I debated, and wavered back and forth, but I feel like I need to address Maria Kang and her opinions in some kind of depth.I hesitated because I’m not sure giving this subject more attention is good for either side of the debate. In the end, I just decided not to link anything in this post. Feel free to look at her facebook page or her website if you want to see more.
I think vilifying this woman is the wrong thing to do. Yes, I do think that she’s saying some things that are not just provocative, but potentially dangerous. I’ll get to that stuff in a minute.
I get where she’s coming from. On her website, you can read about how this is a super personal issue for her. Her mom died of illnesses that Ms. Kang believes would have been avoided if she’d taken more care for her health.
I get that. I also get that, instead of thinking, “I don’t want to do that to my family.”, she’s decided that it’s her job to keep that from happening to any family.
And I think she’s also displacing her anger onto other obese people and that, I think, is where she starts to go askew, in my opinion.
From her Facebook page:
“The first step in making change is deciding you are unhappy with where you are.
You can’t be unhappy if your environment deems it okay to be where you’re at.”
The first step in making change is deciding that you don’t want to be where you are. Yes. Absolutely. But the second sentence is where I think she’s maybe a bit overzealous.
If you won’t see how unhappy you should be, we need to surround you with things to remind you that you suck.
It’s a slippery slope when you want to help people-it’s super easy to go from helpful, to pushy and bossy, and micro-managey. (I make words up, don’t judge. *grin*)
It’s easy to start at “I’m here to help, when you need me.” and end up at, “If you can’t see that you need my help, I’ll show you.”
I’ve been there. In my life, I’ve come a very long way from an unhappy, super-entitled, lying, occasionally thieving, hateful kind of person, to what I hope is a relatively upstanding citizen. 😀 Really. A lot of people in my life gave up on me (and rightfully so, honestly), but then I got my shit together. (Or rather, am continually getting my shit together. 🙂 ) So, I have found myself wanting to help women that I see are where I was (Or my perception of where they are), and it has frustrated me and made things weird and awkward in a couple of relationships in my life.
You can’t make people want to do better. And you can’t decide for them what “better” is.
Maria Kang believes that if society would quit being so accepting of fat people (*snort* *guffaw*, but that’s at least partially my own bias), everyone would be healthy and fit.
This is why I don’t think we should vilify her-it must be SO frustrating not to be able to “fix” everyone. And I don’t think she gets that we cannot make positive, lasting changes UNTIL we love ourselves, and I would like to think that society needs way more love, not less. But I think that, maybe from her perspective, she can’t see it. And that’s ok. I can’t see her view from where I am, either. Perspective makes all the difference in what we take away from any given idea, I think. 🙂