Inspiration Gone Wrong?
I’m sure many of you have seen this photo floating around the internet for the past week or so and quite a few people have asked me what I think about it and the controversy surrounding it; here are my thoughts…
“While surely Kang did not consciously intend to shame women about their bodies, her word choice was inflammatory and combative, and she appears to lack the understanding that the message “Come with me!” will always be much, much more powerful than “Look at me!”
Molly Galbraith also wrote a good post about this picture and misunderstood message entitled “Maria Kang: Inspirational or Fat Shaming?”, you can read this post HERE.
I agree whole heartedly with Jen Sinkler. In addition, better motivation and inspiration comes from inspiring people to focus on the “doing” such as accomplishing specific strength and/or endurance goals, and the most important aspects of exercise such as being healthy, extending one’s life, and being strong rather than the vanity aspect of “washboard” abs. You will get the better version of yourself if you stay focused on your strength goals (e.g. an un-assisted pull-up) and/or endurance goals (a sprint triathlon or the ability to complete 250 kettlebell swings per day without being sore!) and no one needs to feel ashamed about their body if it doesn’t look like Maria Kang’s body. We all have different goals, different bodies, and different “better” versions of ourselves. Whether we have children or not we all have priorities that can interfere with our fitness goals if we let them. If it’s important to you, you will find a way and some people just need some guidance as to how to take that first step. This picture doesn’t necessarily help people take that first step.