TODAY   |  October 17, 2013

‘What’s your excuse?’ mom: I’m an inspiration

Maria Kang, the fitness enthusiast and mother of three behind a provocative photo, talks to the TODAY anchors about people telling her she’s “an insult to women.” She defends her posting the pic, saying she’s proud of how she looks.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> sparked a serious discussion yesterday over 16 million views as this california mom took this provocative photo of herself and her three young boys with the headline "what's your excuse?" some are accusing her of bullying, saying she fat shaming other moms. she joins us live. come on. 16 million views on facebook as we mentioned? were you surprised by the reaction you got?

>> of course i was surprised. i knew it was going to be a powerful image. i did.

>> you originally poftd it and put it back on explaining your thoughts hientd. what was the motivation?

>> i received a lot of e-mails from people saying i inspired them. i received from that small 20% saying you are fat shaming, are you a bully. you need to take that profile down. one morning i said, i'm tired of this. i posted that apology not knowing how viral it will come.

>> if you could get a do over and change the headline, is there something you could change it to?

>> a lot of people say if i can do it, so can you. if i put that, it might come out i can do it, so can you. it's that dialogue.

>> fat shaming or bullying, you kind of get the criticism of why some people thought, boy, she thinks she's so great and making me feel so bad about myself.

>> i think honestly a lot of people did see it that way. i think the majority saw it as inspiring, i have a child or i have two, if she can do it, so can i. i work, i have obviously those three kids. i make my priority, budget. this dress was $7 at target. you know, i'm like every other mom, i'm a real mom. my job is not a personal trainer . i make eight priority.

>> you were a personal trarian, a none for profit that focuses on fitness, right?

>> the last time i was a certified trainer was ten years ago when i was in college. so that was a long time ago.

>> how has life changed for you today?

>> it's a whirl wind, i'm here talking to you. it's been crazy. but you know what, i'm used to it because i have three kids 2009 , 2010 and 311 i gave birth. people are wondering, how are you doing it? are you giving up? i am built for stamina. i gave birth three years in a row. i'm built for this.

>> thank you so much. good for being here.

>> that's what's trending today. coming up, a "will and grace"