community and a nation.”

“While I think it’s important to love and accept your body, I was a little peeved because I think that we’re normalising obesity in our society,” Kang said.

Blocked by Facebook

Kang’s Facebook account was suspended for two days after her anti-Curvy Girls post was reported as ‘hate speech’ with Kang commenting, “I definitely think my freedom of speech was removed.”

The post apparently received 10 000 likes and 2000 shares in the four hours it was live. Facebook now say the post was removed in error and have apologised for blocking her account.

Sorry, but…

Kang addressed the issue on her own terms  in a post titled ‘Sorry but not sorry.‘ She said she’s been ‘completely misunderstood’ and that she grasps the deeper issues of weight and obesity because she ‘grew up with them’:

“I experienced a hateful relationship with food that triggered several years struggling with bulimia.” She goes on to detail the health struggles of various family members and how much they impacted on her life, explaining her motivation comes from a caring place:

“While I speak strongly about making one’s health a priority, the very last thing I intended to express was any level of shame. No one should be ashamed of who they are, at the same time, in order to desire something greater, you have to – at some level – be uncomfortable with where you are at. When we normalize being unhealthy we create complacency to positively change,” she wrote.

Tough love or just tough?

Of course, Kang’s entitled to her own opinion, but I wonder at her constant and very public judgement of others. Why doesn’t she take her skinny fitness message to those who want to hear it (and there are 233 000+ of them on her Facebook page alone), rather than looking for fresh targets like the Curvy Girls or  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

We are definitely facing an obesity crisis worldwide, but I’m not sure that tough talking skinny crusaders are the solution. They tend to isolate people with weight or health problems further.  They don’t even get close to the underlying issues and their focus on ‘hotness’ at best marginalises those who are struggling with their weight and at worst, dilutes their ‘good health’ message.

The skin you’re in

I make health and fitness a huge priority in my life, but I would never assume that my approach is the best approach. I’m also not a fan of naming and body shaming others – especially if they are obviously celebrating the skin they are in!

I wonder if Maria Kang really does have a big huge heart full of caring about people and their health… or if she’s got her eye on the fame and fortune prize and is trying to elevate her own worth by cutting others down?  28 Nov 2013

Unfortunately the truth sometimes not only hurts but is not 'politically correct' (whatever that really means).

The politics behind this is that one is shut down (oppression of freedom of speech) for an opinion or even fact which is not on the agenda of the governments or to the business leaders delights.


Jeremy said...

It really shouldn't have made "news".
All "major news" websites are increasingly resembling tabloid magazines.For some reason, somebody thinks we should all be surprised Nigella Lawson has used drugs, and be equally surprised if a rock star doesn't. The White House dog knocks over a child at a token showing of the wealth party. AFL is still front running the 6 o'clock news for some reason.

Is nothing else happening in the world? I don't want to be dumbed down with with the latest from Miley-Bieber-Kardashian-Obama, that's why I come here for proof that not everyone is a sheep, and that cannon fodder can take up the fight.

AuCorp said...

There are plenty of 'news' stories that are put up to distract / dumb down, etc.

The 'news' is becoming more tabloid, as part of the policy.

In order to read 'premium' stories, one has to login (be monitored) in order to read them.

Educating the masses is NOT part of any policy.