'Six pack' mom reacts to uproar over her abs-baring photo
(ABC) -- When Abby Pell posted a photo on Instagram showing her slim belly and toned, defined abs, she never expected the uproar that would erupt.
In the photo, Pell, 33, a nutritionist and fitness competitor, posed next to her 6-year-old daughter, who pointed to her mother's bared abs with a shocked look on her face. The photo's caption read: “I have a kid, a six pack and no excuse.”
“I just thought it would be funny,” the British woman said.
Not everyone laughed. In fact, many people accused her of fat shaming other mothers and setting a bad example for her daughter, Bella.
One commenter wrote: "She's teaching her kid that anyone who doesn't conform has no excuse, they're just lazy.”
But many others have defended Pell, including one who wrote: “U have inspired me to work harder at the gym."
Now, Pell, of West Sussex, England, is explaining herself. She said she simply wanted to motivate other mothers.
“My message was about having a choice, and showing people that it can be achieved if you want to achieve it, and just by leading by example,” she told ABC News.
The reaction to Pell's photo was similar to the backlash against Maria Kang in 2013, when she posted a photo of her slim and toned figure with her three young sons. Her photo caption was “What's your excuse?”
Kang, too, said she wanted to encourage other women. She said she was an example of a mother who was healthy and could be a positive role model to other mothers.
Still, some say photos like the ones Pell and Kang posted can send a far different message.
“Let's give props to this person who obviously is in great shape,” said ABC News' Dr. Jennifer Ashton. "But let's also recognize that shaming people is usually not a powerful motivational tool. And I think that, certainly, when you're talking about moms bouncing back from pregnancy, we have enough pressure on us as mothers."