The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

I Want To Celebrate With You, Not Be Shamed By You

on October 22, 2013

A bit of a storm blew up recently regarding this woman and a pic that she posted on her website showing her posing with her kids.  The point of the photo is to show off her great body, especially her abs and that she has accomplished this level of fitness despite having three children, the oldest being three, the youngest eight months  when the photo was taken.  People have reacted badly to the photo and this has forced her to post what she calls her first and last apology where she apologizes for the hurt she’s caused.  She goes on to say “I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way.”

I have no problem with the image.  I think most people would be impressed by her physique and how she managed to attain it with three babies in tow.  The same way I don’t look at pics of fitness models and think that they are mocking me, her picture itself is fine, perhaps even inspirational for someone struggling to lose post pregnancy  weight. What I have a problem with, and what she seems to have missed completely, is that the snapshot is not the issue, the catty caption that reads “What’s your excuse?” makes me want to figuratively slap her upside the head for being insensitive.  If she had captioned it “No more excuses.” it might have been a little kinder, or imagine a positive caption like “You can do it too!” which conveys camaraderie as opposed to competition.  She was accused of fat shaming and bullying and while I might not go as far as to say that she’s a bully, I do think there is definitely a spirit of “mean girls” in her caption.

Fatshaming is about making someone feel bad because they are overweight.  Fatshaming is done by people all the time either consciously or unconsciously, but someone showing me a picture of their trim body does not have to mean that they are shaming me. They are simply proud of their accomplishment and while I might be a bit jealous that they can wear the latest fashions or run up a flight of stairs without gasping, that’s my issue, not theirs and I can appreciate their hard work and celebrate their accomplishment with them.  Anything else would be catty and selfish of me.  After all if I lose weight or accomplish a physical feat I want people singing my praises and complimenting me, so I understand when someone wants to be celebrated.  However, if they are mean about it or try to tell me that they lost twenty pounds so they know it’s possible and “if I really wanted to” I could easily stay motivated and lose the weight, or if they question why it’s so hard for me and why don’t I just eat less and take a walk every day well those people deserve the firestorm they create because quite frankly they are either mean or thoughtless or both.

As for this woman’s apology it is unacceptable because she doesn’t understand what she is actually apologizing for.  In her defense when I googled “What’s Your Excuse?” I found that it seems that many in the fitness industry use this or similar catch phrases when showing off their accomplishments. For example I found a picture of a man with a prosthetic leg who has worked out and is now in peak physical form all lumpy and bumpy with muscles and such and his picture is also captioned “What’s Your Excuse?”. Perhaps some actually do think this kind of thing is motivational, but the tone is just plain mean and I hope that those who think it’s helping would consider the number of people who are alienated and made to feel “less than” by such words.

– the Goddess

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10 responses to “I Want To Celebrate With You, Not Be Shamed By You

  1. tifelayne says:

    Very well said….I totally agree!

  2. nancytex2013 says:

    I agree 100%. Comments like that insinuate that it’s not only possible to look like that, but, also easy. Tone-wise, it just irks me.
    Anything I’ve accomplished on my journey has been f^*king hard-ass work. I bust my ass – and it’s a slow, slow process. A process I get pretty frustrated with, frankly. It takes everything I have to convince myself to workout every day. And even doing that, I will never have her abs. And that is okay. I am okay. I am enough.

  3. 1959duke says:

    Reblogged this on Change is Never Ending.

  4. Reblogged this on Maximizing Character and commented:
    Aim for Camaraderie Versus Competition

  5. You articulated this much needed message well!

  6. I wish more people thought this way!

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