After protests from several users, Facebook has retired the “feeling fat” option from its drop-down status menu. Among options including “incomplete,” “angry,” “nostalgic” and “confident” was “fat,” which sparked ire and led to a Change.org petition claiming that “fat is not a feeling.”
“Fat is a natural part of our bodies, no matter their weight,” declared Catherine Weingarten of Endangered Bodies, an organization that fights against negative images of women’s bodies in the media and culture, “And all bodies deserve to be respected and cared for.” Weingarten argues in the petition that the option was offensive due to the struggles many men and women have with their bodies, and the “fat” option is just another way for bigger people to be ashamed of who they are. “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,” she wrote. “That is not OK.”
After garnering over 16,000 signatures, Facebook deleted the option within two weeks. Activists from Endangered Bodies are obviously thrilled. “This success shows us that people together can challenge the cultural messages that are so damaging to our ability to love ourselves and live comfortably in our bodies.” Facebook explained its decision to get rid of the emoticon. “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,” the company said in a statement. “We’ll continue to listen to feedback as we think about ways to help people express themselves on Facebook.”
Add one point for team body confidence!