More on NAAFA’s name

Following on from a previous post on NAAFA’s possible name change, I found an article online that provides more insight into the NAAFA Board of Director’s point of view. The biggest surprise to me is that they are saying that most members are in favor of removing the word “fat” from NAAFA’s name. (This article also names Brandon Macsata, a friend of NAAFA for a few years, as the consultant who is working on the name change; the newsletter article simply states that NAAFA is working with a PR firm.)

I’d be interested to hear what people think given this additional info. But if you really feel strongly, click on the link in the original newsletter article and let NAAFA know!


10 thoughts on “More on NAAFA’s name

  1. Though I lean towards Fat Acceptance myself, I’ve always viewed Fat Acceptance and Size Acceptance as meaning the same thing. Perhaps this is something that has been lost in translation for me?
    I worry somewhat though, that this possible move away from the word “fat” will lead to a move away from the primary focus on fat people. Obviously not everything is a slippery slope, but sometimes it’s still appropriate to be wary.

    • Thanks for your comment. To me, this is an odd time to change the name, given that there are scores of fat positive tumblr sites that have followed NAAFA’s lead and use the word “fat” proudly. I’m not denying the corporate experience, but NAAFA started this trend, and should capitalize on it.

  2. I wish I knew which corporations were approached about sponsorship and what their specific input was. Right now I have very little feel for where the name change is going. The one reply I’ve gotten so far posed it as a question of what name conveys a mission of pursuing legislation to promote equity and combat discrimination. And as I am writing this, I am wondering if some loose definition of being in favor are being employed. My feedback has been along the lines of, “So, what do you have in mind”; is that taken as being in favor of the change? That one response also posed a problem of the way it looks to “advance fat”. Well OK, I suppose the name could have “fat-positive” or “somatic equality” or “justice for the adipose”. My only qualm about this is that using a synonym for fat leads people back to the word, and does so in a way that makes it clear that one is dancing around the word that no one says but still hangs in the air.

  3. Warmest Greetings Whaliam and Company,

    I sent NAAFA the following letter yesterday. As I’ve never received a response from them regarding comments and suggestions in the past, I am not expecting one now. I’ve always found them an oddly closed-off organization, very insular.

    Warmest Greetings NAAFA,

    I read about your potential name change on Facebook this evening. Although I am not a member of your fine organization, I am a fat activist with a lot of experience in media, PR, corporate fundraising, and branding.

    You may want to review my credentials on Linked-In before trusting anything I say:


    You don’t need to change your name. It’s a good one with clout, goodwill and media recognition.

    You didn’t get corporate funding/sponsorship because whoever’s representing you doesn’t know what they’re doing. Suggesting you change your name proves this. You are responding to bad advice.

    There are many corporations ideally suited for sponsoring The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.

    Who did you approach?

    How were they approached?

    What kind of package was offered?

    Who made the pitch?

    Better to have invested a bit of attention to updating your website. There’s a lot dated material there – and typos. Also, for an organization about people, it would be good to see yours, along with a bit more about you. Your website looks like your hiding.

    The slogan, “We Come In All Sizes,” doesn’t work. You can’t be The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and then have a wimpy slogan like that.

    These things matter. A lot.

    If you want to speak with me further, I invite you to give me call. Or better yet, we can make a Skype date soon.

    Viva La Vida! (Live The Life)

    Marsha Coupé

  4. My main concern with the article was that the leader of NAAFA was quoted in the media saying “The reason the word ‘fat’ was kept in the structure of our communications was it was an attempt to reclaim the word so it wasn’t seen as a bad word. Unfortunately, that part of the media war has been lost.” I don’t think it’s been lost so much as we haven’t gotten it done yet. It sounds like NAAFA doesn’t think they are the organization that can get it done, but I’m not ready to give up.

    As others have pointed out, I wonder who these “corporations” they’ve approached are? My blog has fat in the name and in the last year I’ve worked with Dartmouth, Cal Tech, Apple, Google Headquarters, and a major International law firm among others so I’m not convinced the issue is their name. I also know past board members who say that this idea has been pushed by NAAFA’s leader long before their PR firm’s total failure to get any corporate sponsors for this year’s convention so I’m not convinced that this is about that.

    Regardless of what they choose to call themselves, and I would prefer that they keep fat in the name, I have a serious issue with leader suggesting that just because they didn’t get something done, it’s impossible. It’s fine if they aren’t up to this fight, I don’t think they are obligated to fight it. I just think it’s important that they be clear that just because they couldn’t get it done, or no longer want to try, that doesn’t mean “the battle is lost”.


    • Thanks, Ragen. I guess it’s human nature to avoid blaming oneself for failure. As for myself, I don’t think the battle is lost either, but fighting it can wear you down, and I (like you, I think) have sympathy for those who give up.

  5. Also, to Veronica, there have for some time been attendees of the BBW Bashes who use the term “size-acceptance” in ways which make it clear that they don’t wish to be part of any political projects concerning fatness, but do wish to pursue weight reduction, to make their outcomes a constant topic of conversation, and to describe any misgivings about this as a failure to be “truly accepting” of putatively healthy pursuits. Some of us have noticed that many of this ilk who most vociferously make themselves public case studies in the discourse of diabetes prevention through proper food choices regularly ingest enough alcohol to make this logic laughable, at least when we have the chance to see them in person, or in some cases to regularly read their FB pages. 😛

    • I find that frustrating as well, Avery. One would hope that a simple “no diet or weight loss talk” policy would solve that issue, but the reality is probably different.

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