I have to start with a confession.
I’m not super happy about the way I addressed the mom-shaming discussion yesterday. I started writing in the heat of the moment, not long after I’d seen the Maria Kang photo, based only on my own personal initial reaction.
In hindsight, I wish I’d taken some more time to let the topic marinate in my brain. I wish I’d considered more angles.
When I saw that photo, I interpreted it like this: “Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you can’t look great and find time for YOU!”
Great message, right? I’m all over it.
What I failed to consider were the many other ways that picture could be interpreted. Like, is she saying: “if you’re a mom, you should look exactly like this—and if you don’t, it’s because you’re lazy”? … Umm, well shoot, I don’t look exactly like that…
Or maybe: “anyone can have these abs 8 months postpartum, if they really try”? … Most certainly false.
Personally, I didn’t see those things. I assumed Kang had nothing but good intentions, and was honestly trying to inspire rather than shame. But the more I thought about it, the more I could see those interpretations making perfect sense, too. And the more I regretted hitting Publish on my knee-jerk tirade, without giving this big, complex topic the careful thought it deserved.
So I’m here today to apologize. Not because I no longer stand by what I said yesterday—I’m still in support of Kang—but because I regret that I didn’t infuse it with the full context it needed and because I failed to address all angles. (If only my old journalism professors could see me now, right?? For shame!)
Luckily, there are other bloggers who handled the topic MUCH more fairly and eloquently than I did, like Madeline, and I’m sure there will be others to come!
After reading a bunch of comments and reactions to this, I think most of us can agree on one thing: the picture is great. Awesome, inspiring, good for her. If anything, it’s the tagline that could use some work. What if, instead of “What’s Your Excuse?” she’d said something like “You Can Do It Too!”
Well, first of all, the whole topic probably wouldn’t be getting as much attention. Controversy is a powerful thing, for better or for worse. But as attention-grabbing as it can be, shame doesn’t actually work as fuel for change. Negative emotions breed more negative emotions.
Motivation and encouragement are ultimately more effective…but they’re also much easier to ignore.
Anyway, I hope you can accept my apology for a not-so-thorough analysis of a tricky topic. I try hard to present ideas fairly and show that I’ve considered all sides, so my own writing felt out of character yesterday. Rest assured it won’t happen again!
In other, less emotionally complex news, here’s a look at what’s going on around here today:
Mason’s first duct tape highway. He alternated between driving cars on it, walking on it, and trying to rip it off the floor (with an emphasis on the ripping it off the floor part), but at least he was amused.
New hipster jeans:
I picked up a few pair of skinnies at the Old Navy sale the other day, thinking the narrow pant leg would stay rolled better (I knew they’d be way too long, as pants always are on him). I also didn’t think they’d look that much different than regular jeans.
I was right about the rolling, but wrong about the look. They’re definitely skinny jeans—haha!
(In case you’re wondering, he’s holding the empty packaging for his new Elmo toothbrush…he carried it around for like an hour…why??)
Trade ya this sweet green shovel for that leaf?
Happy hump day!
Crazy thought: next week at this time, I’ll be sitting in my new office at my new JOB. WHAT???