Working Out

Does This Shirt Make You Feel Angry Or Motivated?

What were your first thoughts when reading this shirt saying? Did it make you feel great? Inspired? Proud? Or did you read it and feel angry or disgusted?

The workout shirt featured above is a shirt made by Constantly Varied Gear and was posted to the CVG Facebook fan page. Within a few hours of posting the comments began to roll in…

The similarity between all of these comments is the focus around physical appearance. Notice the choice of words “skinny“, “my looks” and “perfect body“. Isn’t that interesting? The shirt saying reads “Do it because your kids deserve a mother they can brag about.” It doesn’t say a single word about being skinny or having the perfect body. In fact, it says nothing about physical appearance at all.

What is most fascinating about these negative comments is that the things that people are upset about is something that has been perpetuated in their own mind. In a sense, they should be mad at themselves because they’re spinning the shirt saying to mean something that it doesn’t.

This shirt meaning is not about looking skinny or physically perfect. This shirt is about bragging about a mother who is happy, healthy, able and well. This shirt is about being able to run and play with your children. This shirt is about bettering oneself to be able to live a longer life that can be shared with your family. Those are the things your children can brag about and that is the meaning of this shirt.

The members of the CVG FB Group understood this message clearly because this is a message that constantly preached to the CVG community. Here are a few comments from positive minded people attempting to clear about the confusion about the shirt saying…

The biggest take away that I see from this is that 2 different people can read this shirt and have 2 different perspectives. There is no debate around that. One person can read this shirt and feel proud and inspired and another person can read it and feel like they’re being shamed. You choose your perspective. If your original perspective was anything but positive please know that the shirt was not meant to be viewed in this way. Here’s the reply from CVG…

If you would like to see the original post that this article is based on you can view it here.

So what do you think? Tell us your perspective in the comments below!


  1. I personally love it. I understood it as doing your best, putting in effort, and not giving up. Teaching your kids to be strong and prioritize their health and wellness. Never once did skinny or ‘perfect body’ cross my mind. Healthy > skinny, and skinny doesn’t = healthy.

  2. I love this shirt! It’s amazing and never once did it cross my mind to be about looks or being skinny. I workout so my bonus boys have someone to play with just like my son did growing up. My son is now 24 and brags to his friends all the time that his mom is the only one who can keep up with him when it comes to physical activity.

    1. I bought this shirt as soon as it came out and “appearance” never even crossed my mind. My kids do brag about me because they know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. In my opinion, it speaks to strength, not “skinny!”

  3. I am planning on getting this shirt. I don’t take it as weight loss or being super muscular. It’s about showing kids to not give up and work hard at whatever you do in life!

    1. Amazing read.. thank you.. I never once thought it was about anything else.. this shirt is about teaching your kids that hard work and dedication will get your far.. and do do something that makes you happy

  4. I love your gear because snarky is right in my wheelhouse. But this shirt initially rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t link it with appearance either. What I did think about was my mother’s battle with terminal cancer that robbed her of the ability to work out at all, or the friend with MS that makes putting one foot in front of the other a bigger challenge than my heaviest deadlift or squat attempt. Neither of them were physically able to “Do it” anymore. Not everyone is able bodied enough to exercise and I admit, the caption hit a discordant note because of my own personal experiences/friendships, not because CVG intended to be callous or focus on the superficial. So I’m just going to reframe my initial judgment and lift a kettlebell in honor of all the moms working out, day in and day out!

  5. It never occurred to me that the “IT” in “Do it because…” might refer to being slender or losing weight. I guess I take it for granted that my kids don’t give a shit what I weigh or the size of my jeans, so I don’t even bother trying to impress them with those things. I just figure they’d rather tell their friends I went diving in shark-infested waters for fun than to tell them, “My mom lost another 2 pounds.”

    My “IT” is running and sailing and scuba diving and reading as many books as i can get my hands on… Maybe those who read the shirt as implying kids can only brag about a skinny (or whatever) mom see the “IT” in that phrase as something else entirely? I dunno.

    I say, whatever your “IT” is, go ahead and give it your all because YOU deserve a YOU that you’d want your kids to brag about.

  6. It makes me feel excluded. I’m a woman who is child-free by choice and I’ve been judged for that for my entire adult life. Can we please be more open to the concept that not all women are defined by motherhood?

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