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.