24 September 2012
A Critique of Mary Ray Worley’s article “Fat and Happy”
In the article “Fat and Happy: In Defense of Fat Acceptance,” the author Mary Ray Worley, a member of National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, attempts to persuade her audience to become more accepting and open-minded to people that are overweight or obese. She claims society is too judgmental of the larger people of our nation, and they should be accepted for who they are and not what they eat. However, Worley’s words throughout this article contradict themselves and by the end of the article, it begins to sound exceedingly hypocritical to be accepted as a larger American. Worley fails to provide credible evidence supporting her case and indicates discrimination as an excuse for obesity, when in reality, it is the individuals job to take responsibility for their own body.
According to Worley, our society believes thinness signals self-discipline and self-respect, whereas fatness signals self-contempt and lack of resolve (291). An annual convention held by NAAFA in San Diego for larger Americans to come and experience what it is like to be free of discrimination against their bodies (291). She says larger people feel they cannot wear shorts or sleeveless t-shirts or swimsuits for fear of offending others (293). Fat people are reluctant to seek medical attention because health professionals are among the most prejudiced people around (293). In most cases, people make the effort to lose weight, only to gain it back and then some (293). Worley concludes that when she gave up the notion to exercise to lose weight, and started exercising for fun, it became much easier for her to continue her work out routine (294). Now that she is becoming healthy, she is finding it more fun and exciting to go places and do things.
Worley’s article is based on the conception that fat people in America are discriminated against (291). She wants...