Facebook Removes ‘Feeling Fat’ Emoji Following Backlash

March 11, 2015
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Are you having one of those days where you’re ‘feeling fat’? Well not anymore, according to Facebook.

RELATED: How To Develop A Better Body Image

Following a recent movement by activists, Facebook has removed the ‘feeling fat’ emoticon after a 16 thousand strong petition surfaced requesting the social media site to remove body shaming status options.

“Since 2013, Facebook has allowed its users to choose ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’ emoticons as part of the ‘feelings’ feature of their status updates. Having these word choices completely normalises using derogatory descriptive terms in the place of real feelings,” wrote Rebecca Guzelian for Endangered Bodies.

“How can a person feel ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’ when these aren’t actually feelings? ‘Fat’ and ‘ugly’ are adjectives. They describe physical characteristics, NOT feelings,” she continued.

Guzelian also pointed out that Facebook is a platform that allows you to tell all of your friends how much you hate your body. And while some may argue that these statuses are simply a bid for attention, according to the petition it’s a way to make fun of people who consider themselves overweight, “which can include many people with eating disorders.”

Now, we’ve all been guilty at some point of saying aloud that we’re having an “ugly day,” or a “fat day,” but are social media sites such as Facebook, in which we’re invited to share and compare our lives with ‘friends’ to blame?

“People use Facebook to share their feelings with friends and support each other,” a spokesperson for Facebook told Mashable. “One option we give people to express themselves is to add a feeling to their posts.”

While research does suggest that Facebook use is associated with the development of eating disorders and other risk factors, social media sites aren’t entirely to blame. So should we be more focused on WHY people are choosing to write negative statuses about their bodies as opposed the ways they choose do it? Or is this movement a positive step towards combating body issues?

Regardless, Facebook have listened and responded and have since changed their ‘fat’ status to ‘feeling stuffed.’ “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 told TIME.

“We’ll continue to listen to feedback as we think about ways to help people express themselves on Facebook.”

Image via TIME

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