I read a blog confronting all the haters who were upset at this woman for her confrontational "motivation", and while I agree with the premise (that haters need to stop spewing over things that were never said), I couldn't stop thinking about the image itself.
Honestly, I do find it disturbing. I see a woman who has struggled to overcome her circumstances and was able to prove to the world.... what? How much better she is? That she fought hard to become another brainwashed icon of our society's objectification of women? That she was able to have three children in three years, unlike those who struggle to have any?
I'm sorry, but the reason the "haters" latched onto this woman is because she was just a bit too in-your-face.
So, in reply I'd like to be an advocate for my fellow women, and leave a few of our "excuses" for her consideration. These are from real women I've known who have been inspiring to me. I've changed their names to protect their identities.
- My name is Caroline, and here's my excuse: Within the first four years of our marriage we had three kids. My husband, being the excellent man he is started working two jobs to help pay the bills. Isolated at home with three children all day resulted in clinical depression. The medication caused unnatural and excessive weight gain. Rather than depend on other taxpayers for our food, we have cut our budget to bare minimum to live within our means. This unfortunately means lots of carbs. I'm gluten sensitive and metabolize proteins much better than carbs. Because of our financial situation I am unable to purchase enough protein to maintain a balanced weight. I've had a total of five live births, and three ended in Cesarean section. I don't eat a lot of junk food, I exercise without expensive equipment.
I am most proud of Caroline for the following reasons: She is not using their financial situation to become a burden on society. She is a hard worker. She is an excellent mother. I also happen to think she's beautiful.
- My name is Tabitha and here's my excuse: I was a very healthy child. When I hit puberty I started packing on weight. I already ate healthy food, and was active, so my parents consulted with doctors to determine why I was suddenly becoming obese. Eventually the Doctors said it was a glandular problem. Despite consultation with many doctors, use of medications, and other attempts I have never been able to lose the weight. Everyone else in my family looks fit and healthy. I know I'm healthy, but I look fat. I've never had children.
I am most proud of Tabitha for the following reasons: She has not used her weight as an excuse to be unhealthy. She is friendly and outgoing. She has become a successful business woman and is an excellent wife to her husband.
- My name is Jane, and here's my excuse: I packed on weight after my first child weaned himself early. After realizing just how fat I'd become I tried to use traditional dieting methods to lose the weight. I created a calorie deficit like all the "experts" recommended, and yoyo-ed my way gradually up to 80 lbs over my "ideal" weight. Despite every attempt and even short term success I've never been able to keep the weight off. I've exercised, dieted, given up, exercised, dieted, given up, ad nauseam. I finally realized after 16 years of research that calorie deficit diets don't work for my metabolism. Three out of my four pregnancies were plagued with nausea and acid reflux. The only way I could manage feeling mostly normal was to nibble on food all day every day. All four pregnancies resulted in cesarean sections making it difficult for me to get back in shape quickly afterward.
I am most proud of Jane for the following reasons: She's always fun to be around. She may not be Hollywood's definition of beautiful, but she's beautiful to me. She's content with her life and sometimes that's more important than stressing over someone else's standards of beauty.
- My name is Yvonne and here's my excuse: I was active my whole childhood; played sports, took ballet, etc. I married young and my husband began to abuse me emotionally. As the abuse continued I felt less and less capable to function, had to go on medications to control suicidal thoughts. I've had very little money for a long time with my husband never keeping a job for long. I knew the food I was eating wasn't ideal, but couldn't afford to buy better. I've had four cesarean sections, and my abs are completely shot. It took over 15 years for me to realize that I was being abused, and after I found out he was cheating on me, I divorced him. All the stress and anxiety hasn't helped me lose weight.
I am most proud of Yvonne for the following reasons: She amazes me, not only with her ability to recognize what was going on, and get out of her abusive situation, but for not wallowing in it. She's going back to school to earn a law degree so she can become an activist to protect women from further abuse.
So you see, there are plenty of women out there that society would look at in scorn. Women whose outward appearance seems to say, "I'm lazy, I have no self control, and I use food as a way to get pleasure."
Here's what I would say to Mrs Kang if I were able to sit down and chat with her. "I urge you, Mrs Kang, to find a better way of expressing yourself. There are plenty of reasons for women to be 'fat'. Maybe instead of putting masochism on a pedestal we should exalt character... you know... kind of like Jesus did.
"Oh, and by the way, I put some clothes on you, because I don't want my son to read my blog and see an image of your half naked body."