(UPI) -- California mom Maria Kang posted a Faceook photo of herself showing off six-pack abs in a sports bra and shorts posing with her three sons aged 3, 2 and 8 months, alongside the caption “What’s Your Excuse?” and the backlash has been extreme.
The photo has received more than 12,000 Facebook shares and 16,000 comments. Most of them have not been complimentary and accuse Kang of mocking overweight mothers.
"I don't feel this motivates people all that much, it's sorta just a prideful brag thrown onto Facebook in front of many women's faces just to tease and mock them," wrote one critic.
"Right...I'm sure she has a nanny doing all the work while she works out all day," commented another.
Another commenter suggested "something like - 'You Can!', 'It's Achievable!', 'It's Worth It!', would make more of a statement that appeals to more women without assuming we all are making excuses!"
Kang, 32, has gotten used to all the negativity.
“It’s a natural response. I’m used to it,” Kang said. “But it never feels good not being liked. I think people hiding behind their keyboards think I’m not human and I don’t have bad days. … That I don’t struggle with my weight and cravings and PMS. In this picture, to them, I’m just this person that’s never experienced any hardship.”
Kang only chose to respond to the criticism after receiving a personal, extremely painful email.
“It said I should be ashamed of myself and that I should take down my Facebook profile picture,” Kang said. “It said I’m a shame to women. It was deep and hurtful.”
She went back to Facebook and posted her “First and Final Apology.”
Kang wrote: “I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive. What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.”