NAAFA produces a great selection of print materials that I have found beneficial over the past 30 years. Some are ideal for well meaning family and friends but the most important I have passed on to my healthcare providers. Medical bias about size has caused me to receive inadequate care and has discouraged me from seeking much needed healthcare. Just having a well written brochure in hand can make all the difference.
Naafa is a place where I can be accepted for myself and not the size of my pants. I can be comfortable knowing I am accepted for who I am. A place where you can find support and advocacy. Until society as a whole stops bullying people who are fat or overweight than organizations like Naafa need to exsist. Fat discrimination is so accepted in our society today it is unreal. Thanks to Naafa, I have accepted myself for who I am and not the number on a scale.
There is a huge amount of social stigma associated with being fat, and the anti-obesity campaigns and reporting in the media are enforcing it. While it's touted as being in the interest of health, what this actually does is to create a very hostile environment, in which fat people are harassed, ostracised and discriminated against. Additionally, it negatively affects all of society, by making people unhappy, scared of food, and making them hate their bodies. NAAFA does excellent work in this field, by trying to challenge the stigma presented in the media through consciousness raising, providing alternative information and engaging with the media. This type of work is rare, and desperately needed.
NAAFA has provided an activist voice to fat people for over 40 years. It seeks to end stigma, discrimination, and promote understanding that fat people are normal human beings, that diets don't work, and fat is not as bad as the media plays out. NAAFA also has an annual convention filled with fun activism, great networking, and fun parties.
I found NAAFA back in 1985 through a friend who was a member. My first convention was shocking to me - in the nicest way. Here was a place where I wasn't "the other", the person who stuck out like a sore thumb. I was fat, I continue to be fat, but I am part of a group of people who think I'm valuable, weight and all. My peeps. Out in the real world, I'm hated, feared, and considered to be an object of ridicule and target for hate-speech. NAAFA has worked in the real world to make strides in providing education for health care workers, airline personnel, and children in distress. They stand up for individuals who cannot speak for themselves. I no longer hate myself for my size.
For me, one of the key benefits of NAAFA is that they provide spokespeople who go onto media platforms and stand up for people of size. They make others question their preconceived ideas and prejudices, and they do it with intelligence, grace, and humour, often in the face of extreme hostility and personal attacks. As a fat person who once lived a half life because of the belief that fat people are only worthy of respect and fulfilment once they become thin, it is the voices of NAAFA volunteers and others that made me realise that I had value as a human being no matter what I looked like. But they also provide instant advocacy to address injustices as they arrive, responding to news stories, corporate practices and changes in legislation. Despite being a powerful advocacy group, they deliver their message based on evidence and simple justice - they do not simply stand on their soapbox and shout at everybody. And they provide resources to help other individuals and organisations incorporate good practice into their lives and work, that don't involve accusations or judgments but simply provide good advice and explanation of the issues.
NAAFA is the hub of the wheel to persons of size. Their board of directors, volunteers and supporters work tiredlessly to champion the cause of ending discrimination against fat people once and for all. When there is an injustice perceived against persons of size, they are generally the once who come forward first on behalf of those in the size acceptance community and work tiredlessly towards resolving, enlightening or educating the public to effect change. Discrimination against persons of size has many facets, many of which the general public chooses to simply look the other way. We must all work towards ending what many in the size acceptance community consider "the last acceptable form of discrimination". For this reason fat people need NAAFA to continue championing this cause and rallying the community as one. Please lend your support to NAAFA and let's end size discrimination, one confident fat person at a time. Thanks
NAAFA does such important work. It has been the most significant civil rights group fighting for the rights, dignity and well-being of fat people for over 40 years. With the escalating "war on obesity," NAAFA is a sane voice in the world, trying to temper the damage inflicted by a prejudice that, according to a study by the Rudd Center at Yale, has as much impact as racism on the quality of lives of fat people.
I am personally grateful for this organization's advocacy, information-sharing, education and support of Americans of all sizes. Their pro-active representation of a grassroots refusal to accept discrimination, and their efforts to eliminate size bias, promote human rights and uphold the Constitution.
NAAFA is a lone voice speaking for the deeply disenfranchised, those of us who are fat and often physically disabled. I'm an advocate for LGBTQ rights and have been so glad to see the gay rights movement grow and flourish in advocacy, community, and demand the right to be who they are - not a choice, just a fact. We the fat face many similar issues. The vast majority of us did not choose this - to be on the condemned fringes of society, criticized and mocked "for our own good." NAAFA and NAAFA alone speaks for us, calmly against the snake oil diet and gastric surgery salespeople who keep finding new ways to kill us for being ourselves! NAAFA insists that we have every right to exist, work, date, and go to the gym - because EXERCISE determines fitness and health, not weight! But we the fat are too often ashamed to be seen to join a gym or go out and have fun. With NAAfA we learn our rights, we find (at last!) our community, we speak up for each other and for ourselves, and we also "get to" have fashion shows, dances, and a really great time - and all in a great cause of the civil rights movement that the mainstream stigmatizes exactly like it did homosexuality 50 years ago - as a sickness. NAAFA has been here since the 60's, and I pray it will continue to stand for us until we start to win some ground.... Though I wonder whether the gay rights and race rights movements would have made the progress they have if there had already been an entrenched multi-billion dollar industry dedicated to making the gays straight or bleaching the darker races to look white.... No, it can't be done and shouldn't be tried, but at least most people seem to know that about our cousin minorities, and no one but NAAFA ever says so, and some make millions insisting, despite decades of evidence and "results not typical" ads, that we can and should be "fixed!"
I first became aware of NAAFA when they called to collaborate in the Teen Summit our organization, The Positive Results Corporation was hosting. Wow, every person I met was positive, inspiring, beautiful and dedicated to informing the world about the importance of eliminating discrimination based on body size! The organization is outstanding, the people are outstanding. They are dedicated to changing lives and how those lives are viewed. They are an excellent collaborative partner. Not only did they show up at our Teen Summit as a dedicated and committed group, they went to great levels to support our program and organization, including providing literature, hosting workshops, engaging with the youth, their families and other community partners. Their message is clear and applies to all! Health At Every Size! Top award in my book goes to National Association to Advance Fat Americans (NAAFA)!