A Facebook spokeswoman 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.”
The ‘feeling fat’ option is no longer available, but the emoticon with chubby cheeks remains. It’s labeled ‘feeling stuffed’.
The move was a response to petitions launched by activists associated with Endangered Bodies, a group that fights body hatred internationally.
Petitioner Catherine Weingarten reasoned, “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.”
Weingarten’s petition garnered support from nearly 17,000 users on Change.org.
Interestingly, there’s also another option for ‘feeling full’ with an emoticon wearing a look of contentment. It’s not clear why both emoticons are still available, particularly since Weingarten’s petition mentioned that she found the emoticon for ‘feeling fat’ offensive.
We’ve contacted Facebook to find out more and will update this post when we hear back.
➤ Following backlash, Facebook removes ‘feeling fat’ from its emoticons [The Washington Post]