Self Acceptance and Society/Fat Acceptance
Self acceptance is loving and appreciating yourself even if there are things you'd eventually like to change. Fat acceptance or society acceptance is getting society as a whole to accept that we have the same rights has everyone else and to reduce prejudice within the community.
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WHAT IS NAAFA?
Founded in 1969, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.
WHAT DOES NAAFA DO?
The purpose of NAAFA is to:
- Work towards providing equal opportunity for fat people wherever obstacles and/or discrimination exist.
- Disseminate information about the sociological, psychological, legal, medical, and physiological aspects of being fat.
- Advocate and sponsor responsible research about the various aspects of being fat.
- Empower the large number of people regarded by the medical profession as "obese" to accept themselves, to live more fulfilling lives, and to promote acceptance of fat people within society.
- Serve as a forum where issues affecting fat people can be discussed in an unbiased setting.
HOW DOES NAAFA WORK TO MEET ITS GOALS?
NAAFA uses a three-pronged approach to end size discrimination and improve the quality of life for fat people. The three facets are as follows:
NAAFA fights size-related discrimination and bias at every opportunity.
- NAAFA members have participated in rallies and demonstrations in protest of Southwest Airlines' discriminatory practices regarding fat passengers, at an obesity research conference funded by the commercial weight loss industry, and in response to comments by New York Governor Mario Cuomo.
- NAAFA's Fat Activist Task Force fights offensive advertising and negative media representation through letter writing campaigns.
- NAAFA works to gain legal protection for fat people by educating lawmakers and serving as a national legal clearinghouse for attorneys challenging size discrimination.
- NAAFA represents the interests of the fat population at conferences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and obesity research conferences, in order to shift the research agenda from a focus on finding ways to make fat people thin to ways to make fat people healthy. NAAFA also represents consumers in legislative hearings to regulate the commercial weight loss industry.
NAAFA fights society prejudice against fat people through education.
- NAAFA works to dispel the common myths that are used to justify treating fat people as second-class citizens: "If they really wanted to, they could lose weight;" "It's not healthy to be fat;" "Fat people are ugly."
- NAAFA reaches out to national and community groups through our Speakers Bureau, literature displays at community fairs, and traveling exhibits. "The Diet Deception" is a memorial exhibit commemorating those who have died from dieting, weight loss surgery, and prejudice-affected medical care. NAAFA "Hall of Fame" honors fat people throughout history who have contributed to society.
- NAAFA works extensively with the media, and NAAFA representatives have appeared on such programs as 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, Larry King Live, Donahue, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. NAAFA's message has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, and many other well-known newspapers, radio programs, and magazines.
- Information on health, legal issues, and the progress of the size acceptance movement is provided by the NAAFA Newsletter, as well as by publications of local chapters and special interest groups.
- At regional gatherings and conventions, discussion groups and workshops are held to bring supporters up to date on the latest size-related issues.
Through NAAFA, fat people can raise their self-esteem and overcome feelings that they deserve to be treated as second-class citizens.
- Information in the NAAFA educational pamphlets and the NAAFA Newsletter helps fat people to realize that their worth as human beings is not dependent upon the size of their body.
- Because being fat can be both a physically and emotionally isolating experience, NAAFA has helped to create and sustain a fat subculture. NAAFA has several chapters in the United States that hold meetings, sponsor support groups, publish newsletters, and organize social events. NAAFA also has special interest groups for people sharing common concerns.
- NAAFA's special events and annual convention create safe space for our members to explore their own issues about fatness, and give people an opportunity to network with others who relate to their experiences.
For more information visit their website at http://www.naafa.org/.