Our Times in Fat Acceptance

NAAFA Founder Bill Fabrey, who is now active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH), has given us permission to post this short essay by him assessing the state of the fat rights movement today.  Enjoy!

The times we are going through are very discouraging for a lot of us.  It is easy to become cynical about the whole thing.

However, a new Facebook friend of mine has the following in her profile, at the top:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Ghandi

I believe we are somewhere in the third phase right now.  Forty years ago folks in size acceptance were largely ignored.  Then we were laughed at or considered a curiosity.  And now they are fighting us.  Surely the British troops in India must have looked as powerful to Ghandi as the diet and WLS industry and the obesity mafia looks to us today.

We don’t have money, but here is what is on our side:

1)  The truths about HAES (Health at Every Size)

2)  Justice and fair play

3)  The inertia of people against changing themselves to be what government wants them to be, at a price that government is willing and able to sustain

4)  Biology–we have limited power to change our bodies

5)  A lively subculture that celebrates body diversity

6)  Some thin allies who are not part of any organization who can help us if we will let them–including even some “obesity” researchers

7) Interactions via the Internet that were never possible before

8.) A variety of organizations and associations promoting HAES and size acceptance–including our humble efforts in ASDAH, NAAFA, CSWD, ISAA, and others.

I’m sure that you can come up with some other things.

I’m not trying to minimize our opposition.  They’re scary.  But some of them fear us, and they are worried that this size acceptance “thing” could catch on–which is one reason why they are pushing so hard, and scoring what may appear to be victories.  Those victories will inflict pain, but it will not be permanent.  For one thing, I hope I’m wrong, but the world is only one REAL epidemic, or famine, or truly major war, or other major distraction, away from forgetting all about fat people.

I wrote all this because I was carried away by reading about Ghandi!

–Bill Fabrey


2 thoughts on “Our Times in Fat Acceptance

  1. With the greatest of respect to Bill Fabrey, @no.6 nobody is stopping obesity researchers from being interested in actual facts, as opposed to pursuing confirmation bias.

    If they are not helping us, (and remember most sticking to fact backs us up in general because we come from a point of view of what is real not what is supposed to be real) then that is their choice.

    • Wriggles, you’re right. Scientists should be seeking the truth irrespective of their biases; that’s their job, and that they shouldn’t need our encouragement. But just as we should call out bad research as bad, we should call out good research as good. To take one example, Linda Bacon of UC Davis has done good research on Health at Every Size, and she has deservedly been heaped with praise from the fat acceptance community for it. (I do have some misgivings about her book, but that’s for another blog entry.)

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