Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Facebook Removes "Feeling Fat" Option From Status Box After Online Backlash

Facebook just made the smartest move since removing the "poke" option. Wait, is poking still a thing? Well, like we said, they need to get rid of it.

But they did get rid of something else detrimental to its users. After major backlash online and a petition, Facebook announced that it has removed the "feeling fat" option from its status drop down box.

We remember the days when people wrote their statuses like they were finishing sentences, i.e.: "is loving this new NBC show called The Office!"  So sure, Facebook has come a long way, but this additional feature did not sit well with a lot of people.
Catherine Weingarten and the group Endangered Bodies started an online campaign to remove the "feeling fat" emoticon option, saying it was harmful to those struggling with body issues.

"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," read the petition. "That is not ok. Join me in asking Facebook to remove the 'fat' emoji from their status options. Fat is not a feeling. Fat is a natural part of our bodies, no matter their weight. And all bodies deserve to be respected and cared for."
The petition quickly got well over 10,00 signatures, and the hashtag #FatisNotaFeeling spread over Twitter and Facebook. Two weeks after the petition went live, Facebook responded and removed the emoticon and mood from the status drop down menu.

"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. "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."

Facebook also reportedly removed the "feeling ugly" option and emoticon from the list as well.

I'm thrilled that FB decided to remove the 'feeling fat' emoji," Weingarten wrote about the accomplishment of the campaign. "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. 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."

Way to go, Facebook! After all, there is already "feeling proud" and "feeling full" emoticon options for when we want to tell our Facebook friends that we ate an entire KFC family meal by ourselves. We don't need the "feeling fat" option.

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