Facebook does away with “feeling fat” emoji after complaints

03/10/2015 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

California – Following a petition asserting that the “feeling fat” emoji option for status updates encourages negative views about one’s body image, Facebook has confirmed that it will have it removed. As reported by WebProNews, the social media giant has left open the option for users to type the words in as a free-form submission, but will no longer feature it as its own emoji as with “chubby cheeks and a double chin.”

A petition was launched last month by a group called Endangered Bodies on Change.org, calling for the removal of the emoji. The petition reportedly garnered more than 16,000 signatures.

Endangered Bodies is quoted as writing in a blog post regarding the petition, “Endangered Bodies sees this fear of fat and idealization of thinness throughout society as a form of weight stigma, which can have a serious impact on the millions of people dealing with negative body image. Body-shaming and weight stigma are associated with lower self-esteem and disordered eating, an issue that Facebook – being a social platform – needs to take seriously.”

The group is also seeking to have the “feeling ugly” emoji removed, but the option so far remains.

A spokesperson for Facebook is quoted as stating to WebProNews of the matter, “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.”

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