Maria Kang, the woman in the photo, herself spoke in response to the public outcry, insisting “I wanted to inspire people... I wanted to say, ‘I know you think you don’t have time if you have kids. But if I can do it, you can do it, too.’” (If you can’t make out the subtext it reads, “What’s your excuse?” and then lists the ages of her three young children.)
Now there are a lot of things that we could say about this. We could discuss the danger of equating “health” with a particular physique and body image. We could condemn portraying children as problems to overcome. We could analyze the shortsightedness of positioning our bodies as objects in themselves, of engaging in navel-gazing in the most literal sense. Or perhaps we could consider why Kim Clijsters' return to a No. 1 seed in professional tennis post-motherhood is far more inspiring than Maria Kang’s return to a size 2.
We could ponder why this picture is so much more motivating than that one.
[Mme Ramotswe] had a taste for sugar, however, and this meant that a doughnut or a cake might follow the sandwich. She was a traditionally built lady, after all, and she did not have to worry about dress size, unlike those poor, neurotic people who were always looking in mirrors and thinking that they were too big. What was too big, anyway? Who was to tell another person what size they should be? It was a form of dictatorship, by the thin, and she was not having any of it. If these thin people became any more insistent, then the more generously sized people would just have to sit on them. Yes, that would teach them! Hah!”