Last year, controversy surrounded thinsporation, or “thinspo” for short – a social media movement that promoted a skinny lifestyle through “inspirational,” but often contentious, images. Many photos were often self-admittedly pro-anorexia, and sites like Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram began banning these unhealthy posts.
More recently, the attention has shifted to fitsporation, or “fitspo” – words and images intended to inspire others to live active and healthy lifestyles. Maria Kang, a business owner and mother of three, posted a photo of herself looking very fit along with her children and the text, “What’s your excuse?” The photo has recently gone viral, and in the more than 30,000 comments on the picture, Kang receives an onslaught of criticism, claiming she is “fat-shaming.” Others come to her defense, holding that Kang’s post was simply an attempt to encourage other busy moms that fitness can fit into their lifestyle.
I tend to side with Kang’s supporters, with the belief that she did not intend to offend anyone, but instead wanted to prove to doubters that fitness and family can coexist. What do you think? Should Kang and those like her be more cautious about the images and text they use to inspire others?