Facebook decided to remove the “feeling fat” emoji in response to an online petition submitted to the Change.org website. The social network giant made its move after the petition obtained 16,771 supporters.
The call for the removal of the “feeling fat” in the list of emotions/emoji on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was one of the several campaigns online by Endangered Bodies as part of the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week last month. The organization argued that the word fat is not a feeling or emotion.
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Catherine Weingarten, a Playwriting MFA candidate at Ohio University led that petition in the United States. According to her, the feeling fat emoji is only “making fun of people who consider themselves overweight, which can include many people with eating disorders.”
Feeling fat emoji reinforces negative body image
On Tuesday, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) wrote a response to the petition that it understood the reasoning of the community the “feeling fat” option only reinforces the negative perception of a girl or a woman regarding her image.
Facebook delisted the “feeling fat” on its list of emotions/emojis on Tuesday.
“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,” according to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).
The social network giant added that it will continue to listen to the feedback of its users. It will also think of ways to help people express themselves on the social network.
Petition supporters appreciate Facebook’s move
Endangered Bodies and the supporters of the petition expressed their appreciation to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) after its decision to remove the feeling fat emoji on Change.org and other social media sites such as Twitter.
“I’m thrilled that [Facebook] decided to remove the ‘feeling fat’ emoji. 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,” wrote Weingarten.