"Fit Mom" Maria Kang is speaking out in defense of her "What's Your Excuse" photo that caused such a stir online, claiming she was just trying to inspire.
The 32-year-old mother of three revealed that she never intended to bully or shame others with her fitness photo shoot, but rather share a love of exercise.
Yet after posting this photo to her Facebook page, Maria became the target of online critics who called her a “bully” who was calling out other women:
Maria Kang was shocked when her Facebook page blew up with commenters calling her “selfish," a “fat shamer” and worse after the ad went viral.
“I did not know I was going to ruffle this many feathers,” Maria said. “I knew that not everyone was going to like the photo but I wanted to inspire others.”
“Obviously these three little boys are symbols of time. I’m able to keep them a priority. Of course it’s not always my first priority but it’s one of my priorities."
"Whether I work out at 5 a.m. or 5 p.m. or 10 p.m.," the fitness enthusiast says, "it’s always some part of my daily goal to take part of my health.”
Thousands of women did speak out to support Maria (and praise her physique), while taking inspiration from Kang, despite the vocal opposition.
After issuing a non-apology, her second explanation is a bit less defensive, albeit just as adamant that she meant no harm and was being positive.
Maria explained that continues to share her photo and story online because she wants to help other moms who struggle to find the time or energy.
She also says she's been doing this long before the infamous photo.
“I have always been open, I’ve had a blog since 2007,” she said.
“I’m vulnerable and very transparent I don’t feel like I want to hide anything, to me it’s important to be real with yourself, and be real with others."
That's "because maybe," she said, "you are inspiring others.”
What do you think of the photo? Is she shaming anyone?