Understanding The Fat Acceptance Movement

The Official Photo NAAFA Uses For Their Website

The Official Photo NAAFA Uses For Their Website

Maybe you’ve heard of this movement, or maybe you haven’t, but fat people are rallying together to combat being treated unfairly. What you probably didn’t know is that NAAFA (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance) was formed in 1969, it’s just gaining more traction and attention these days thanks to social media, and the fact that every cause gets attention. Now as a disclaimer, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being fat, and I mean that in the sense of “live your own life”, but health insurance, healthcare, and the fashion industry, are all businesses, focusing on money and prosperity, not making everybody feel comfortable.

I wanted to thoroughly see what this cause was all about before going with the typical and ever-comical stance of ignorance and condemning  a lifestyle we don’t understand. Lose weight and get healthy is what you will hear from alot of people, which is totally understandable, but the NAAFA cause does have some good points, and  few that seem far reaching, and  after scouring the NAAFA website, I found a multitude of complaints, including, but not limited too:

Healthcare

  • Appropriate sized medical equipment not available (stretchers, blood pressure cuffs, patient gowns)
  • Nurses would rather not touch obese patients
  • Doctors who saw obese people were less nice in talking about preventative healthcare techniques
  • (to paraphrase) Doctors and Psychologists are very mean to Obese people saying they lack discipline and lie to their doctors
  • Self-report studies show that doctors view obese patients as lazy, lacking in self-control, non-compliant, unintelligent, weak-willed, and dishonest
  • Psychologists describe Obese people more negatively

Workplace

  • May be made fun of in the workplace
  • Less promotions
  • Average obese person makes 1-6% less than thin people

School

  • Peers see obese children as undesirable playmates who are lazy, stupid, ugly, mean, and unhappy
  • Significant bias is shown towards obese applicants in admission to college despite comparable academic achievements(super vague)
  • Teachers say overweight students are untidy, more emotional, less likely to achieve success and more likely to have family problems
  • Teachers have lower expectations for overweight students

Consequences 

  • Obese elementary school children miss more days of school
  • Obese adolescent girls are less likely to attend college
  • Students who were obese at age 16 had fewer years of education
  • Bias creates vulnerability to depression, low self-esteem, poor body image, and suicidal thoughts
  • Weight-based teasing makes increases likelihood of unhealthy eating patterns and avoidance of physical activity

This long list makes some really good points in the school area, where often times the kids aren’t the ones who decided to be overweight. This lifestyle may be genetic, and one the entire family shares together, and as much encouraging that everyone is beautiful as we want, it is not going to change the stigma surrounding fat people. Kids don’t understand it, and big kids feel left out when they are slow in gym class. But they will get picked first eventually for the very reason they are last in the timed mile. Everyones great, we’re the most advanced species ever.

That being said, the masses are jerks, kids are mean, etc etc.. Realistically it’s fine, everyone live your own life, but don’t expect to get a pat on the back for everything.

The healthcare complaints seem a little ridiculous at points, direct correlations have been found between obesity and high blood pressure, and high blood pressure and health problems. Don’t look at seeing the doctor as a time when he should tell you how happy he is that you are alive, see the doctor’s office as a tough love scenario, health is their business, and you are not playing for the same team if you aren’t working towards that goal. As far as the general complaint goes as to when the term obese should be used, let’s not push for pussification here, and lower our standards of health because a group of people want insurance companies to beef up their life insurance policies all willy nilly. If you like being fat, that’s fine, and like anything else, you have to deal with the consequences and the stigma that comes along with it.

The United States is actually of the more tolerant of the countries when it comes to acceptance, we embody the idea that everyone is beautiful, but in Italy, you’re just fat. You could be a cool guy, but you’re a fat guy, and some people think it’s sexy and others don’t, and sometimes there are health problems, and sometimes there aren’t, deal with it.

Heres the crazy part though, I don’t personally think it’s a big deal if you do think you’re “fat”. I think it’s a horribly derogative term, live your own life, be big, be whoever you want, just don’t be a dick about it, and always call a spade a spade. There are things that come along with it, go back to the complaint about nurses not wanting to touch fat people, is it because being big you’re more prone to being sweaty? Consider that, no one wants to touch a sweaty patient.

the NAAFA website also slant mouths the diet industry for causing such a stigma against fat people. I have yet to see a commercial, or meet someone who has undergone weightloss, who wasn’t freaking pumped about it.

In the medieval times, bigger was better, how about that, timing is everything.

I can’t tell you what to think, but this is a little more about the NAAFA than you probably already knew. Don’t be mean to anyone, accept all of mankind, and never feel bad for yourself.

S.

Wise News

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