Facebook removes ‘feeling fat’ status update after complaints over body-shaming

11 Mar 20152 Shares

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Facebook has removed ‘feeling fat’ from the list of ‘feelings’ users can select from when posting status updates.

The social network made the move after a Change.org petition started by playwright Catherine Weingarten and the organisation Endangered Bodies received more than 16,000 signatures.

Posting directly to the page, Facebook wrote: “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.”

‘Feeling fat’ status updates were accompanied by an emoji with chubby cheeks and a double chin, which Weingarten said encouraged negative body image.

“As someone who has struggled with and overcome disordered eating, I know what it’s like to ‘feel’ fat,” she wrote.

“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.”

Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com