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COFRA Announces Dare to Show Your Face

If you’ve watched any news segment about fat people, ever, you’ve undoubtedly seen the video that accompanies any such news segment: the parade of headless fatties. Fat people in public, shown from the neck down, voiceless, stripped of their humanity—most likely without their permission. It implies that it’s shameful to be fat, that we ought to be ashamed to show our faces in public.

COFRA, the Coalition of Fat Rights Activists, wants your help in turning this portrayal inside out. That’s why we’ve started a project called Dare to Show Your Face. The goal is to show the world that we are people, first and foremost, no matter what our shapes. Fat people have voices, they have stories, they have faces.

We’ll be putting together a series of promotional videos for COFRA spotlighting the everyday lives of fat people in all walks of life.

How can you help? It’s easy: just upload a 1 or 2 minute video of yourself to our YouTube group.

Tell us about your life. Show us what you do. There’s no need to get fancy with video effects (but if you want to, go for it) – just your raw story is what we’d like to see.

For more information on COFRA and to join us in our campaigns for fat rights, sign up at (Thanks to Mychii and Carrie for their help on this text, and everyone at the Think Tank for the idea!)

And, please watch COFRA's Carrie Padian, creator of our first video:

A PSA From Your Body | Finally, Some Anti-Fat Ads!

MichMurphy March 11th, 2008 | Link | What a neat project, and a

What a neat project, and a good video from Carrie. I like the idea of humanizing fat people for the rest of the world, so that we're not just being shown anonymously on newsreels eating street-dogs or sitting on uncomfortable folding-chairs. I only hope the YouTube comments will be moderated Smiling

Still not sure if I'd be brave enough, myself, to take the dare. But I'll definitely be watching.

richie79's picture
March 11th, 2008 | Link | This is a fantastic idea,

This is a fantastic idea, and a powerful statement against the meeja's use of 'headless fatties', something which has always really bothered me. I've applied to join the YouTube group (and COFRA) and will try to post a video if my membership is accepted.

rachelr's picture
March 11th, 2008 | Link | Yay for Carrie! And double

Yay for Carrie! And double yay for reclaiming the faces of the headless fatties!

sevendayswonder March 11th, 2008 | Link | Woohooo! Paul, I am

Woohooo! Paul, I am proliferating as we speak! Everyone should also check out Carrie's video about what she got out of this project. Carrie rocks!

sevendayswonder March 11th, 2008 | Link | Paul, we forgot to add that

Paul, we forgot to add that we will also accept photo mashups and whatnot!

biggoth March 11th, 2008 | Link | Headless Fatties

One reason TV shows, magazines, and newspapers may favor "headless" photos is that they don't need a model release. U.S. copyright law can be tricky -- for example, a model release is generally unnecessary for "editorial" content but needed for advertising -- so they may be avoiding the problem altogether by cropping off the heads. If a reader can't identify the individual(s) in the picture(s), no liability.

Of course, they could ALSO be working on the assumption that fatties are *ashamed* to be fat and so wouldn't WANT to be identified (unless they're "good fatties" who've managed to lose weight and want to brag about it).

The more research I do, the more parallels I see between thinness in America and the historical practice of footbinding in China. How sad.

rachelr's picture
March 11th, 2008 | Link | One reason TV shows,

One reason TV shows, magazines, and newspapers may favor "headless" photos is that they don't need a model release.

Newspapers and televised news do not need models' releases to show your face if shown in the reporting of the news. There is no liability there. But I don't think the intent is not to dehumanize fat people, necessarily, nor do I think most news publications are aware that this is the result. They really do believe that they are being considerate in cropping off the heads of fat people, especially since they're being shown in a very negative light. Either way, it serves to dehumanize fat people.

sevendayswonder March 11th, 2008 | Link | We discussed this at the

We discussed this at the NAAFA conference last year at the MAFRAD workshop, and apparently there was a case where someone sued a newscorp for using their picture for an obesity story. I hear what you are saying, Rachel, but I think we agree that the the means don't justify the ends, even if the means are accompanied by "good intentions".

The assumption here is shame...and you know, obviously there are people who would be ashamed. But there is a CONTEXT of shame. As I said somewhere else, I am not sure anyone would volunteer to be the poster child for shame or to have their body publicized as a cautionary symbol of obesity hysteria...well, that is, unless they are getting paid a pretty penny to do so, as often is the case in commercials.

What would be considerate would be for them to not use photos of our bodies against us. Maybe some day we'll get that across.

BirdmanDodd's picture
March 14th, 2008 | Link | Put my face into

Put my face into this
Totally hoping we can make something really fantastic happen with this.

"One must want nothing to be different-not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not only bear what is necessary, but to love it."

AnnieMcPhee's picture
March 27th, 2008 | Link | I keep trying to upload my

I keep trying to upload my video and it isn't working Sad

Am I not in the group somehow? I clicked to join; do I need to get a confirmation email or something?

Zero isn't a size, it's a warning sign. - Carson Kressley

CarrieP's picture
April 6th, 2008 | Link | You're definitely in the

You're definitely in the group! What happens when you try to upload it?

abby1013's picture
April 7th, 2008 | Link | more people need to do this!

more people need to do this! my video is lonely!

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