What’s Your Excuse Controversy
Although quite accomplished over the years, winning several beauty and fitness titles, as well as gracing the covers of various fitness magazines, Maria has also received a lot of criticism around this photo that went viral.
The “What’s Your Excuse?” tag line and photo, meant to inspire and encourage people to make fitness a priority, became the subject of controversy as Maria was accused of fat shaming and bullying the average everyday mom. Her message that women can do anything was questioned by some and perceived as condescending. “If I can do it, why can’t you?” Something that is the furthest thing from the truth and the opposite of who Maria is or her intended message.
It’s amazing to me how some people can interpret an image or headline. They read anything into it, other than its true meaning. It was clear to me and many others, the whole idea was to make people question why they weren’t making exercise a priority. Truth of the matter…there really is no excuse.
No Such Thing as Bad Publicity
Some of the backlash that Maria received actually worked in her favor. The uproar sparked interest by the mainstream media and gave her the platform to share her intended message. One of inspiration and empowerment to women all over the world. You may have seen her television appearances on, Good Morning America, the Today Show, Dr. Oz, CNN and many others.
Here’s a clip with Megan Kelly that I feel really shows her strength surrounding the controversy and passion for getting the word out about health and fitness.
The Maria I Know
I wanted to share a little bit about the Maria I know. She and I have never met in person. I was introduced to her many years before her raise in popularity or her recent appearance on “American Grit”.
We became acquainted on a fitness forum where she would encourage newbies, like myself, to keep going. Providing me with praise on all my accomplishments on a regular basis. Over time the forum ended, but she and I later became Facebook friends. We exchanged likes and comments (and still do) with one another. One day, in true Maria fashion, she reached out to me during a very difficult time in my life. After my father died, she personally called me to give me her condolences. When my wife was diagnosed with Cancer, she would send us words of encouragement and hope. She didn’t have to. She just did because that is who she is. She’s a special person with a big heart.
She is a quality person with a terrific message for all. Don’t just take my word for it though. Find out for yourself. Be sure to visit her website and also check out her motivational posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.