Prior to reading the book I hadn’t heard of Maria Kang or the controversy she created when she posted the following photo to her Facebook page:
The photo went viral and Kang was vilified by critics for “fat shaming.”
At first, I was irritated by her photo, but the more I thought about it I became angry. If you look into Kang's background you learn she is a former fitness competitor and personal trainer making it easier for her to get back into shape after having children. Also, she admits to struggling with bulimia. I can't help but wonder if she isn't still obsessed with compulsive exercise and being thin. I don't think she is a healthy role model and do think the air-brushed photo above is fat shaming.
I would have been more likely to consider Kang a healthy role model if she would have used the following more natural photo:
As for healthy role models, I prefer Eliz Greene of Embrace Your Heart whom I've written about before.
Eliz was seven-months pregnant with twins when she suffered a massive heart attack. Her life changed — not only did she survive a ten-minute cardiac arrest, the cesarean delivery of her daughters and open-heart surgery, all on the same day — she gained new perspective and passion for life. Eliz developed strategies to fit activity and healthy habits into her life. She lost the more than eighty pounds she gained while pregnant and has kept it off for more than a decade.
I had the pleasure of attending a presentation given by Greene a few years ago. She is this teeny tiny women who danced across the stage persuading her audience to exercise in ten minute increments when we were unable to fit a 30 minute workout into our schedule. Many women can't make it to the gym 5 to 6 times a week, but we can dance around the kitchen while doing the dishes.
Do you think Maria Kang is a healthy role model? If not who is your healthy role model?