Marilyn Ray Worley discovered the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) three years ago. That moment she realized, after that life-long fight against being fat, that it doesn’t mean being unhealthy, and that without being humiliated or being embarrassed, fat people must accept their bodies. She wrote an essay entitled “Fat and Happy: In Defense of Fat Acceptance” which targets those fat people undergoing hard dieting but still didn’t loss weight, and that there’s more to life if they would accept their body and live it to the fullest, free from humiliation.
Mary Ray Worley pointed out that living in an American society during the twentieth-century, a single person would believe and will surely have the feeling that being fat is a serious personal, social and medical problem. And because of that, they will never choose to be fat and would rather choose to die or cut off a limb than to be thrown with cruel jokes.
And that fat people became deeply ashamed of their fat bodies and are spending their lives trying to pretend what they were not. In addition to that, thinness implies self-discipline and self-respect while fatness means self-contempt and lack or determination. “Pressures like these must certainly contribute to the shortening of many fat people lives.”, as an excerpt from the essay. This is how she described the “Fat and Happy: In Defense of Fat Acceptance”, as bold as her experience when she was a young chubby child who started dieting when she was at an age of eight, until her age turned to 48 as of now.
It was on the month of August 2000 that she attended an annual convention held by the National Association to Advance Fat acceptance (NAAFA). The place was in San Diego but she explained it to be like ‘visiting on another planet’. She had realized, on her week-long stay on that convention, that her whole life before that night, she was carrying the heaviest burden, how her body shame had affected her entire life. This part of the essay, this little part, would be the piece of the whole where realization is going to happen. She had opened the mind of other fat people that there still places where body shame would not be a hindrance upon reaching happiness on everyday life. The author had made this to be an eye opener, ear catcher, and mind shaker for the readers and listeners.
It was the first night of the convention where this entire ‘different planet’ had shown its true nature to her. It was a place where all those fat people have freedom, without shame, had exposed their feelings and had expressed their selves where it was very different from what she called her home planet where fat people rather would be embarrassed and not an expressive one. They are on their stylish swimsuits, a hundred or so of fat people who had now given the opportunity without hesitations to be in their body, whatever it may look like, that their self consciousness had no place to enter.
In this part of the essay, she had given numbers of examples of things that those fat people can do just like the other thin people do. There is freedom without any shred of embarrassment and hesitations as support for her claim while citing those fat people on their stylish swimsuits. Just like how she addressed that place as a ‘different planet’, the author wanted to show how people perceived fat people on their place (or what she called her ‘home planet’) as very different like the distances between planets. She had used a figure of speech that will give impact upon showing the differences.
“We’re not giving up, and we’re not letting ourselves go.” This was her answer when she had encountered somebody asking the question if this was the best way for them, the fat people, to live. The person who asked that question might be pointing on to the place she called the ‘different planet’ and could that the best place and in that way on that place would be the best way.
She answered bravely that there will be no giving up. She had made a statement of a promise that even on the outside, there would be no hesitation, there is a freedom, that they will be freely can live without being embarrassed carrying their heavy burden, even on their home planet. In this part of the essay, the author was challenging and encouraging the readers and the listeners, to live out their life freely as they want it to be. This will serve as a motivator for those fat people that the author had commanded them. The author in this manner, had reached the silent part, and might opened up the fat people’s consciousness to go out of their cages and show they are part of the planet.
The speech happened last August 8, 2004 and she was applauded by 100 other very fat men and women. It was a success for the essay “Fat and Happy: In Defense of Fat Acceptance” and for Marilyn Ray Worley and for each and every fat people who are now winning some battles against humiliation, and that thins and fat people are beginning to live the same, normal, and a happy life, the way each and every one had wanted to life to be, the life taken from the fat people before, and now had been given back to them.
Harris, P. (2004). Fat is fabulous, insist anti-diet protesters. Retrieved March 17, 2007, from
Worley, M. R. (2004). Fat and Happy:In Defense of Fat Acceptance. Retrieved March 17, 2007, from http://www.naafa.org/documents/essays/fatandhappy.html