“Hot Mom” Maria Kang Is A Self-Obsessed Narcissist, and Yes, There’s A Reason Humility Is An Ethical Virtue


Lots of Americans are obsessed with outward appearances, unreasonably devoted to being attractive at all costs and for as long as possible,convinced that their own priorities are what everyone should embrace, and feel superior as a result. Most don’t go out of their way to broadcast these obnoxious attitudes and to accuse others of being inferior, rationalizing slugs while thrusting their cosmetic successes in the faces of those who no longer can squeeze int their fashion jeans.

Maria Kang, pictured above in all her buff glory, did, reaped the predictable result, and now is being called the aggrieved victim while she remains resolutely self-righteous.


Hot Mom Defends Herself Against Facebook Haters” shouts the Yahoo! headline. I’d summarize the story a bit differently. Maybe “Self -Promoting Narcissist Doubles Down On Obnoxious Ad” would do the trick. Kang created the photo above, an ad for her spectacularly egocentric website, and though it took a while, eventually was being ripped all over the blogosphere for it. All of which she richly deserves. Imagine the reaction to a similar photo posted by Mitt Romney or John Kerry, showing the trappings of their wealth and success, with the same accusatory challenge to the rest of humanity. Humility is a virtue that has long been recognized as critical to societal comity, because when we become overly impressed with ourselves, it inevitably leads us to be less respectful of others. I wonder if Maria Kang has ever heard of humility.

Why anyone would subject themselves to the website Kang is peddling is a mystery. On it, Kang sings an ode to herself, and assures those made gaga by her self-proclaimed beauty and success as a—yechhh-–“fitness mom” that they can be just like her if they keep their eye on the prize—you know: kids, a successful small business, and abs. What more could anyone want?

Sorry…I have to get rid of another yechhh now. Yechhh.

If there was any doubt that this woman’s solar system revolves around self-love, witness her vomit-inducing “apology” for posting the graphic in question. She wrote:

“I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive. What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain. With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a ‘bigger’ issue than this photo. Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point. So What’s Your Excuse?”  

Well, gee, Maria..I’m sorry that you have obviously spent more time doing crunches than reading, learning syntax, grammar or how to write, all of which is something of a duty if you presume to blog. “Resonated with it”? “Into” instead on “in to”—twice? “Go into details that?” Why the quotes around ‘hate” and ‘bigger’? You know, the inability to write clear, grammatical and coherent English is also a ‘bigger’ issue that this photo, as is the fact that young women whose role models are the Kardashians, Kate Upton and fitness models rather than writers, lawyers, elected officials and other women who don’t routinely appear publicly in bikinis and sports bras tend to end up miserable, warped, illiterate or silly…or, in your case, insufferable.

Those thoughts that came out of so many women’s heads when they saw you flaunting your figure and kids with the accusation “What’s your excuse?” weren’t spontaneous, and your New Agey-Tony Robbins rationalization that you aren’t accountable for their unhappiness is dishonest gibberish. They reasonably reacted to an image and message created by you and intended to spark a response. I gather that communication isn’t your forte, but when someone says “What’s your excuse?,” that statement contains an implied assertion that the individual addressed has done something wrong, or failed to do something he or she has an obligation to do, and thus requires an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for a failing.  That negative thought isn’t the independent creation of members of your photo’s audience: the negative element is entirely yours. The suggestion of inadequacy is an unfair assertion. It is a presumptuous, arrogant, offensive and insulting assertion, made more so by your obvious implication that how every woman should live her life, judge her success, choose her goals and prioritize her time must necessarily match your choices in these deeply personal matters.

I see that in addition to your duties as a parent, you run a business, and write a nauseating blog. Cheers. Yet there are still many worthwhile things you don’t do, presumably. You don’t need an excuse for that, but many of us think those things should take priority over having large families, exercising regularly, and talking about ourselves. Some people have to work two jobs. Some are dedicated to social issues. Some are artists. Some pursue intellectual rather than physical perfection. Some have different priorities than you do, and they neither owe you an explanation nor need an excuse for that.

Personally, I think narcissism is at least as big a problem in this country as obesity, and the proportion of obese people who are also wonderful human beings dwarfs that of Kang’s group, the self-satisfied narcissists.


Sources: Yahoo!, Maria Kang, WCRZ

14 thoughts on ““Hot Mom” Maria Kang Is A Self-Obsessed Narcissist, and Yes, There’s A Reason Humility Is An Ethical Virtue

  1. In defense of Maria Kang…she is running a business. So I can’t dismiss her as a self-satisfied narcissist, unless I do the same to all product-pushers (like, say, the pushers of the reformed US health care system…? Hmmmm….). She might indeed be promoting narcissism. But…a recovering bulimic who founded a non-profit, Fitness Without Borders (“It takes a community to raise a fit child”)? I’ll give her the benefit of doubt. From there, her “What’s Your Excuse?” hook is just that: a hook. A salesmanship slogan. Nothing more. Her non-apology is really just more of the same – marketing, trying to take advantage of adverse publicity to create positive publicity. Frankly, in some of the criticisms of Kang, I am reading more self-righteousness, envy, and malicious strivings for undeserved shaming in her critics than any she exhibits.

