I usually reserve this blog space for posts about my personal journey toward physical, emotional and spiritual health. Today I’m taking a break from that to rant for a few minutes.
I’d never even heard of Maria Kang until a few days ago. I’m now fascinated…stunned, really…by the social media firestorm raging around this photo. She posted it on her website and Facebook page and people chose to get all defensive and offended. After receiving a barrage of hate, she posted a non-apologetic reply and all heck broke loose.
While the “What’s Your Excuse” meme has been used in the fitness industry forever, this post is not meant to defend Kang’s poster or her statements; I’m not her paid P.R. counsel. Rather, I’m questioning why so many people care about what she thinks. After all, her poster doesn’t say,
“What’s Your Excuse, [Insert Your Name]?”
I don’t often get offended by people I know. Why on earth would I get ticked off by someone I’ve never met?
Social media certainly has its positive attributes. But now that the world is one big happily connected community, I’m concerned we’ve become the Chronically Offended.
I tend to back away from Facebook during presidential campaigns and government shut downs. I’ll hop on FB to tend to my coaching business page and take care of things on the pages I manage for the company I work for, but I stay away from my personal page. I just become so weary reading all the inflammatory posts…the hate…from both sides of the political aisle.
But I digress. Let’s get back to Maria Kang. As I was doing (very limited) research for this post, I saw a clip from a talk show I’ve never watched. I don’t recall the name of the show, but Sharon Osborne is one of the talking heads. She and her co-heads were giving their opinions about Kang’s poster. One of them said, “The photo is great, but she could have used softer language.”
Softer language? Good Heavens, the woman didn’t say, “What’s Your Excuse, You Cow?” But Sharon nailed it, in my opinion. She said that Kang has gotten exactly what she wanted: we’re talking about her. Sharon knows a thing or two about getting attention. She managed her husband’s career, she secured a reality TV show for her family, she judged “America’s Got Talent” and she’s now on a talk show I’ve never watched. You don’t accomplish all of that without knowing how to work the media.
Of all of the angry comments I’ve read, no one has explained why they care about what Kang thinks, why they’ve given her so much power over their self-esteem. And so, Offended Ones, I hope you will take a deep breath and remember: Maria Kang doesn’t know you. She’s not losing sleep wondering why you’re not in the shape you wish to be (or why I am not in the shape I wish to be). Her 15 minutes of fame will be over soon and then you can be offended by someone else. But until this attention about her flames out, just remember…
you gave it to her.