A 32 year old mother of 3 young boys goes on a diet, gets herself in phenomenal shape, shows off the results of her efforts, seeks to inspire the cupcake eating fatties among us to get off the couch and do the same and in turn gets vilified on social media.
Last September (2012) Maria Kang posted a very revealing, yet not at all inappropriate, picture on Facebook. Maybe if she stopped there, things wouldn’t have gotten so far out of hand. But after receiving some pretty nasty comments, and possibly not the amount of notoriety that she desired, Kang came back with what she called an “apology” a few weeks ago.
You can see the post below:
The result was many women accusing her of denigrating fat people. So let’s get this straight. Michelle Obama can make videos and change school diets and call the nation obese, but that’s okay. But a single mother of 3 doing what the First Lady advocates is bad? Seriously?
Kang, from Sacramento asked in her picture, “What’s Your Excuse?” I guess people don’t like motivational memes when they touch to close to home. I guess memes on social media are only to point fingers at others. But that’s not where Maria Kang was coming from.
“I wanted to inspire people,” she explains, adding that the “What’s your excuse?” part was simply a borrowed, popular phrase that’s been used in various “fitspiration” campaigns. “I wanted to say, ‘I know you think you don’t have time if you have kids. But if I can do it, you can do it, too.’”
You, as a woman, should be ashamed that you are furthering the downward spiral of how society views women, and how we women view ourselves. You, as a recovering bulimic, should understand that your picture is more propaganda added to supporting an unreasonable idea of what women should look like, which not only causes eating disorders in women, but gives young women, yet to become mothers, false hope of what motherhood will be and look like for them.
Then, as if your picture, your statements aren’t insulting enough, you add at the bottom of your post, “Follow me for tips on how real moms get in shape”. All REAL moms don’t look like you, sweetheart. Most REAL moms have stretchmarks and a pooch from their skin stretching during pregnancy. Most REAL moms have cellulite. You are NOT the spokesperson for all REAL moms, so don’t dare allow people to think you are.
I like donuts. And cake, cookies, pasta, potatoes, sweet tea, not filling my body with sugar-free substitute chemicals, real butter, pork chops (fried, with breading), gravy, cheese and bacon. I love bacon. I have weighed the scales when it comes to looking like her above or eating bacon, and bacon won.
Hey, more power to you. We all make personal choices we have to live with. If bacon, donuts and cake float your boat, who am I to say otherwise. Especially since I’m not the most svelte guy myself. ( but I’m really trying! )
I’m not a woman and if being married has taught me anything it’s to stay out of arguments like this. I’m a social media guy. My sole reason for posting this is to show how something can ignite passion. How a simple image is indeed worth 1,000 words.
Kang’s post was amazing if for one social media based reason. That being it’s a great example of how content can bring about emotion and interaction. I don’t know her motivation for posting it. Only she does.
It appears that it was indeed a marketing post. You don’t post images on Instagram and Facebook with your URL on it if you aren’t marketing something. I view Instagram images all day. It’s my business to read Facebook and Twitter. I obviously post myself.
No one posts images with URLs unless we’re marketing. In Kang’s own words…just keeping it real.
But all vitriol and trolling aside, let’s look at her post as the marketing piece that it truly is. And in that regard, let’s ask ourselves as marketers, was this content successful?
Let’s look at the facts. On Facebook alone this post has garnered nearly 180,000 likes. over 14,000 shares and has over 20,000 comments. She’s all over the news. She’s being talked about all over social media and she’s exponentially increased the value of her brand with one piece of content.
I’d call that a successful Facebook post. It grabbed eyeballs, it got consumed, it was shared, it drew passionate commentary and other than the cost of the professional photography, it was all free.
I know quite a few brands who haven’t had anywhere near the success of this one image yet have been lauded in trade magazines for doing something great. What bullshit!
Great content resonates and is compelling. And it ignites your audience. You want to find the ROI in social media. Stop trying to please everyone. Everyone isn’t your market. Kang’s post had 180,000 likes and the amount of negative sentiment is dwarfed by the obvious support.
Do you think her potential customers are in the 180,000 or in the negative commenters? Remember, Simon Sinek said it best.
Maria Kang doesn’t care what the fatties who are content being fat think. They’re not her audience. She’s not selling to them. It’s those who do believe that being fit is a better way of life, who do want to change their appearance that she’s targeting. So in that regard, she friggin nailed it with this post.
So if Maria Kang can create content that resonates loudly with her target audience, why can’t you?
What’s your excuse?