Facebook Bans ‘Feeling Fat’ Emoji
Facebook has removed a “feeling fat” emoji from its website after its presence caused a backlash from a group that said it promoted “body-shaming.”
“We’ve heard from our community that listing ‘feeling fat’ as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders,” a Facebook spokeswoman wrote. “So we’re going to remove ‘feeling fat’ from the list of options. We’ll continue to listen to feedback as we think about ways to help people express themselves on Facebook.” (RELATED: Change.org Petition Wants Facebook To Remove ‘Feeling Fat’ Emoticon)
The eliminated emoticon, or “emoji,” showed a smiling face sporting a double chin. While not directly suggesting that being fat was bad, it still aroused the ire of Catherine Weingarten and the group Endangered Bodies. Weingarten launched a petition on Change.org in late February coincide with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, writing that the the image was “not OK” and “encourag[ed] negative body image among girls.” Such negative body images, she argued, could contribute to eating disorders such as anorexia.
By Tuesday, the petition had garnered over 16,000 signatures.
Weingarten celebrated the win with a follow-up post on Change.org.
“This success shows us that people together can challenge the cultural messages that are so damaging to our ability to love ourselves and live comfortably in our bodies,” she said. “As someone who struggled with body image, I feel so happy that I’ve helped eliminate one form of body shaming hatred on the Internet.”
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