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Critique of Mary Worley's Fat and Happy

By mariejones12880 May 08, 2010 1078 Words
A Critique of “Fat and Happy: In Defense of Fat Acceptance” By Mary Ray Worley
Fat and Happy: In Defense of Fat Acceptance, written by Mary Ray Worley, is an article about the way she feels about body fat (492). Mary Worley’s take on fat changed when she went to the convention of the National Association to Advanced Fat Acceptance (492). The author goes on to talk about how fat people should not be ashamed of their bodies and that there are no real medical reasons why they need to lose the weight (Worley 492-94). Worley believes that a fat person should not try to lose the weight because, to her, it is more hazardous to a person’s health because they will just gain the weight back and then some (493-94). As for me, I believe a person has a right to freedom of speech and can believe in whatever they want to believe in. But for this article, Mary Worley should have provided better information and she should have clearly defined her terms.

Many people in today's society are too obsessed with how their bodies look, especially in regards to the size of their bodies. Mary Ray Worley believes that all people should be happy in the bodies they are given (492). Worley goes on to say that “fat people do need to be active and strong enough to carry their body weight comfortably, but they may feel ill at ease exercising in public because of unkind stares and comments” (494). If a fat person is indeed happy in their body then they should not care what others may say or think. Worley's suggestion that we try to be happy with the way we look regardless of what others think is understandable, as long as everyone realizes that being overweight does have its disadvantages. When it comes to the subject of obesity, people shouldn't care so much about the “How do I look?” part of it but should care more about their health and well-being.

Worley's claim that there are a lot of people that laugh and make fun of overweight people is true, but to suggest that "health professionals are among the most prejudiced people around" (494) is a claim she should have backup with fact if there was any. There may be health professionals that will worry about a person’s weight above all else but to claim that all health professionals are this way is absurd. Worley also believes “that the health risks of being fat have been highly overestimated” (494). But what proof does she have that being fat does not affect your health. If this is what she truly believes and she wants to convince others like herself that being fat has no real health issues then she needs to put facts into her article. It is hard for me to believe that she could actually think this way. There are health issues with being obese that no one should ignore like high blood sugar, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Worley also talks about various diets and how dieting doesn’t work (494). But the author never says what types of diets she actually tried or for that matter how long she even tried these diets. Just because a diet doesn’t work for her for whatever reason does not mean it will not work for someone else. Worley also believes that if we lessen the amount of food we eat, our metabolism will also lessen to stop our bodies from starving (495). But why is it then that we even have the dietary labels on food that give us a daily recommended amount to consume if our bodies are designed to slow down our metabolism if we do not eat a lot.

Throughout Worley’s article she talks about fat people and being fat herself. But she never defines the word fat. Fat means something different to every person. So what is her definition of fat? Is she talking about the medical scale of height per weight ratio or is she just talking about what society deems fat? To me I consider myself fat, but to the medical field, for my height I would be considered obese. But my definition of fat does not have so much to do with actual weight but everything to do with the rolls that are toping over a person’s pant. I would not care if I personally was 200 pounds as long as I didn’t have layers of fat hanging over my clothing. So for others to understand her article better I think she should have said what she considered to be fat. Worley believes that a fat person can live health productive lives (493-95). But what does being healthy mean to her? I believe that being fat is not healthy, that there are medical problems that go along with being fat.

Worley insists that there are heavy people that can live happy, healthy, and productive lives, and she suggests that all people (thin and heavy) try to be happy with the way they look regardless of what others think. This is right; however, it doesn't change the fact that there are heavy people that are unhealthy. Overweight people need to exercise so that they have the ability to support their body weight. Exercise is just one of the many things that everyone needs to take on so that they are in good shape. A healthy diet is also important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As Worley pointed out, heavy people do have to put up with the rudeness from the public; however, she does not need to make attacks against all health professionals because there is no evidence to suggest that all health professionals are prejudice against heavy people. It is true that obesity is on the rise and that there are fat people out there that do not care about being fat. But to believe that being fat has no affect on a person’s health or well-being is just denial. Being health is something that all people should be concerned about, whether a person is tall or short or fat or small.

Works Cited
Worley, Mary Ray. “Fat and Happy: In Defense of Fat Acceptance.” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 9th ed. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York: Pearson, 2005. 492-96. Print

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