    • There is such a thing as leadership by example. Some years ago, I began following a blog and site set up by a man who changed his ways in a manner that was, and remains, inspiring to me. I simply cannot and will not call one’s diligent devotion to personal health “narcissism.” Nor will I regard anyone who has made significant changes in his life to improve his personal health a narcissist. Maria Kang might be “fit” for some people to follow, while others may be more fit for others to follow. I aim to mention this only once here, and never again: Anyone who hasn’t visited the site already, who wants to take better care of their physical fitness, might find inspiration as well as a treasure trove of information about success (and, failure), by visiting the dot-com website for “John Stone Fitness.”

      • Well Eeyoure, her example is certainly not one that I or any sensible person with a modicum of intelligence is going to follow. If you want to run a business and make money, then it behooves you not to be a narcissistic self-promoter like Maria Kang who has alienated people with her obnoxious behavior(and particularly her self-righteousness). I am very glad that people are finally wisening up, taking a stand, and refusing to reward her bad behavior. If you wanna promote your business, try being fun(the way Steve Irwin was) instead of annoying!

    • I don’t see what’s hard to understand about why people are turned off by the caption. This article gives a great example of an analogous caption (emphasizing riches instead of plastic-y good looks), and you have to agree that it would be horrible- just like this.

      Or suppose it was a website about education- “I speak 3 languages and have 3 degrees and three kids. What’s YOUR excuse, Maria?” See, THAT would be awful, just like this ad is awful. But most rich people or educated people (apart from the most insufferable of MLM-type hucksters) would do such a thing, simply because most people, accomplished or not, aren’t self-worshipping jerks!

      No one cares that a mom is skinny and moderately successful; people are eye-rolling over the egomaniacal caption. Even as “marketing”… was it necessary? Would you have even considered it yourself?

  2. Or suppose it was a website about education- “I speak 3 languages and have 3 degrees and three kids. What’s YOUR excuse, Maria?” See, THAT would be awful, just like this ad is awful. But most rich people or educated people (apart from the most insufferable of MLM-type hucksters) would do such a thing, simply because most people, accomplished or not, aren’t self-worshipping jerks!
    Yes, I think that is the reason this ad/web site annoys people.
    Not to mention, there is more than one way to look at anything.
    For example, she might be super fit but some people might think packing your little boys off to a sitter/daycare everyday so you can be at the gym 8 hrs/day is pretty selfish.
    Raising children should be the number one priority when they are that young.

  3. I think what Isaac and Finlay are resenting here (maybe Jack, too) is the directness of the challenge that can be drawn from “What’s Your Excuse?” It’s only egomaniacal if that’s what you think you have to be, to match or exceed what Kang is advertising or advocating. The fact that she puts out that slogan does not confirm that she is a haughty, bullying, web-shaming-of-anyone-who-reads-and-doesn’t-do-as-she-does self-worshipper. Gad! The things people project onto other people. How about THIS? Kang is persuading a large population of self-defeating (and, up to now, self-defeated) people to break out from chronic failure and make constructive changes in their lives with a variation of a “Yes, You CAN” exhortation. Oh, but it’s “offensive,” and we mustn’t offend ANYbody, EVER. So that’s it: Evil wins, because giving offense is the trumping evil over all evils. That settles it, case closed – move along, nothing to pay any mind here. So go ahead, fatten-up with another Slurpee and mock Kang The Freak. Ahhhhh, those deductibles and copays look more affordable every hour. Not.

  4. I suggest you get off your butt, quit typing non-sense, and go do a few hundred squats. While you’re at it clean up what you keep in the kitchen.

    Seriously, the message is take some time out of your day, and be active! Just be a healthy person overall.

    What’s your excuse besides sitting on your butt and typing away like a nagging chicken?

    • But of course, that’s NOT the message. The message is “Boy, am I special, and don’t you wish you were like me???” No, I don’t, who asked your opinion, and what makes you think that I need an “excuse” to have my own life priorities?

  5. I can’t help but feel a little sorry for her kids. Yes, she does seem like a narcissist. Fitspiration seems ridiculous to me. People would be happier just taking care of themselves, it doesn’t have to be a religion.

  6. Women that are ‘obese’ and ‘fat’ etc and have kids don’t always have a choice. Women can’t decide if their pregnancies will be healthy or unhealthy, if they will get really ‘fat’ or get so sick that they lose weight during it. They don’t always have the energy to ‘run and lose weight’. Besides any new scared-to-lose-the-baby mother would not engage in strenuous workouts in those early three months (almost every pregnancy related website will tell you NOT to dramatically increase you fitness level more than before you were pregnant or try any crazy new workout’s except for pelvic floor workouts and light pregnancy yoga). Even in the later months you wouldn’t go crazy on workouts – your bodies already pumping twice as much blood and making a little person in there. I would suggest doing things that keep your mind, soul in shape and of course LIGHT walks and pelvic floor workouts to help practice your breathing for when you are actually pushing your baby out. A woman would be crazy to work out too hard in order to keep in shape while comprising the child just so she looks good on the outside.

