I have mixed feelings about the ‘What’s your excuse’ debacle, because I do think Maria Kang looks great, and I acknowledge her hard work, and I HATE that (some) people are ridiculing her appearance.
On the other hand, I totally get why so many people feel like the meme is shaming. My friend Holly said something really on point about it (you can read the whole conversation here):
“The only reason is has legs is because it really appeals to two BIG cultural sacred cows: 1) the notion that you can have anything as long as you sacrifice/work hard enough, and 2) that women should be “hawt” above all else/in addition to everything else.
If I went around saying, “I got a PhD in science…what’s YOUR excuse?”, I’d be a total asshole. Not everyone is interested in science. Not everyone wants or needs an advanced degree. Not everyone has the background or particular skills that are required. Not everyone is cut out for years of academic and lab study. Most people really don’t give a shit. These seem obvious.
Why is it de rigueur for fitness memes? Because sacred cows/cultural values.”
Having goals is great! Having aesthetic fitness goals is great! Go on with your bad self and do your thing! And, respect that other people have other goals. Exercise is important for maintaining good health, but no one needs to look like a fitness model in order to be fit and healthy. Non-aesthetic goals are just as worthy. No one’s value as a person should be measured on their physique.
And that’s about the long and the short of my take on this whole situation. I made my own meme about it too. Cuz you know, memes are cool and everything.