Facebook removes 'feeling fat' from its emoticons

Facebook faces backlash from activists who complained that it normalized body-shaming.

Published Date
11 - Mar - 2015
| Last Updated
11 - Mar - 2015
Facebook removes ‘feeling fat’ from its emoticons

Facebook has removed the 'feeling fat' emoticon in status updates, after receiving a lot of backlash from activists and Change.org petitions filed as part of a campaign tied to National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The social networking site has removed the status ‘feeling fat’ and changed it to ‘feeling stuffed’, while the emoticon with chubby cheeks remains the same. The move was made by the company is response to the numerous petitions filed by activists associated with Endangered Bodies, a group that fights body hatred globally.  

Petitioner Catherine Weingarten, a 24-year-old Ohio student garnered support from nearly 17,000 users. She stated, “When Facebook users set their status to “feeling fat,” they are making fun of people who consider themselves to be overweight, which can include many people with eating disorders. That is not ok. Join me in asking Facebook to remove the ‘fat’ emoji from their status options.”

A Facebook spokeswoman stated, “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. 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.”

Following Facebook’s announcement, Weingarten told Change.org in a statement: “As someone who struggled with body image, I feel so happy that I am eliminating one form of body shaming hatred on the internet.”

Read: Facebook apologizes for grief caused by Year-In-review videos

Source: Change.Org