Friend of Marilyn is happy to be celebrating over two years of activity this year! I can hardly believe that I have been working under this moniker for two years, and I thought I would take a moment to consider the work I have done, the people I have met, and the ways that FOM has changed my life.
Friend of Marilyn began as a blog and a Tumblr in 2011, as a platform for promoting fatliciousness and engaging with the larger Fat-o-sphere. The Friend of Marilyn radio show & podcast began on 15 August 2011, and has aired over 75 shows to date. With over 75 blogs highlighted, 75 pieces of fatlicious reactions, and 75 guests, Friend of Marilyn has helped shaped the conversation around fatness within Aotearoa New Zealand.
The connections I have made through Friend of Marilyn are invaluable. As I reflect on the people I’ve met and the perspectives I’ve been introduced to, I am overwhelmed by the opportunities I have had and the level of engagement this platform has afforded me. Thanks goes to Fraser & his team at Access Manawatu, for approaching me with the idea of a show and planting the idea in my head that my work could be developed into a larger brand. Thanks goes to Lesley Kinzel & Marianne Kirby, whose fatcast, ‘Two Whole Cakes’ inspired me for years, and made me believe that Fraser’s idea could work (TWC is back online!!!) Thanks to Marilyn Wann, who gave me permission to use her name in the moniker, and was the first guest on the FOM show. And thanks to Kath Read, of the Fat Heffalump, for guiding me, supporting me, and encouraging me. I could not do this work without the amazing support of the fat activists, scholars, and artists who work for fat social justice throughout the world!
FOM has raised my public profile, both nationally and internationally. This means, of course, that I have garnered a great deal more attention from trolls (both fat hating and concern), and I must admit, it sucks. But it also means that I have been contacted by many around the world who find the work that I do to be informative and transformative. And that has been worth all of the cost.
Friend of Marilyn is proud to be a small part of the larger fat activist community, and I am eagerly looking ahead to the years to come!