Is fat a feeling? Facebook seems to think so but public backlash from Facebook users has influenced the social media powerhouse to reverse that line of thought. A petition on Change.org against the use of the body shaming ‘feeling fat’ status received approximately 17,000 votes from individuals who feel that the emoticon preys on people who are actually overweight.
As of today the emoticon is no longer available on the social media platform. Surprisingly enough, it seems Facebook has listened to the voice of the people. In a statement released to the public Facebook said:
“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 the removal of the feeling fat emoticon, Catherine Weingarten—the woman who started the petition alongside a group called Endangered Bodies—released a statement which expressed her happiness in overseeing the removal of the emoticon. In the statement, she says “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.”
Facebook is replacing the “feeling fat” status with “feeling stuffed” to simply convey having eaten too much which is not a form of body shaming. This small victory should certainly be viewed as a success seeing as it is one of the very few petitions on Change.org that have actually achieved a positive result.
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