Catherine Weingarten (pictured above) didn’t appreciate seeing a chubby-cheeked, double-chinned emoji on a friend’s status update on Facebook. Having struggled with an eating disorder for years, that post made her angry, so she decided to do something about it.
She took to Change.org and gathered over 16,000 “feeling fat” protesters, and Facebook has obliged them. Here’s what Weingarten said in her post:
“Scrolling through Facebook the other day, I saw a friend’s status set to “feeling fat,” accompanied by an emoji with chubby cheeks and a double chin. I think it was supposed to be funny, but seeing this status made me feel angry.
As someone who has struggled with and overcome disordered eating, I know what it’s like to “feel” fat. I have spent years of my life consumed with negative thoughts about my body, and far too many days starving myself in an effort to lose weight. But even worse than the skipped meals and the hours spent obsessing in front of the mirror was the fear of what others thought about me and my body.
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. 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.
Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the world right now. With 890 million users each day, it has the power to influence how we talk to each other about our bodies. I dream that one day the platform will actively encourage body positivity and self-esteem among its users, but for now, all I ask is that it stop endorsing self-destructive thoughts through seemingly harmless emojis.
Please sign to demand that Facebook remove the “fat” emoji from its status options and stop encouraging negative body image among girls.”
Facebook removed the “feeling fat” emoji this week and added their response to the petition, posted by Buzzfeed:
“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.”
No one wants to be reminded of their struggle with body image through a seemingly innocent emoji. Yet, for the rest of us who might not understand, there are so many questions like:
Can we really “feel fat”?
How will the rest of us express “feeling fat” without an emoji?
Is a “food baby” emoji more politically correct?
What are your thoughts on Facebook’s decision to remove “feeling fat” from your list of available “feeling” emojis?