    Also, for the woman who planned for a natural birth and because of some complication HAD to have a c-section, they have no choice but to stay put right after birth – for some its hard to bend down and pick up their other toddlers, toys and even to hold their newborn. They EAT because the nutrients go right to the baby. I was told to eat fattier foods and go to bed to make ‘fattier’ milk to pass on to my son. Right after birth you should wait two weeks BEFORE any sort of exercise. With a natural birth you want the stitches to heal properly for everything to stay looking good down there. and you WILL MOST LIKELY HAVE A SORE BACK. You need to strengthen your back using leg raises when you are ready.

    Marie shouldn’t be so selfish – maybe she didn’t have any complications like this when pregnant or afterwards. I’m sure if she did she would eat her own words. Also, she must have home-help with her kids (daycare, grandparents) so she has the TIME to workout and stay fit, a lot of mothers don’t – they are doing everything by themselves, so when they put their feet up for five minutes they can’t really fit in a workout into their busy schedules.

    She needs to look at the bigger picture – many women will be thinking ‘you should be looking after your 8 month old more than caring about your body’ or ‘you should be a stay at home mum, the first three years are crucial’. Her body just got lucky – but what’s going to happen if she suddenly stopped training? What will she do if she had a c-section and couldn’t workout for six months because her body was gashed open to pull her baby out and all she could do is eat and breastfeed?

    What if her milk wasn’t fatty enough, or her baby has reflux and keeps spitting up so she is forced to eat high-fat, high-carb food to pass on to her kid and has no time to workout? What if her baby was lactose intolerant and she was forced to bottle feed goats/soy milk and couldn’t get her uterus to contract via breast feeding? Something called karma – you never know when it will happen to you, so you shouldn’t judge others Maria or make up ideas in your head about others.

    On the other hand, some mothers need to stop being so critical of women who ARE fit after birth thinking they’re are starving themselves – some of them have been really sick during pregnancy so didn’t gain any weight and wished they did. Some of them end up losing even more weight breastfeeding. Some of them have actually worked hard to lose the weight. Others just don’t like the feeling of being pregnant so lose the weight.

    I would say:
    – First and foremost, take care of the tiny creature in your arms – they need you and don’t care if you’re chubby because you are the warmest, cuddliest person they know
    – If you want to lose weight don’t cry about it – make a list of priorities and note down where weight-loss falls. Unlike Maria Kang your baby should be more important than weight-loss
    – Write down a plan of action, make it gradual and realistic.
    – Don’t leave baby fat on you for too long, hopefully once your youngest turns three-ish start getting healthier for your mind and well-being
    – breastfeeding is a baby fat sucking weapon do it for as long as you can IF you can, or at least the first few weeks or months if you can, I know it can be hard, so no pressure
    – a lot of you are actually already there but are deceived by the pouch around your tummy that you call baby fat, love handles, pooch or baby pouch – you can’t just burn this off you need to tone in that area while losing weight to avoid loose skin that normally needs surgery to be removed. –Crunclhes alone won’t do it- you need a mixture of cardio, toning exercises and healthy diet (I said a healthy diet not a SKINNY STARVING diet)

    – Do NOT starve yourself – almost anyone can lose weight starving themselves but will gain it back as soon as they start eating again, this is also a loose skin hazard

    – Remember Maria Kang is not perfect herself – people can criticise her for many things: under-toned thighs, wide waist. bulky arms, too much make-up (cake up), small boobs, too much bronzer, not to mention her huge head (pun intended). She has the money, the time and the self-obsessiveness to make her body like this. This is also her job as a personal trainer, her kids are merely just products to be used in her advertisement. She obviously cares more about her career than them.

    Unfortunately, what she lacks is a beautiful soul and caring hand towards other mothers. She feels bigger (or should I say skinnier) breaking them down. After having all of this (she obviously thinks her body is a huge achievement) she has a huge void in her heart, so she needs to criticise others to feel good about herself. Something like, cutting off others legs so she can stand taller. She needs to put herself out there to say ‘Hey look at me, lost my baby weight and you’re fat’. Maybe she is just so insecure, or she feels old or regrets having kids…in the end she is a career woman.

    In reply: “Maria, I am a graduate, I am MANY years YOUNGER than you, had a 23″ tiny waist only THREE WEEKS after having a naturally delivered baby- that I take full-time care of – and have not worked out even ONCE in my gymLAZium. So what, I am SKINNY, who CARES”. I am not one bit going to harass a woman for being chubby after birth because I might be in that position myself with my next child for whatever reason. You have no idea what they’ve been through . At least they are trying to be good mothers . Careful Maria, you might trip over your vanity while walking towards the mirror. Pun intended.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.