Facebook gets rid of 'feeling fat' status and emoticon after online petition

Petition argued that ‘fat is not a feeling’ and criticised the emoticon for body-shaming

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The Independent Tech

You can no longer tell your Facebook friends that you're feeling fat.

The site has dropped an emoticon allowing users to say that they are “feeling fat” while they are publishing a post. The move is apparently in response to an online petition that received almost 17,000 signatures.

The petition said that “Fat is not a feeling”. Having the emoticon encouraged negative body image among girls, wrote the petition’s creator, Catherine Weingarten.

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Catherine Weingarten, and the emoticon that she successfully petitioned to have removed, shown in a picture posted on Change.org

“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 wrote in the petition. “That is not ok.”In response to that and other complaints, the emoticon has now been removed.

“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 spokesperson said. “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 pictures showed a small face like the other emoticons on the site, but with rosy cheeks and apparently with a double chin. The same image was shown to indicate that users were “feeling stuffed”.

The petition was launched towards the end of February, as part of a number of petitions launched around the time of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week by activist group Endangered Bodies.

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