Marilyn Wann


Marilyn Wann

Marilyn Wann (born 1966) is one of the key hogs in the current fat activism movement. At 5'4" and about 285 pounds, she proudly identifies as a fat person. With her magazine Fat!So?, first released in summer of 1994, and the publication of a book of the same name in 1998, she has played a role in trying to convince the public that fat people deserve equal opportunity in society, regardless of size. She has served on the NAAFA board; has swum with the Padded Lilies fat synchronized swim team; has performed with Big Moves modern ensemble and its hiphop troupe the Phat Fly Girls; and has done street actions with the Bod Squad fat pride cheerleaders.

“I’m not interested in people accepting my fat, but in fat people’s rights." Marilyn Wann

The thesis of her book Fat!So? is that fat people should not have to apologize for their size. She also writes of inequalities suffered by fat people in health care and health insurance, earning potential, and antifat mentality by some companies. The crux of the issue is summed up by the Fat!so? Manifesto:

So there's nothing wrong with being fat. Just like there's nothing wrong with being short or tall, or black or brown. These are facts of identity that cannot and should not be changed. They are birthright. They're beyond aesthetics. They provide the diversity we need to survive.

Sparked to action after being denied health insurance due to her weight, Wann has become a go-to source for opinions on the Fat Liberation movement, and has continued her activism with the creation of items such as the Yay! Scale (gives you compliments instead of a number), speeches at multiple conferences and symposia as well as continued involvement with the online 'fatosphere'.

In 2007, Wann interviewed Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame, about his work in photography of nude fat models. She participated in a lecture series given at the University of Oklahoma on "Food, Culture & Society" in November 2007. In addition to her scheduled lecture, Marilyn Wann took time to decorate bathroom scales with students in order to promote the idea that one's weight at any size should be celebrated.

Wann is a vocal and effective advocate of fat rights and a promoter of "Health at Every Size." She is also a member of the Bod Squad Cheerleaders, a fat-activist group that is aimed at gaining wider acceptance for fat people.

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