Chrystal Bougon/Maria Kang Facebook
Chrystal Bougon of Curvy Girl Lingerie (left) and "Fit Mom" Maria Kang
California’s “Fit Mom” and a self-described fat San Jose lingerie-store owner are engaged in a talk show-fueled and social media-hyped battle over weight, and all the publicity is sending X-plus panty sales through the roof.
On Wednesday, Chrystal Bougon, owner of the year-old shop Curvy Girl Lingerie in the upscale Willow Glen neighborhood, got into a heated discussion with Sacramento area’s Maria Kang, aka “Fit Mom,” over pounds, sexiness and health while seated in the NBC Bay Area studio, during a taping for a Access Hollywood.
Kang has been calling out the Curvy Girl "UNPHOTOSHOPPED" campaign launched on Nov. 22, and said during her Nov. 30 CNN interview she was "peeved" by the San Jose shop's call to have fat women post their lingerie photos, "because that's not how real women look like or should look like."
Curvy Girl's new campaign asks "unphotoshopped, regular women" to send their scantily clad photos to the company's Facebook page.
"I want to be a safe place for women to talk about being fat," Bougon told NBC Bay Area. "People are sending in their photos and telling me they never felt beautiful until they found my page. I want to have a sliver of cyber space without people hating on us."
Bougon feels that Kang – best known for her flat abs Facebook post in October with her kids, asking “What’s Your Excuse” – is “fat shaming” her and others who are overweight.
“She thinks I’m glorifying obesity,” Bougon said. “I know, she’s just trying to sell her fitness tapes. I get it.”
Kang, who was temporarily banned from Facebook - possibly because Bougon reported her among 100 other people that day for anti-obese comments - said she’s been misunderstood.
And Kang wrote a blog, called “Sorry, but not sorry,” to explain how her rants about being fat as a recovering bulimic have been misunderstood.
While Kang said she never meant to shame anyone, she also wrote: "At the same time, in order to desire something greater, you have to – at some level – be uncomfortable with where you are at. When we normalize being unhealthy, we create complacency to positively change."
As for Bougon, the on-air, online fights are a bit emotionally trying but really good for business. She said that hers is only one of two plus-sized lingerie shops in the country and that the other is in Philadelphia.
“My Internet orders have gone up 500 percent in the last two weeks,” she said.